After a while it began to look like one of those nights that nothing would go in for FC Dallas. Shot after shot either went over, wide or right at New England Revolution keeper Matt Reis. That was until Marvin Chavez came into the picture midway through the second half.
Chavez took a ball from Fabian Castillo in the 68th minute and races down the wing and up the touchline to beat Reis near post for the games lone goal. It was Chavez's first of the year and first regular season goal since last October.
The win was special for another reason though too. The 1-0 shutout also marked the 100th shutout for keeper Kevin Hartman. The veteran continues to lead the all-time MLS mark for shutouts and has become the first in league history to pass the century mark. It was the seventh shutout of the 2011 season for Hartman as well.
(Read on for more thoughts, quotes and stats)
1. Possession looked great. I know Daniel and I both recently said possession isn't everything when you're winning but last night proved how important possession can be in a game. New England came out in a 4-5-1 and really sat behind the ball keeping eight men back at times. Dallas played to that to their advantage by possessing the ball 66% of the match, their best in a long while this season. With that possession came the chances on goal and really this game could have easily been 4 or 5-0. New England was lucky most of the good attempts Dallas had didn't go in the back of the net.
2. Defensively it was as good as it needed to be. I'd argue that this could easily be Hartman's easiest shutout, maybe even of his career. He really wasn't tested that much in this one. He blocked a couple simple shots in the first half and didn't see hardly any action until the 80th minute when New England had three straight corner kicks. Defensively the back four did a great job of containing New England and keeping them scoreless in this one. Daniel Hernandez and Andrew Jacobson were all over Shalrie Joseph in the middle and that really did a number on how the Revs could attack.
3. Marvin's goal. It was a goal the young Honduran needed. Funny that once Milton Rodriguez came into the match and Chavez shifted back wide that a goal came. Don't be too shocked if Uncle Milton returns to the lineup against KC next week and Marvin is out wide. In a way that is Dallas' best lineup. While Rodriguez had little to do with the goal setup (it was all Castillo), Chavez just out hustled the Revs defense on this one.
4. Speed kills. New England just did not have an answer for the speed that Dallas has. I thought Kevin Alston contained Brek Shea pretty well in the first half but it wasn't enough. Castillo and Chavez were a handfull for the rest of the New England defense and that helped increase the number of chances on goal.
5. Texas heat. With this being the first of three home games the month, you have to really like Dallas' chances of winning each home game. Next up is Sporting Kansas City (who'll play twice next week) and Portland at the end of the month. New England just couldn't deal with the heat and Dallas knew how to take full advantage of that.
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman
"It was really a good performance on FC Dallas' part. The thing we didn't do is in the first half we didn't put away our opportunities. That always makes a team and especially the coaches very nervous because when you don't finish your opportunities, you get frustrated and the opposition starts to believe you can't score. So they start to throw more people forward. This was one of those games that if you don't win, you make a mistake and they score... one of those games that you just hate yourself and you can't sleep because it's a game you should have won [based on] the way you played. The shots were 16-3. That should tell you something about the game itself. Our boys came out in the second half as focused as they were in the first."
On the Marvin Chavez goal...
"This was his first goal of the year and it couldn't have come any better. Watching Marvin many times during games, he has that speed to get around the corners, running at the keeper and he just gets there and hits the ball as hard as he can sometimes right at the keeper, sometimes over the goal. Tonight he showed some composure late in the game to keep it low and score the game-winning goal."
"It's something we've been working on. It's nice to be able to say we've been working on something and then see the progression. I really thought it was better tonight. New England hasn't won a game on the road, so it's tough for them. They may have a mental barrier about being on the road. It was extremely hot, like a sauna. If it's hot for the coaches sitting there, you can imagine what it is like for the players out there giving you everything they have. At the same time, I don't think the weather conditions affected us as much. We're either used to it or a little stronger mentally and being at home we wanted to win. So we got the three points."
On Kevin Hartman's 100th career shutout...
"Fantastic! What a terrific accomplishment. I don't know who the second person is (all-time in MLS) as far as shutouts, but I've got to believe it's quite a ways from what Kevin has. I think it shows a great career, a person who has been very loyal to MLS and didn't take opportunities to go internationally and a person who last year when we picked him up he was a player that Kansas City did not bring back. So, I think it was a huge loss for them when you see the type of player he's been for us. I'm really very proud of him and pleased for him and his family."
FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman
On holding on to the clean sheet...
"We were very persistent. We continued to attack and possess the ball. We played them in a pretty hostile environment in terms of the heat, and it really worked to our advantage."
On earning his MLS record 100th career shutout...
"It certainly is something I'm extremely proud of. I feel like I'm part of something here in Dallas. I feel like I've played on some great teams in the past where guys would work both sides of the ball, and shutouts are always something that takes more than just a goalkeeper."
Forward Marvin Chavez
On turning down Gold Cup call up from Honduras...
"It wasn't a very easy decision to make. I had to think a lot about it, but I thought about this group and the injury problems, and I'm happy with my decision."
On scoring the game-winning goal...
"I beat the defender to the line and inside the box. I then saw Milton [Rodriguez] open, but I was confident I could score. Luckily, I made it."
DAL - Marvin Chavez (Fabian Castillo) 69
NE - Stephen McCarthy (caution; reckless tackle) 23
NE - Ryan Cochrane (caution; tactical foul) 45
DAL - Zach Loyd (caution; tactical foul) 58
NE - Pat Phelan (caution; tactical foul) 89
FC Dallas - Kevin Hartman, Zach Loyd, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Jair Benitez, Brek Shea, Andrew Jacobson, Daniel Hernandez, Eric Alexander (Milton Rodriguez 67), Marvin Chavez (Eric Avila 92+), Fabian Castillo (Bobby Warshaw 79).
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Brek Shea 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Marvin Chavez 4); FOULS: 6 (Fabian Castillo, Daniel Hernandez 2); OFFSIDES: 4 (Fabian Castillo 2); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Marvin Chavez 4); SAVES: 2 (Kevin Hartman 2)
New England Revolution - Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane, A.J. Soares, Chris Tierney, Stephen McCarthy (Sainey Nyassi 70), Ousmane Dabo (Pat Phelan 53), Didier Domi (Darrius Barnes 59), Shalrie Joseph, Zak Boggs, Rajko Lekic.
TOTAL SHOTS: 3 (Zak Boggs, Shalrie Joseph, Rajko Lekic 1); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Shalrie Joseph, Rajko Lekic 1); FOULS: 12 (Kevin Alston, Zak Boggs, Stephen McCarthy, Pat Phelan 2); OFFSIDES: 1 (Rajko Lekic 1); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Chris Tierney 3); SAVES: 6 (Matt Reis 6)
Referee: Mark Kadlecik
Referee's Assistants: Sean Hurd, Colin Arblaster
4th Official: Edvin Jurisevic
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Sunny, 97 degrees