Five home wins. Five shutouts. Six games unbeaten. And 19 points after eight games. Yeah folks, that 6-1-1 record for FC Dallas isn't bad at all. Saturday's 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps was their latest show of just how good this club can really be here. Blas Perez scored a nice little header of a goal while the Whitecaps helped Dallas out with an own goal in the first half.
After the game I was discussing things with other reporters and we all were hunting and digging for extra items to write about from this one. Yes it was another shutout. Yes it was another home win. But finding that one guy that stood out more than the rest was tough as this was possibly the most complete team performance of the season so far.
Consistent pressure. Schellas Hyndman was quick to allude to this after the game that he believes Vancouver has yet to see this kind of pressure on their back line this season. Dallas found great success on the right hand side in the first with with Jackson Goncavles and Perez teaming up together on a few instances. Kenny Cooper also did well in spots where he pinched inside. David Ferreira was clinical on the ball at times as well. That pressure created chances, good chances that Whitecaps keeper Joe Cannon had to deal with. I'm fairly certain Cannon has yet to really see pressure quite like that on his own goal this season.
Set pieces. Yet another game with a set piece goal. Sure it was put in by Vancouver but you have to give Dallas credit for their ability to score off set pieces. This one wasn't about the size that Dallas put in the box. It was all about the service from Ferreira on the corner. Both he and Michel had some solid set pieces Saturday night that really gave the Whitecaps issues. Many wondered why Vancouver put out the lineup that they did for this one and it was partly due to defending against FC Dallas on set pieces. At times it worked, but when it mattered the most it did not.
Showing their hand. One of the repeated questions in the locker room afterwards was about playing Vancouver again next weekend on the road. In a way you could say that FC Dallas has shown their hands early on in this two game set. But at the same time Dallas has also planted a seed of doubt into the Whitecaps' heads here. It doesn't hurt that Vancouver has to shuffle their lineups over the next week or so due to their involvement in the Amway Canadian Championships here too. On Wednesday they go to Edmonton, then return home to face Dallas on Saturday and then play at home against Edmonton again the following Wednesday. If anything, Dallas fans should hope for a draw on Wednesday in Edmonton by the NASL team. That would possibly force Martin Rennie to really shuffle his lineup in hopes to save some key players for the return match with Edmonton the following week.
Michel and Jacobson. I may have more on this later this week but I thought once again that the partnership between Michel and Andrew Jacobson continues to improve and get better with each game. Just a quick glance at their chalkboard stats from last night, they combined for eight interceptions on the night. That's pretty impressive as it keeps the pressure off the defense just a little more when they are winning balls like that.
Hyndman sets record. Last night was a pretty historical night for the gaffer. He is now the club's all-time leader in total points with 219. He was awarded the game ball by the players after the match. Hard to believe it but after guys like Dominic Kinnear, Bruce Arena, and Sigi Schmid, Hyndman is one of the league's longest lasting coaches. That first game in 2008 seems like ages ago now.