A perfect evening to be out at Toyota Stadium in Frisco this past Saturday, with a number of big names coming to town (and some not making the trip) there was a nice crowd out to witness the proceedings. Julio Cesar, Michael Bradley, and Gilberto all made the starting 11 to test an FC Dallas that tasted its' first defeat last time out.
1st half: Corner Kicks
Man were there corner kicks in this one. I read in the recap that there was 16?! 10 of them had to have been in the first half and our conversion rate of one goal off 16 corners is a little worrisome, but I digress. This first half was a tale of frustration and wasted chances.
Chance after chance after chance, so many opportunities which is a good thing but not that great when you aren't converting any of the said chances.
Toronto FC had to show the home boys in blue (why were we in our away kits again?) how it was done with Jackson unfortunately providing the pass into the area for the goal. Watson provided the finishing touch for this goal, although I see it officially listed as a goal instead of an own-goal. This was about as against the run of play as a goal could come with Dallas seemingly dominating possession and piling on the corner kicks all throughout the game.
Frustration looked to have set in, as there were some lapses of judgement that was most evident when Hendry Thomas looked to have kicked Julio Cesar right in the mid section, he was incredibly lucky to get off with just a talking to. Sweet relief for the Dallas faithful came towards the end of the half when finally one of the many corners produced a result in the form of Matt Hedges' head. He ran near post, got his noggin on that ball and turned it past Julio Cesar who was rooted to his spot. That goal felt like it lifted the weight of a thousand stones off the shoulders of the crowd, and gave FC Dallas the goal it deserved from the work in the first half.
My fear going into the 2nd half is that our tanks would be empty for the next 45 minutes as it happened in the last home game against the Sounders and that we squandered all our best chances in the 45 we just saw.
2nd half: More Corner Kicks
Although not as frequent as in the first half, there were still a large number of corner kicks, all failing to get capitalized on unfortunately. The upside was that in this half Fabian Castillo was on our side so we knew we'd see a ton more of the ball. The kids around me really do enjoy watching Castillo get the ball, and every time it looked like Fabian was alone on the left wing, which was fairly frequent, the little ones would be shouting for Castillo to get the ball. Feed the ball to Castillo was what our offense started to do, as Fabian had a few good looks at goal but the ball was always sailing wide despite the curve.
Our break through finally came, not off a corner kick like one would expect, but off a free kick that ended with a scramble in the box and Blas getting a well-deserved but scrappy goal. Oscar Pareja then put in Adam Moffat and Andrew Jacobson to put our defensive midfielder count to 3 with Hendry Thomas still on the field. This proved to be the right move as Dallas held on to all 3 points despite a spirited few last minutes of Toronto attacks.
After the game I talked with a couple of the fans around me, and most of us agreed that Michael Bradley did not have his best night. While it's true that he provided some nice service at times, this Bradley was not in the mood or still not fully recovered from his injury. There were times Bradley would be walking the entire spell of an FCD possession, and then walk the other way on the TFC counter attack. Bradley's bad performance wasn't necessarily all bad, I mean, we got 3 points.
Do y'all think we should've scored more from the amount of corner kicks we had in the game? Texeira still hasn't really impressed me, too soon to judge? Was anyone else expecting more from Michael Bradley in this game?