Picture by Rick Yeatts
A great night at PHP last night with FC Dallas scoring a well deserved 2-2 draw with European Champions Inter Milan.
Hits and misses after the jump
-I would argue that this 2-2 draw against the European Champions starting 8 players from the Champions League Final lineup is more impressive than Kansas City's win over a Manchester United team with maybe 3 actual contributors and so far the most impressive result of the summer soccer friendly season. Of their three games in America, this was the most starter-heavy lineup and the closest thing you could see, with the players available, to the lineup that will walk out at the San Siro in a few weeks. Make no mistake, playing this FC Dallas team coached by Schellas Hyndman at PHP in August is a tough proposition for any team in the world.
-Full credit to the front office for figuring out that the ticket prices were ridiculously high to begin with and lowering them to get a good crowd out there. Hopefully they've learned from this mistake and will not charge such high prices in the future.
-Another very very cool, though underannounced, thing took place at PHP on Thursday night and that was unveiling a statute for Uncle Lamar Hunt. My favorite Lamar Hunt story was in 2005 when, during a 24-hour tailgate before the opening of the new stadium, Lamar Hunt personally came out to the tailgate on Friday night to shake all of our hands, thank us for being out there and telling us how excited he was to open the new stadium. To shake Lamar Hunt's hand was a moment I'll never forget.
-The FCD back four has got it going on. Sure they let in two goals, but with that lineup Inter threw out there, they were pretty much held in check. Maicon was practically invisible, Milito had just the one chance and Eto'o was mainly forced to chances from outside the box(which he buried once).
-George John is better than Clarence Goodson was in his second year. Will George take the steps forward that Clarence took to becoming one of the top center backs in MLS in 2007? I guess we'll find out, but if I'm Schellas and co., I know I've got one of my starting center backs for the next 5 years and lock this guy up so he doesn't leave for greener pastures like Goodson did. He sure helps balance out that 2009 first round of the draft with Peri Marosevic.
-David Ferreira with another classy performance. His penalty which he curiously called "the happiest moment of my life," was slotted away cooly and he generally controlled the midfield for the entire game.
-Eric Avila did well in his chance to start for FCD. Was is the game he needed to break into the starting lineup? I'm not sure, but I do think he starts on Sunday against Philly because he offers more offense than Eric Alexander and Schellas is going to want to go for the jugular early against a tired Philly team.
-According to Steve Davis, new GM Doug Quinn left a positive impression on him.
FYI: He was doing at least one thing that has been sorely missing around Pizza Hut Park. He had a notepad with him, jotting down all the little customer service foibles that have lingered far too long at PHP. He says he already knows which taps ran out of beer and where the longest concession lines were and such. Good on him.
-While it's great that Doug Quinn seems to be a guy that has it all together, how badly does it show on FC Dallas and its owners that this wasn't happening already. Things are certainly changing, but it's becoming more and more clear that this team was run shockingly bad in 2009.
-For me, the starters were played a bit too long last night and we didn't get a chance to see some of the younger guys. This was a starting XI lineup for FCD besides Avila and Sala, and everyone played for at least an hour with most starters going at least 70 minutes. I'll admit this is nitpicking, but with a game at 5PM in 100 degree heat coming up less than 48 hours from now, I think no starters should've played more than 60 minutes. 90 minutes for Heath Pearce and George John could catch up to them on Sunday. I would've really liked to have seen Ruben Luna out there for a little bit too.
-$20 for parking? Seriously? At least all those who attend regularly know where to park for free.
-When FC Dallas is playing at Pizza Hut Park, don't play the GOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!! graphics and loud music when Inter scores please.
-I can't criticize much else, this was a great night for FC Dallas and soccer in the metroplex. Eto'o, Cambiasso, Milito, Maicon, Julio Cesar, Lucio, Chivu all at PHP all against FC Dallas and our boys got something out of the game. Hold your heads up high boys.
Relive the game one more time with an Italian flavor