In the 10th minute Zach Loyd fouled Fabian Espindola (which was not labeled as a tactical foul like many of us thought) and he was given a yellow card. I don't see how a yellow is given for this; yes he had his hand on Espindola, but he did not tug or throw him down; it was very weak for me. I did not think it was worth a foul, nevertheless a yellow and we all know how important this was for the rest of the match.
Fabian Castillo showed his early season form early in this match when he found Blas Perez on a nice pass who settled it down for Mauro Diaz and then the magic happened. Diaz took a fake shot then pushed it past the defender and then slotted the ball calmly into the goal at the back post to make the game 1-0.
I expected D.C. United to sit back much more than they did in this match, but they made me look silly by attacking Dallas just as often as FC Dallas attacked. There were no great chances, but United did lead in shots through this section. Espindola looked active early on and Eddie Johnson was sitting up top waiting for service to come in so he could make the killer punch.
Davy Arnuad ripped a volley but Chris Seitz was able to get his left hand on the shot without too much trouble.
The most important moment of the match came when referee Fotis Bazakos showed Zach Loyd a second yellow card and sent him packing with the red card that would ultimately decide the match. Although I disagree with the first yellow card, this tackle endangered the safety of his opponent and therefore by MLS' ruling, it is a red cardable offense. I couldn't argue with a straight red being shown here. Cleats up catching the opponent halfway up his leg - after he lunged at him while leaving the ground completely. I wouldn't be surprised to see a 3 game suspension come his way.
In the 45th minute Mauro Diaz came out for Adam Moffat and Diaz headed to the locker-room with a knock... The team seemed to follow him in spirit.
4 minutes into added time and Eddie Johnson whips in a cross which finds Espindola at the back post who beat Hendry Thomas and headed it into the back of the net. Tied 1-1 going into half.
Quick Halftime Recap:
FCD started strong getting the early goal, but DC responded well and when Loyd got the red they turned it up a notch. With Diaz leaving the game the second half looks like it will be difficult. Also, Perez left the game for Andrew Jacobson to start the second half, meaning Castillo is the only attacker on the field with 4 center mids playing behind him.
The rain picked up in the second half and FC Dallas decided to sit back and defend and try to snatch a goal on a set piece, but DC controlled the majority of the possession and really took it to Dallas in the opening minutes of the second half.
Horrible defending by Dallas as everyone leaves their man after Chris Seitz stops the first shot on a header from a cross and Bobby Bowell blasts another shot that flies past Seitz. DC grabs the lead - 2-1 in the 60th minute
Espindola is involved again and he walks past Thomas and Watson and plays a cheeky ball to Sean Franklin who flies past Benitez and pokes the ball into the back of the net. 3-1 and it's surely over for Dallas with 27 minutes to play.
Oh hey, DC is leading in shots.... 14-2.
Just a couple minutes later Espindola earns man of the match honors when he receives a pass in the box from Chris Rolfe, takes a touch and as Kevin Hartman put it "smashes it home with his left foot." 4-1 and FCD fans are turning off their TVs.
David Texeira entered the match in the 74th minute for an ineffective Fabian Castillo; it was nearly impossible for Fabian to create anything being the only attacker on the field.
FC Dallas looked to press on and find some momentum to carry them into the New York game as DC looked to close the game out with a comfortable lead.
The big moment here with effects for next match came when Fotis Bazakos pulled the red card out of his pocket for the second time in this match showing it to Michel for a dangerous tackle near midfield. Although some people complain it was not that bad, here's a video Dallas fans should remember.
Michel's tackle is pretty close to the same challenge shown in this video, which is the tackle that broke David Ferreira's ankle in 2011 (sorry for the poor quality.) Even if the red was actually given for the elbow, I still have no complaints about it seeing how he caught the attacker coming in from behind.
The match ends after a couple more Dallas attacks without a result.
Dallas never stood a chance after losing Zach Loyd and will have to look past this game when New York visits next weekend. There were few good signs from this match so hopefully the team responds well in the locker-room and realizes it was a fluke.
Notes on the Match:
Matt Hedges was the only player I thought played well for Dallas. Seitz was alright, he saved what he should have saved and got scored on when he had no chance.
Hendry Thomas was abysmal; he only made 2 tackles and was in the wrong position on multiple goals in this match. I wouldn't be surprised to see Moffat/AJ together next weekend.
Keel is limited in what he can do. When up against stronger opponents in the attack his lack of athleticism shows, but he is still a solid depth piece for his price. Hopefully George John gets healthy and stays healthy SOON.
Pareja had a bad game; he made horrible subs and tactical changes in my opinion, but it is hard to fault a coach after a player makes a stupid tackle to put your team down a man. Castillo cannot play alone up top and we cannot play with 1 attacker on the field; Oscar left us with no chance.
Fabian Espindola is the most under-rated attacker in the league. I have always thought he was fantastic and didn't, and still don't, understand why RSL and NYRB let him go.
Watson was once again ineffective, although he had to place 50 minutes at Right Back, he was still invisible on the right wing in the opening 40. I want Garcia or Span to start the next match!
I will now hold my breath every time Diaz gets fouled or even breathed on, as it seems when he goes down the team stops being dangerous.
Dallas was outshot 18-5 and DC had 68% possession.... ‘Nuff said.
Questions This Match Created:
Do Dallas fall at any sign of adversity? When Dempsey looked to go all out Dallas fell apart and when a man down we fell apart.
Should Zimmerman replace Keel in the lineup?
Was this Zach Loyd's last chance to reclaim a starting spot?