There is something about a full moon that brings the craziness out in people. Saturday night there was a bright full moon above FC Dallas Stadium and it seemed as it got bigger in the night sky, the play turned in favor for FC Dallas. The Hoops went down 2-0 to Sporting Kansas City and at a point after the second goal, all looked lost for the home side.
But thankfully that wasn't the case as events transpired that made the night a memorable one on so many levels.
Never give up. This is a characteristic of a championship team right here. The refuse to lose mentality. We saw it in 2010 and look where it lead that team. We're seeing it again this season with this bunch. Sure, there isn't a wild 19-game unbeaten run going on here with this group but last night showed that they won't back down from anyone in this league.
As good as this team has been this season, I'm not sure they would have gotten that result last night had this game been played in April or May. They've had sparks before that showed they wouldn't refuse to lose but Saturday night they took it to a whole new level for me.
Part of that refuse to lose mentality is coming back down to the team chemistry. Again, that is something that is stronger than I've ever seen here in Frisco in my time covering this team. Even more so than the 2010 bunch.
Nunez was the right call. At the time, I, like many of you wondered out loud as to why Schellas Hyndman brought in Ramon Nunez for Michel. It seemed like a silly sub to make at the time as Michel was deadly on set pieces in the night and taking him out with a man advantage seemed worthless. He wasn't carrying an injury or anything like that, it was just a sub. Well, asking Hyndman afterwards why he made that move and it was simple, he thought with a man advantage that the club didn't need three defenders on the field. The more I look back on the last 15 minutes or so of the game, he couldn't have been more correct in that sub. Naturally as we all know by now Nunez help spark the comeback and his assist was pretty slick.
It was a short glimpse but Nunez is slowly getting back to the player that we've seen him be in the past. You could tell afterward that he was ecstatic about his assist and is happy to be home in Dallas.
Zimmerman making Ramos eat crow. A lot of the talk afterwards was about how Walker Zimmerman scored the game-tying goal and probably made US U-20 national team coach Tab Ramos feel like crap given the way his team opened up the U-20 World Cup in Turkey the other day with an ugly 4-1 loss to Spain. Zimmerman certainly would have helped out had he been there. But damn it, I'm glad he wasn't on last in Turkey last night. And oddly enough, he didn't seem too upset about not being there last night either.
Naturally the kid isn't going to say anything to make things weird with the national team coach, because there is still a future there for him down the road. Maybe not with the U-20s but possibility the U-23s in a couple years for the Olympics (though after typing that I probably should check his birthdate to see if he'll be eligible for Rio in 2016).
Zimmerman looked good out there for the most part against Sporting KC. After about five minutes of settling into the game, he and George John looked comfortable out there together and really worked well to get the draw with the rest of the team. He also put himself in good positions on nearly every set piece that was taken late too. That is why he got the goal off of David Ferreira's free kick. Just moments before that he had a corner kick that he headed that went just over the bar. This kid is good folks and we're only seeing the beginning of it here.
Watson-Jacobson duo. I'll give Sporting KC some credit, they are a physical team that pressures the ball from the top to the back. That gave Je-Vaughn Watson and Andrew Jacobson plenty to deal with on the night. Both had fits with their midfield and players seemed to swap sides plenty of time in Peter Vermes' 4-3-3 formation.
But overall, both guys helped keep the possession and favor in Dallas' hands on the night. Sure, Watson was unfortunate to be on the end of the KC corner kick that went in off of him in the second half. That is just bad luck. And same for Jacobson who tugged on Aurelien Collin in the first half which lead to the penalty kick. Both I felt both redeemed themselves late in the game. Jacobson with the goal from Nunez and Watson with his play to track down guys like Graham Zusi and Kei Kamara.
Were they perfect together on the night? No, but having Michel at left back proved at least for a little bit that Jacobson can work with someone other than Michel and have the club get a result out of it.
The damn woodwork. For about 65 minutes it just seemed as though that FC Dallas was just going to have one of those nights that they were unlucky not to get anything in the goal. Twice in the first half they had shots ring off the post. One with Kenny Cooper and a second off a Ferreira free kick from about 35 yards out.
Other notes from the game:
- FC Dallas now has a franchise-best 13 game unbeaten streak at home.
- Zimmerman's goal was the clubs 800th and the league's 1000th player to score a goal
- Matt Hedges was subbed out at half due to a foot injury, mostly precautionary but he was in a boot afterwards in the locker room. Hyndman stated that he probably could have come out before the half.
- 37 total fouls on the night and only two cards
- Blas Perez didn't start because Hyndman stated he wasn't 100% following his game with Panama on Tuesday.
- Lastly, I have to say kudos to the 600 or so fans from KC that made the trip. Love having a large supporters group from the visiting team in the stadium like that. Really made it lively on the night. Good crowd overall too, over 16k.