FC Dallas vs Toronto FC: What We Learned

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Possession and set pieces finally lead to three points.

At times it wasn't pretty. At times it was frustrating. But when it mattered most FC Dallas came away from Saturday night's game with Toronto FC with a 2-1 win and three more points.

FC Dallas had a team-record 16 corner kicks on the night and were able to score both goals off set pieces.

Possession leads to chances

On the night Dallas won the possession battle by a what felt like more than a 60-40 split. Looking back at the possession intervals, Toronto really only had a few longer than a couple of minutes. FCD managed to dominate the possession battle, which lead to chances on goal, free pieces and corner kicks...lots and lots of corner kicks.

Chances created are always good to see and the offense certainly was clicking on the night. Fabian Castillo and Je-Vaughn Watson were active on the wings. Mauro Diaz was his usual impressive self, facilitating the attack. David Texeira in the first half was active enough to draw out the Toronto defense enough to allow Castillo, Watson and Diaz to do their thing.

But the one thing with creating so many chances and having so many set pieces is that you have to make the most of what you get. On the night Dallas at least did that with two goals off set pieces. Goals are goals in my book, so seeing them come off one of the many set pieces that were earned on the night is a good deal.

It was building

They help us a lot. I will say that they were pushing (us) all the time and that was great. We felt that energy in the second half when we needed it.-Oscar Pareja


The second half was all Dallas. Even for a couple brief moments that Toronto actually pressed forward, it never looked like they had a shot in getting a go ahead goal of their own. Hendry Thomas and Michel did a good enough job keeping Michael Bradley and Kyle Bekker at bay in the second half, and at times it appeared that Bradley was just gassed.

Toronto has been dealing with a lot of injuries lately and it was pretty evident last night. Thankfully Dallas was smart enough to continue to push in the second half.

One thing this Dallas team is showing this season is that they are never satisfied with a result. They want more. They want to give their fans more. The Blas Perez goal in the second half was a result of the team feeding off the fans and pressing for more.

Other notes:

- Pareja said that Zach Loyd did not start last night due to the fact that his fitness level is probably still in preseason mode. We have to remember that he didn't play at all during the preseason with the team.

- Pareja also has his depth at his disposal at the moment. Late in the game he brought in both Andrew Jacobson and Adam Moffat. Pretty sweet to have them as depth options while Michel is killing it at the set piece game here lately.

- Good to see Perez get a goal last night, this third of the season. Pareja talked about how incredible it is to have him back and healthy.

- Castillo's finishing still needs some work but that is something he has been working on for a while here. At some point he going to light things up.

- The schedule is really about to pick up for FCD. Eight games coming up with five of them on the road. We'll really see what this team is made out of here in the coming weeks.

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