July 14, 2012; Commerce City, CO, USA; FC Dallas forward Fabian Castillo (7) celebrates with forward Fabian Castillo (7) after scoring a goal during the second half against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The FC Dallas defeated the Colorado Rapids 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
92 days is a long time....it's almost a whole off-season. But the streak is over, FCD has finally won a game and kept alive their slim playoff hopes. My thoughts on the win:
Castillo MOTM What can you say about Fabian's second half? Generally the first half has been Castillo's best half(yesterday was only his second goal scored in the second half with FC Dallas), but last night he played a full match. I'm not sure what sparked things(Oscar?), but you really hope this gets Fabian on a roll as confidence is such a huge thing with young players.
Schellas Hyndman originally started Castillo up top, but switched him and Brek midway through the first half and it seemed to pay off for the young Colombian. This is going to sound a little nutty, but one of my favorite things that Castillo did last night was on multiple occasions out on the left wing second half he probed and when the chance wasn't there he passed to back to Jair Benitez(who provided much more support as a drop option than Carlos Rodriguez would have) and made the smart play. He should have had two assists to go along with the goal and finished what wasn't an easy chance late in the game.
Depth Improving It's amazing how injuries can trickle down across the squad. When Ricardo Villar and Jackson are hobbled, Carlos Rodriguez starts the game at right midfield and probably doesn't have the late impact that he did last night. What an impact Carlos had and not just on the well taken goal but on getting the ball around Pickens for Castillo's goal. It won't show up as an assist but it obviously was one....22 years old, can play 4 positions on the field & makes less than $75,000. Hope to have this guy around for awhile.
Ferreira Makes All the Difference I think we can all safely say David Ferreira is back. He's probably at 75-80% now and what was wonderful about last night was that his best contributions came later in the game as opposed to how he faded during the San Jose match. I'll get into it more in the Chalkboard feature later this week, but three of Ferreira's five key passes came in the last 1/3rd of the game and obviously the major through ball on the second goal. Schellas Hyndman said it best after the game "How can you not work hard when David is working his ass off?"
Colorado's Goal Really just an ugly goal to concede. I don't disagree with Dallas' defensive strategy of dropping off Casey when he receives the ball in midfield and tracking the runners, but that only works if you track the runners. For me, the blame on the goal goes all the way across the back four. Benitez is at fault for not getting back quickly enough while Hedges did not follow Pertuz's order to slide over to Cummings and potentially snuff out the pass. From the replay it looks like Loyd kept Cummings onside and Hartman will be disappointed to get beaten near post. Very uncharacteristic of how the defense has been playing lately.
Moving forward This game in San Jose worries me. Not because I'm worried about the result, I think that regardless of the result FCD can hold their heads high for simply breaking the winless run on the road. I'm worried because the game against the Timbers on Saturday night is another must-win and I don't like Ferreira playing three games in a week. Just call it a hunch but if FCD can get out of San Jose healthy, I'll probably be satisfied.
Scattershooting I can't handle Brek as the target forward, it's just so ugly and something seems off with his game right now...Excited to see what JDG can do on Wednesday...Hartman was massive again...SJ is important, but the two home games vs Portland & LA coming up are humongous....thank goodness the season isn't over yet. At minute 55, the season was over.