Mar 25, 2012; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting KC midfielder Roger Espinoza (15) and FC Dallas midfielder Bryan Leyva (21) battle for the ball in the first half at Livestrong Sporting Park. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
On an immaculate Tuesday evening at FC Dallas Stadium, the FC Dallas Reserves, AKA the Fuerzas Basicas del FCD, fell to the Houston Dynamo 1-0 on an 83rd minute goal from Cam Weaver. The reserves fall to 2-1 on the season, taking their first loss in a game that saw guest player Mark Barone and FCD Academy captain Mikey Ambrose start for the fuerzas basicas.
The first half was a very cagey affair that saw the Dynamo, with Adam Moffat starting due to a suspension he will serve this weekend, dominating most of the possession. Moffat unleashed a blast from about 25 yards out that cannoned off the post midway through the first half, but that was about it as far as meaningful chances go.
Things didn't really open up much in the second half as an FCD squad featuring seven current or former academy players started to press forward. Mikey Ambrose cleared one Houston chance off the line and academy forward Jose De La Tejera had a half chance, but nothing really materialized.
With time ticking down, Ruben Luna received a pass in midfield with his back to goal, took a sloppy touch and turned it over to the Dynamo. The ball was quickly played to Colin Rolfe who made a fantastic run through midfield before dishing it to Cam Weaver who cooly chipped over the rushing Chris Seitz to steal a win for the Dynamo in the 83rd minute.
The Fuerzas Basicas return to action a week from today, traveling to Real Salt Lake for a match against RSL at 10am on Tuesday the 17th.
Thoughts on the game including one hugely impressive performance plus post game thoughts from Marco Ferruzzi & Matt Hedges
Defense is played at every position Marco Ferruzzi will talk about it later, one lapse in concentration can lose a game. Houston was the better team in this one, like you would expect with a team featuring tons of players with MLS experience, but Dallas would have very likely grabbed a point except for the mistake from Luna who will look back on this game and know what he did wrong. Schellas always preaches that you can make mistakes, but they must be far up the pitch. Turning the ball over in the situation like Luna did is a huge no-no and a learning experience.
Speaking of learning experience...What a blessing the reserve games are to teach these guys moments like the one they suffered tonight. One mistake can lose a game, much better to have these moments happen in games where the result isn't as devastating as it would be in an MLS match.
FCD man of the match Gotta give it to big Matt Hedges. The rookie center back is really having a great week having made his MLS debut last week and now leading a young defense. Hedges was absolutely everywhere tonight, dominant in the air and very smart stepping out to cut out passes. It's even more impressive when you see that the Houston forward pairing was Cam Weaver and Mac Kandji, two guys with tons of MLS experience. A hugely encouraging game from him and he's looking like a guy that will really add some major depth to the stable of center backs this season.
Honorable mention to... FC Dallas academy captain Mikey Ambrose. The right sided player who starts his freshman year at Maryland this fall was really impressive again tonight. He's making an actual impact on the game and does what the coaching staff loves which is being very very composed on the ball and simply never turning it over in dangerous spots. Jon Top, Boyd Okwuono and Danny Garcia are currently at U20 camp, but don't be surprised if Ambrose turns some heads and ends up making that squad. This guy will be a part of FC Dallas as a professional if he stays on the same track.
The attack.. was pretty poor tonight. Ruben Luna, who didn't have a very good overall game, was out on an island by himself with Bryan Leyva playing much more defensive than we normally see(which is actually encouraging) and no real attacking midfielder in the center of the park. A ton of credit also goes to the entire Houston defense who barely put a foot wrong.
An FC Dallas team with seven current or former academy players on the pitch should have probably earned a point against a Houston team with three guys who started MLS Cup 2011. Not too disappointed by the result....also who would have thought there would be as many points scored in this game as there would be in the Rangers game.
Overall thoughts on the game
I think in the first half, it took a little while for us to get going. They were putting a lot of pressure on us in our defensive half, we had to find a little bit of a rhythm to break it. I think as the first half wore on, we got into better possession and we were able to switch it from side to side.
I think as the game wore on, we became a little bit more proactive and our mobility was better. I think one of the plays that stood out in the second half for me was the combination between Victor Ulloa and Bruno Guarda[They combined for a beautiful 1-2-3-4 combination that was seriously amazing and nearly created a goal]. That play is not a play that you see very often so I think in terms of quality of play we started to take it to them.
