A little late due to workplace craziness, but a nice win for FCD on Sunday afternoon.
---The game was over once the red card came out to Philly, but full credit to FCD for playing a smart game and trusting that they would eventually get the winning goal. They didn't press, stuck to their game and were rewarded in the end. Also, it was a very smartly played game in that they didn't give Marrufo a chance to even the game up with another red card.
---It's great to have the old Jeff Cunningham back, if even for just a game. The last 25 minutes on Sunday was vintage Cunny, making runs all over the place and drawing the Philly back four way out of position. He's certainly giving Schellas something to think about with his starting lineup for Saturday's game at DC. It's not that Milton has been bad, but a hot Jeff Cunningham is as good as any forward in the league and when Cunny is hot you ride him like a rented mule.
---I've been someone who has said for years that Sebastien Le Toux wasn't an MLS caliber player, but after seeing his game in person on Sunday I was completely off on that one. He turned Heath Pearce like a top on the Philly goal and gave the back 4 fits all game making great runs, holding the ball up well and showing remarkable conditioning for 90 minutes in the heat. Dallas fans would be absolutely ripping Schellas if it was FCD who let Le Toux go for free in the expansion draft rather than Seattle.
More hits and some interesting misses after the jump
---The left side of the FC Dallas midfield is truly devastating when going forward. It's a total game of pick your poison with Brek and Jair bombing down that side. Choose to double team Shea and you've got Benitez making a perfect overlapping run sending in dangerous(most of the time) crosses that wreak havoc with the defense as we saw in Colorado. Standing off Shea and stopping the runs from Jair allows Brek to put the ball on his left foot and fire in a dangerous shot like his goal in Philly. Not only does it provide most of FCD's offense, but it completely neutralizes the right side of attack for the opposition who must worry about defending.
---Zach Loyd was practically invisible on the field on Sunday and that's a very good thing. There's no doubt that center back is not his optimal position in MLS, but he filled the role very well on Sunday.
---30 points and just 2 losses after 18 games......think about that for a minute. 2 losses after 18(!) games, after 13 losses last season. We'll talk a little bit more about FCD by the numbers later in the week, but Schellas Hyndman has to be at the top of the MLS Coach of the Year list for turning this thing around so drastically.
---It really just feels like FC Dallas is going to win every time they step onto the Pizza Hut Park field doesn't it...It hasn't been like this since the 2006 season when FCD won 12 of 16 home games.
---Criticize the crowd all you want, but those that were there made a lot of noise in the second half as FCD pushed for the winning goal. It's a different type of crowd out there this season and bravo to those that went, especially the supporters in both corners. It got positively loud in there when the second goal was scored.
---Eric Avila cannot play Dax McCarty's position. Nothing against Avila, he was put in this position by the coach, but you cannot play both Avila and Ferreira in central midfield roles at the same time. They got away with it because of the red card, but Dax and Ferreira work so well together because Dax knows exactly when to push forward and when to hang back. Avila wants to go forward 100% of the time and it was throwing David off his game throughout the first half forcing him to drop deeper.
---I applaud Schellas for pulling Avila at halftime and putting a second forward on to go for Philly's jugular, I was calling for that exact sub at halftime. Unfortunately, it didn't work. The first 25 minutes of the second half was completely disjointed offensively as Cunningham and Milton just aren't on the same page yet and their runs off each other were awful. I think we all want this 4-4-2 with Milton and Jeff to work, but right now it's just too risky to change the formation at this point in the season. Whether Jeff or Milton starts is up to the coach, but just one forward right now please.
---That first goal was uncharacteristically sloppy from the back 4. Every single defender whiffed on the ball at some point and it's something that can't happen against the good teams as we go forward. Dallas wasn't punished this time with Philly being so mediocre, but make the opposition earn their goals.
---The dead horse doesn't need to be beaten anymore, but no more 5PM games ever again please. I'm curious to hear what our new GM Quinn thinks about the decision to move the game to 5PM.
3 points....on to the next one.