FC Dallas hit the road for the first of two east coast matches today and came away with a huge result over the New England Revolution. Blas Perez came into the match in the second half and was able to put away the late game-winner to lift FC Dallas 1-0 over the Revs.
Perez's header came from a nice David Ferreira cross into the box. The build up on the play by Dallas help create the chance as a give away in the midfield by New England was quickly capitalized by Jackson Goncavles and Ferreira. The two worked well together on a short exchange before Ferreira sent a perfectly weighted ball into Perez in the penalty box.
That wasn't the only chance that Ferreira created on the afternoon. Earlier in the second half, Ferreira sent in another ball to Kenny Cooper, whose header beat New England keeper Bobby Shuttleworth but the play was called off due to Cooper being waved for offside. After seeing the replay, it was a pretty weak call by the sideline official.
Dallas controlled the bulk of this game in both halves. New England rarely got anything by the back four today in the first half and really only created a couple good chances in the second half. Raul Fernandez did well in the spots where he was called into action in goal for Dallas today, keeping the shutout and hopefully proving to some why he is the number one keeper for the club at the moment.
The result gives Dallas 12 points on the season, and a nice 4-1-0 record after five games. It was also the second straight shutout for the defense, third shutout overall this year. And of course, the win was the third straight on the season and the first road win of the year.
We said that 12 points were a possibility back at the start of the month and it turned out to be the case. Huge start to the season for this club, as they are healthy and are starting to click.
Back four were solid today. Only a couple spots where Jair Benitez or Matt Hedges looked shaky but George John and Zach Loyd once again showed their veteran play and leadership in the back. All four had a solid day keeping the skill players like Juan Toja and Lee Nguyen at bay and also frustrating Jerry Bengston into having a very quite afternoon.
Short passes = better chances. I may do a longer look at this next week but in this game, when Dallas was successful on the sidelines with Jackson, Ferreira and Fabian Castillo, it was due to the short one and two touches on the ball and the quick passes. The goal came from some quick one-two play that caught New England off guard. When Dallas isn't going for the long ball and are playing it simple like this they are doing very well this season.
Perez and Cooper. Both should have had goals but at least Perez came away with one in the end. I thought Cooper was good in stretches of the game but it would have been nice to see them both on the field together in this one. Unfortunately they did not due to Perez's big week with Panama. Both are starting to hit their strides here on the season and before long the goals should really start coming. Very exciting to see right now.
Ferreira with a solid outing. Once again Ferreira put on a nice show for Dallas today. Calm on the ball, wise in possession and dangerous when he could find an open attacker. New England played him tight in the first half but once they let their guard down, he was free to do his thing. This is one of those things that once he and the rest of the attack get on the same page as a unit, things could get real scary for the other teams in this league. The chances are there and eventually this club will be hammering them home left and right.
Decent substitutions by Hyndman today. Normally I don't like how Schellas Hyndman handles his sub patterns but today wasn't one of those days. Perez was a nice addition into the game for Cooper and Je-Vaughn Watson ended up not hurting Dallas in the long run. He's good to have in short stretches like that.
Different team in 2013. Let me just say, this isn't a game this club wins in 2012. The mentality of this group is so much better than we ever saw last year and it continues to improve. Confidence is sky high at the moment and they are starting to really believe. That is good to see early on in the season.