No one ever thought they'd get a second easy game in a row after winning 5-0 last week. FC Dallas hoped to get on a winning streak after the big win a week ago but fell way short tonight against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
LA came out strong and put the pressure on Dallas from the get-go, in the end it was a Mike Magee goal that was the difference maker in front a record crowd at FC Dallas Stadium.
Dallas really has no one else to blame but themselves after this performance either. The passing wasn't there on the night and the midfield had absolutely no rhythm about their movement. One ball would go into the middle only to be sniffed out by a well organized Galaxy group.
There really were no positives on the night. Offensively Dallas had few chances with Scott Sealy playing the lone striker role for a second straight game. Sealy probably the best two chances of the night, the first in the opening 45 minutes when Andrew Jacobson played a perfect header into space that Sealy got on to. The shot from Sealy however went just wide of the far post.
Jackson Goncavles probably had the other best chance on the night in the second half when Fabian Castillo beat his man on the wing and placed a perfect ball into the middle of the penalty box. But just like Sealy before him, the attempt went wide.
Defensively Dallas struggled against the high pressure from LA. Robbie Keane and Magee applied the right amount of pressure while Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho did all the dirty work in the center of the pitch. It was Sarvas and Juninho that really took Dallas out of their game and didn't allow David Ferreira a second on the ball to do anything special.
In the end, it wasn't a great night and one that has to be disappointing to the new sponsor AdvoCare and to the club front office. To have the biggest crowd for a FCD game at home to end up that way, can't look good.
Other thoughts from the game
Wing play was limited. Schellas Hyndman said after the game that he nearly subbed Carlos Rodriguez around the half hour mark in the first half but elected to wait until halftime to bring Castillo on for him. Rodriguez was not getting the space on the wing that he did a week ago against Portland and he and Benitez really didn't get to work their overlapping runs this week. On the flip side, Jackson had a decent game but there were too many times that he was sucked into the middle to try and create chances of his own. WIth Ferreira limited he had to do that but it also opened up the space on the flanks for LA to attack.
Middle of the park taken away. I touched on this above, Ferreira had nothing in this game. And really for the first time since his return, he looked tired early on in the first half. LA did a great job containing him and not allowing him to get open touches on the ball. With his play limited it forced Jacobson to have to chase the game a little more while Daniel Hernandez tried to pick up the slack.
Hedges. Some wondered at the start of the second half why George John was brought on for Matt Hedges. It turns out Hedges tweaked his hamstring late in the first half and Schellas Hyndman was forced to make the sub. Simple as that. I felt Hedges had a solid first half though and he really did a few good tackles on Keane to keep him off his game early on.
John. Speaking of John, it was his first action on the field since late May. You could tell the Washington native was rusty - he even admitted so after the game. There was likely some communication issues on the Magee goal and you can bet that had Hedges not got hurt, John would have remained on the bench for this one.
de Guzman sub too late. I really felt that bringing Julian de Guzman came about 10 minutes too late. He got about 12 minutes and change to move around the park and by then LA had really begun to close out the game. He didn't add a ton in his limited minutes but he was fairly active on the ball as he tried to push this forward. I wouldn't be shocked if we see him play more in Portland next week.
No Shea. For the second straight week we saw no Brek Shea. You have to figure that had he been out there from the start, this would have been a different game for Dallas. Hyndman said pretty much what he said a week ago about leaving him out for the game, as he wants Shea to get his head straight before he plays again. I get that but at the same time this was a must-win game and even if he hasn't been playing well this season, he is still one of the club's best players. You need him out there in games like this.
Final thoughts. This loss doesn't signal the end of the season for this club in my mind but it is pretty darn close. With only four more home games left, Dallas has to figure it out on the road if they want to reach the post season. Something tells me we will see at least one more trade between now and September too. That trade will either be to get a final piece to the puzzle for a playoff push or it will be to sell off a piece to help a contender.