One last road game before the return to Frisco for FC Dallas, and it was against none other than Western Conference champions Real Salt Lake. Coming into this game it was fair to say most fans would have been hoping to get at least a point from this game, as disappointing results has started to become the norm again unfortunately. Anything, anything positive would've been welcomed, and fortunately we got a nice surprise from the game.
Exciting First Few Minutes, Then...
A frantic start to the game started at Rio Tinto stadium with both teams going at it. Matt Hedges clearing off the line has got to be my play of the match with ease. I know the commentators made Seitz' punch off one of the final free kicks the 'defensive play of the match', but for me this play was easily forgotten by people after a long drawn out match. It happened so early in the game but was a crucial heads up play by our star defender to keep the game at 0-0. There was more to come from Matt throughout the game, leading our line to a well deserved first of the season clean sheet. After the first few minutes though it seemed to slow down and I think that's what Pareja really wanted, a slow and controlled match where the team could put in a nice solid defensive display and grind out a result. If I were a neutral though, this would've been a snoresville game, even as a fan I would put this down as one of the more boring games of the season despite the nice result and clean sheet.
The rugged defending of the players was switched on from the entire 90 minutes, from Hedges' clearing off the line, all the way to Ulloa battling for the ball and drawing the yellow. They never seemed to have run out of energy and kept battling to the last. The frustration from the RSL players was showing throughout the match and the counter-attack strategy from Dallas looked to almost payoff if not for wasting of chances. Speaking of chances, although the game was drab, it certainly looked like FCD had more of them. Checking the after game stats shows that we actually had 3 more shots on target and were much more efficient with shooting at goal. Although the 3 shots we had on target weren't exactly that threatening. I think after weeks and weeks of 'they played well' with no results, it's satisfying to see all that effort we constantly praise them for finally be rewarded with this draw.
It looks like Tesho Akindele is battling for starts against David Texeira, and I must say I prefer the young Canadian Tesho more from what I've seen so far in the young season. Both players have 1 goal to their names, with Texeira's being an easy head-in against Seattle and Tesho's coming from an offside position, and they both have work rates that I think we all want to see from our guys. He always looks like a scoring threat and with a little more time on the pitch can get on the end of some of those crosses that seem to be getting missed from a lack of chemistry. Although I enjoy the 4-4-2 a lot in theory, because having a lone striker to me leaves the striker stranded when you can't control the match in my opinion, it looks like we still have yet to score many goals using the formation. It's nice to have the 2 striker outlet from the defense to relieve some pressure on the back four and let the 2 strikers combine to either keep the ball or go forward together, but currently the goals aren't coming. Whether this is due to the formation, or due to the injury list that's looking more like a starting roster I'm not sure of.
Is it the 4-4-2 formation or the injuries that aren't giving us the goals? David and Tesho seem like the same type of forward, has either one impressed you? Was this match a little on the boring side for anyone else, or was it just me?