View From the East Stand: A Tale of 2 Halves

So Jacobson wasn't in the starting line-up, meaning we were going to finally see Hendry-Moffat in the midfield and witness live at home how they fared together. Would it be better than the Hendry-AJ pairing? Or would we turn our curiosity over to the Luccin-Hendry possibility? Well...

Wasteful First Half

FC Dallas and Chivas USA locked horns on a slightly chilly evening at Toyota Stadium and really put on a good display for the surprisingly large crowd in Frisco. The East stands were crazy packed and FCD put on a good display for us for which I'm beyond happy, but it wasn't always a happy Ryan (It never is).

This first half was marred first off by the apparent injury to defensive midfielder Adam Moffat in just the opening minutes of the match. The former Dynamo man made sure that we saw Andrew Jacobson on the field by, I guess not stretching properly before the match? I honestly didn't see the play nor the replays (was busy getting kids under control) but once I saw it was Moffat I knew we'd see our new captain on the field. As the header suggests, this first half was a nice one for FCD attacking, but not so much on the finishing part. Chance after chance after chance squandered, great build-up play capped off with a lack of finishing and Dan Kennedy being the beast we all know he is, unfortunately.

So many times the fans around me gasped and grabbed their heads in disbelief not knowing how we didn't put one of the chances away. Blas Perez, one on one with the keeper and Watson ready for the tap-in, and he tries the chip. It was said last week and it applies here as well: "9 times out of 10 he would've put that away". All in all the first half was a series of "omg, how are we not up?!" Honestly for as much as we were cutting up their defense and piling on the pressure you'd think we would've had something to show for it!

Perez was an absolute workhorse though, covering back for teammates, applying pressure on anyone with the ball in his area, making the runs, and holding up the ball well to get other teammates involved in the attack. He got superb height on a corner, nice contact with the header, and looked towards goal only to see it being cleared out after a fortuitous Kennedy save. Another good start for Super Raton, and another solid shift, the only thing missing from his performance you'd have to say is a goal.

Clinical Final 20

The kids were restless, the crowd was restless, it was time to have something to show for the amount of pressure we were piling on for 60 minutes. And with 2 injured defensive mids subbed off, Pareja still had a card up his sleeve. David Texeira. The Uruguayan was introduced in the 2nd half, and it looked like FC Dallas shifted into a 4-4-2 formation with two strikers up top and a renewed energy with Texeira putting in a nice physical presence, winning the ball and applying a fresh wave of pressure on the nervy CUSA backline all the while winning a couple of free kicks to help the team get some dangerous set pieces especially with Michel on the field after the Jacobson injury.

Just like in Kansas, the Michel & Texeira substitution seemed to just click. Texeira won the free-kick and like a blast from the past (expect with Diaz over the ball rather than Michel) we finally had our first goal.

From where we were this was what I could see: a beauty sent into the area got on the end of someone's forehead then into the net. The crowd around me went into a frenzy that actually made the kids with me cry, although more out of complete surprise at the thousands of people erupting at the same time for no reason as far as they knew. But for the un-oblivious people it was sweet sweet relief to finally see the ball go past Kennedy and finally have a goal in the game that was fully deserved from the FCD attack.

This goal opened up the game for a frantic final 20 minutes which saw both teams trying to pull one back, or pull one more ahead. Thankfully we have Mauro Diaz and they don't. A beautifully weighted ball straight into the Jamaican's path, whom I criticized last home game, but he made me eat my words by rounding poor Kennedy and slotting it in perfectly. His celebration was passionate and you could tell he was ecstatic about his first goal of the season, maybe because he might be battling a certain Columbian for the spot.

Alas, our patch-work defensive line could not keep a clean sheet for the 3rd straight game. 'Bofo' Bautista came onto the field and seemed to help Chivas USA spark their attack. And just as the saying in soccer goes, you're most likely to concede right after you've scored. Acosta was kept ball-watching until he realized Big Bofo was passing to the guy he was supposed to be keeping an eye on. A nice cross was sent in, Stephen Keel stood there and let the cross pass him bye, I think I even saw him wave at the ball as it passed him and Torres nicely slotted it into the top corner of the net. Did anyone else have flash backs to last season? Tying Chivas USA at home on the 4th of July ruined my 4th, but FC Dallas is a different team this year.

After earning a free kick just outside the area, I knew this was our chance to put the final nail in the coffin, and up stepped the hammer: Michel. Surprised Mauro wasn't taking it after his GOTW nominee strike on the season opener, but Michel knew what he was doing, maybe. I saw the deflection, then the Beer Garden erupt followed by the rest of the stadium following suit.

Hendry Thomas, what were you thinking!? I was in section 125 this time, and had a clear view of the last minute tackle from Thomas on a stationary Bofo. It honestly looked like a straight-up drop kick, Bofo's back was to us, and Hendry goes in two-footed straight at his shins. This game was won and done, then a careless tackle costs us our best holding midfielder for the next game. Injuries to Moffat and AJ then Hendry suspended. Who's ready for a Peter Luccin and Kellyn Acosta pairing?

What did you guys think of the game? Finally getting warmer which is great news, even though it's kinda see-saw the past few days. You guys ready to see Acosta in defensive mid? If there's any time for it to happen this season you'd think it's next game unless the injuries sustained by AJ and Moffat were not very severe which I'm hoping they weren't. Or do you think we'd see a Luccin and Michel tandem despite OP saying he sees Michel as a left back for sure?

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