5 home wins on the bounce now for FC Dallas with a fairly comfortable 1-0 win over ten-man Toronto FC.
It was a tightly contested game between the two sides that probably shouldn't have been as close on the scoreboard as it was in the end.
-It's tough to really pinpoint one or two things to key on in this game because I don't really think any one player particularly stood out. A solid performance all around from a banged up team missing 5 starters for most of the second half when George John went out.
-All the subs who Schellas said needed to step up did. Marvin Chavez showed he is a player that can be trusted and one who is maturing as we saw with his unselfish pass to Cunningham for the goal. As with most attackers, I think it took Chavez awhile to figure out the league, but something tells me he's going to make a huge play down the stretch in a key game. He's great attacking depth to have off the bench. It's tough to truly evaluate Jackson in the defensive mid role, but that's probably not going to be needed again provided Daniel Hernandez stays healthy(knock on wood).
-Any question of whether Ruben Luna belongs in the league were dispelled almost immediately. Within a minute of coming on the field, Luna muscled Adrian Cann, TFC's 6'3 defender, off the ball to draw a foul. He should've had a debut goal as well with the linesman blowing the offside call. There's not much else to say about the kid except there's no doubt that he's the 3rd forward off the bench.
More game thoughts, stories and quotes after the jump
-It may have gotten a little hairy towards the end, but again what a performance from the FC Dallas defense. The team hasn't allowed a multi-goal game in MLS since April...that's more than enough reason to think this team can make some noise in the playoffs.
-Brek Shea apologized on Facebook for his performance on Saturday.....Not sure what he has to apologize for, he didn't get a goal but I thought it was a very solid game from the 20 year old(yes, he's still just 20).
-Alex Prus tweeted on Sunday "Kudos to my AR for keeping a flag down on the only goal of the game Toronto at Dallas. Player even with ball." I'm not sure what he has to be happy about after blowing the other goal call against Luna and the shocking no-call on the foul against Avila late in the game. It didn't end up costing FCD the win, but two huge blown calls.
-If Toronto can manage to put in the performance they did last night for the rest of the season, they'll make the playoffs. They were second best to FCD, but it was probably the best performance by an away team in Frisco since LA's win in May.
-Three more points, another clean sheet and we learned a few new things about some of the reserves...can't complain about too much. Saturday's game in San Jose is the kind of game Supporter's Shield winning teams get 3 points in. With LA playing Columbus and RSL away to Seattle, it's also a game where FCD will hop at least one of the teams above them with a win.
LAG 44 points 23 GP
CLB 44 points 23 GP
RSL 43 points 23 GP
FCD 40 points 22 GP
Nothing else matters.
Steve Hunt's FCDallas.com gamer centers on the little guys coming up big
"Tonight, [Jackson] played well in two spots we didn’t bring him for," Hyndman said. "He’s also played right fullback and right midfield for us. He’s probably been the most versatile player on our team and he’s probably been here a month."
Jackson was one of four rookies to play in Saturday’s game, three of whom started. Third-round draft pick Eric Alexander got his fourth straight start at the linking midfield spot while center back Zach Loyd, the fifth overall pick in January’s SuperDraft, started his fourth straight game in the back.
Scott Brown writes about Ruben Luna making his debut
"He’s a player that, when he comes in, he always thinks about scoring and helping the team out," said Leyva after the game. "I think he did great and from now on he’s going to get better and better. I’m proud of him."
Luna admitted he was both excited and nervous when he found out he was going to be on the 18-man roster, but said once he was called in as a sub he just focused on helping the team.
"I went on the field and I tried to do my best," said Luna. "I almost had a goal and sadly it was called offside. Hopefully next game I can get one."
The post-game quote sheet from FCD....This is a great new feature and one I really hope they keep up.
Ruben Luna on his disallowed goal
I think the ref called offside. I was pretty excited to make my first goal in my debut, but he had the better look and I’ll go back and see what happened. Basically, Brek took the shot and I saw the goalkeeper drop it. I tried to toe-poke it though his legs and it bounced off him and came back to me. I blasted it as hard as I could into the net but then I think he called me offside.
Steve Hunt's Dallas Morning News gamer centers around FCD's unbeaten streak
With the victory, FC Dallas (10-2-10, 40 points) extended its club-record unbeaten streak to 13 games. It was also the club's sixth straight victory at Pizza Hut Park.
The FC Dallas official practice report from today is significant because there is no mention of a George John injury and that he rehabbed with the rest of the starters....would be huge to have him back on Saturday. There's also a bunch of other injury updates. These practice reports are great work from the new FCD media guy Jason Minnick, kudos to him and the rest of the PR machine for starting this and keeping with it.
Player Availability Update
All five players who were unavailable to play against Toronto were back at practice, making strides towards recovery. Atiba Harris and Daniel Hernandez, who were serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation, will be available Saturday against San Jose. Milton Rodriguez, who sat out against Toronto with a strained left shoulder, fully participated in practice. Dax McCarty, who has been out since July 17 with a strained right quad, participated in the combination drills before working on ball striking drills with FC Dallas’ Head Athletic Trainer Josh Watts. Ugo Ihemelu, who suffered a concussion against Philadelphia on Aug. 8, worked with the ball for the first time at practice, volleying balls back into the hands of Assistant Athletic Trainer Alan Reid.
From around the rest of the league, there's a story up by Nick Thomas of Coloradorapids.com about Drew Moor being Colorado's ironman.
Up until the 3-0 win over Houston at the end of August, Matt Pickens, Marvell Wynneand Drew Moor were the only Rapids players to have played in every minute of every MLS league game for Colorado this season.
With goalkeeper Pickens not available to face the Dynamo because of back worries and with center back Wynne limping off at the end of the first half with a hamstring injury that later made him unavailable for last weekend’s Chivas game, Moor is the only one left with a perfect record.
The San Jose Earthquakes are looking ahead to FC Dallas...remember when San Jose was pretty much an automatic loss for FCD/Burn? I'll never forget the one goal Simo Valakari scored for FCD to win a game in San Jose maybe 5 years ago.
Earthquakes vs. FC Dallas All-Time
MLS Regular Season: 19-15-7
Shootout (1996-99): 4-3
Playoffs: 0-0-0; U.S. Open Cup: 0-0-0
All-Time Scoring: San Jose – 67, FC Dallas – 47
Thank goodness Daniel Hernandez is back this weekend to track Geovanni after his stellar game in Houston on Sunday
"Anytime you have an influence in the game, it’s fantastic," said Yallop, who moved eight-goal-scorer Chris Wondolowski to the left wing in order to get Geovanni in the center of the field. "He’s terrific, and he really showed it. That’s what quality players do."
Get some rest and work done the next few days because this weekend its 4 games involving all 8 playoff teams and it starts Thursday night at 10pm with RSL going to Seattle.