Well that wasn't exactly how I think most of us expected the opening game to go. It was a disjointed and frankly ugly affair at times, but the FC Dallas defense held strong and via a goal gifted to them on a Steward Ceus goalkeeping gaffe have three points. I'll have much more tomorrow afternoon, here is the quote sheet and here is my sidebar from the game.
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman
General thoughts on the game...
The game started off quite fast and physical with a lot of turnovers. There were a number of missed passes by both teams and of course the goal that decided the game was a mistake on the goalie's part. It was early in the game, and he was not able to read the bounce on the ball. I thought Colorado controlled the middle of the field. That was the battleground that we felt we had to get and we were unable to get it. The beginning of the first half was very aggressive on both sides as far as counter-attacking. It was a wide-open game. I could see our players were extremely tired just going back and forth. We shifted formation to a four-five-one to give us a little bit of an opportunity to hold the field a little bit better, which I thought worked. Then it just got into one of those crazy, crazy games that you're just putting yourself into so much pressure, so much pressure on you that you're anxious to get rid of the ball, and sometimes just kicking it out.
What did you think of Je-Vaughn Watson's performance?
It was a little bit up-and-down. I thought it was a little-bit erratic in the beginning. I guess we gave away quite a few balls. But those three guys in the center of the field, Thomas, Mastroeni, and Powers, were causing us a lot of problems. We were not able to sort it out. All week at practice we tried to work on it and sort it out and this is the first time Je-Vaughn's played with us so, it was a little bit weak and erratic at the beginning but I thought it got better as the game went on.
Is this a game where you just kind of take the three points and move on?
Absolutely, as I said to the guys you know we did not have a real good performance. We have had better training sessions than what we showed. At the same time we showed a lot of character, a lot of discipline and commitment to defend, and to come away with the three points. The three points is three points that Colorado does not have. We wish we could have played better. I think sometimes a sign of a good team is a team that can win badly and right now that was a pretty fortunate goal and we will take that luck.
What did you think of Michel's performance?
He did well. Look at what was going on in the first half, there were a lot of diagonal balls to Atiba (Harris) and most of those balls were coming from (Brian) Mullan and Atiba was winning a lot of the air battle against Jair (Benitez). One is 5'5" and the other 6'1" and there were a really, really difficult couple of balls knocked in that were second balls. I thought when Michel went in he did a much better job at nullifying those diagonal balls and making it a competitive battle.
FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges
General thoughts on the match...
For the first couple of minutes, we took some time to adjust to their system but after that I think we handled the pressure well. Jackson took advantage of an opportunity they gave us and was able to get the game-winning goal.
On getting the first game out of the way...
It's a good result for us. We needed the three points and our defense got a shutout. Jackson did well to put away the chance he had. I can't say anything more. It was just a really good result for us tonight.
FC Dallas midfielder Jackson
General thoughts on the game...
I thought I did well for a first game but I still have to get better with the team. But for a first game I thought I did well.
Is it better to win ugly than lose pretty?
The important thing is the three points. If we win 1 to nil, it's still three points and that's what matters.
What happened on the goal?
I saw the defender and just took off. David (Ferreira) and I have been working on our timing and creating options for him to distribute the ball. I saw the ball bounce and didn't expect the mistake by the goalkeeper, but I was ready for it. As an attacking player, you always prepare for a goalkeeper to make a mistake so you are in a good position to capitalize, but then sometimes it comes to you too easily and takes you by surprise. I had to focus and simply put the ball into the back of the net.
Colorado Rapids Head Coach Oscar Pareja
How do you assess tonight's game?
I thought we were the best team on the field from the first minute to 90 full minutes. But we made a mistake and we paid for it. I don't really remember another [scoring threat FC Dallas had] after that. I'm very proud of the boys. The goal was a mistake, but I'm very proud of the team and very happy with the performance. The guys played very well today and created options. We dictated tempo. We were all over.
What did you think of the rookies?
You want to have the result, but with this philosophy that we have here we're not afraid to throw the young guys in there because they deserve it. I thought the performances today by Dillon Powers and Deshorn Brown were great.
On playing in Dallas...
I don't want to say every game is the same but I've settled into a rhythm. Every game has different moments or aspects to it. Having spent a lot of time in Dallas, as both a coach and as a player... I always enjoy coming back here.
Colorado Rapids midfielder Dillon Powers
How did it feel out there?
It was definitely a fun experience for me, especially my first game back home. I'm really enjoying the pace, adjusting and learning every day. Oscar has been great trying to make me a better player. He's made the adjustment pretty easy for me.
What was it like playing your first MLS game where you grew up?
It was really fun. I couldn't ask for a better place to make my debut than in front of family and friends.
Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor
How did the new players do tonight?
Dillon Powers was as solid as he's been all preseason. Deshorn Brown showed that he's extremely dangerous, can get in behind and he's got speed. Kevin Harbottle was fantastic. He has been incredible in preseason. It's a good squad and a hard working group of guys.
Do you feel like it's a process for all the new guys?
It's always a process. It's early in the season and we can walk out of here with our heads up thinking we could have gotten one. We could have had all three points.