Obviously they're dangerous because there's a lot of big boys and a lot of veterans with a lot of experience. They're dangerous on set pieces so it was a bit surprising that the breakdown was in the run of play, a ball that we gave up and they basically ran through us. So that was disappointing but that was basically the one moment where we weren't sophisticated enough, we didn't compete enough.
Every other moment on the field we were competing, on these corner kicks, free kicks, 1 on 1 battles even the young boys that came in from the academy clearing balls off the line. Like I said, as the game wore on it got better and better, it was just the one moment and lapse.
Is that a great teaching moment, you can lose a game by one mental lapse?
Absolutely and we talk about it all the time, Schellas talks about it all the time. It's one instance that you let down, you don't track a guy into the box, you turn your back on the play and then that's where you're going to get beat or you miss an assignment in the box. Literally it was a basically a sequence of events where one thing happened after the next and we didn't close down the first opportunity, they took advantage of it and full credit to them for that.
Yes, it's absolutely a moment we can teach and every single one of these guys is taking it hard because it means a lot to them and they played well. They put a lot of energy out there and definitely had some quality moments.
I thought Matt Hedges was really good in the back tonight, talk about his evening
Yeah you know very strong and again he's dealing with two guys who have MLS experience, MLS Cup experience with Kandji and Weaver there. Two different players, two big players but two different skill sets and he matched up with both of those. Again, asking him to do a lot in terms of leadership in the back line. We've got new boys coming in to partner with him for a lack of roster players to play with him so it's even that much more difficult when you're having to pull in new guys and get them in your line.
A back line is an art form the way that we wanted to push up and if you don't do that with everyone on the line, we're very susceptible. So like I said as the game wore on I thought we were very good.
And then what did you think of Mikey Ambrose's game tonight?
Mikey is such a solid kid, nothing really rattles him. Every time he's stepped in, he's always done a great job. Even last year, he was a year younger last year and experience has just kind of built into this year and I think that every single time he plays with us he has a good quality moment that gives us a chance or he saves a chance. He saved one off the line tonight and then the first game here had home he had the chance on the goal he puts the ball in. So yeah quality player, big hopes for him, he heads to Maryland next year and he's going to be great.
Talk about your performance tonight, probably your best 90 minutes with FC Dallas
First of all, I'm disappointed with the result we had, it was one letdown by the team and we give up a goal. Performance wise, I think I did alright, knocked the ball around and defending their two big guys I think we handled them well in the back and I can't say enough about the guys that came in around me, Mikey on the right was fantastic, Mark[Barone] first game in awhile did well but I'm still a little disappointed by it all.
This reserve game might help you in the sense that you got a great chance to defend against two guys with a ton of MLS experience
Just getting the experience of two guys with a lot of MLS games, going against them I want to show the coaches I can defend against these types of guys, if I can do it in a reserve game I can do it in an MLS game. It's a good test and a good way to show the coaches I'm ready.
You got your first minutes in MLS last weekend, just talk about the feelings getting to play for the first time.
It was fantastic, I'm always ready to go in when coach needs me and to know he had the confidence to put me in when George went out is just awesome.
You almost had the game winner, had to be disappointed when it was called off
I was a little disappointed, I didn't see the flag go up, I was just trying to do my job and win the ball and when I scored I didn't know what I was going to do, run around and scream or something, but then I looked over and everyone was kind of stopping. I kind of figured it out from there.
Talk about the feeling on the field after Ugo scored the game winner
Oh it was nuts, I don't remember what happened, I just remember everyone's running around to the corner and screaming and yelling. It was so sick, it was awesome....I went back to my apartment and DVR'd it and watched it a couple times. Every time it just gets better and better.
HOU – Cam Weaver (Colin Rolfe) 83
FC Dallas – Chris Seitz, Matt Hedges, Moises Hernandez, Mark Barone** (Aaron Guillen* 76), Alex Lee (Jose De La Tejera* 68), Bobby Warshaw, Bruno Guarda, Bryan Leyva, Victor Ulloa, Mike Ambrose*, Ruben Luna.
Substitutes Not Used: Richard Sanchez, Nick Rochowski*.
Houston Dynamo – Tyler Deric, Kofi Sarkodie, Warren Creavalle, Jermaine Taylor, Oscar Recio**, Brian Ownby (Colin Rolfe 62), Adam Moffat, Calen Carr, Alex Dixon (Jose Soto 62), Cam Weaver (Christian Gonzalez***88), Macoumba Kandji.
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Marscheider.
* FC Dallas Academy player
** Guest trialist
*** Houston Dynamo Academy player