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Real Salt Lake 2 FC Dallas 0

It had to happen at some point and Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium, Real Salt Lake ended FC Dallas' 19-game unbeaten streak with a 2-0 victory. The game was won on a seemingly tame ball into the box that Ned Grabavoy managed to loop a header over a horribly out of position Dario Sala to seal the win. I

Game Observations

-I'm actually feeling pretty positive after this one. Jackson starting on the right for the first time, Ugo and John united in the middle for the first time in months, Daniel Hernandez back and FCD still could've easily pulled a result from that game. Certainly no need to panic after this loss as all the previously injured players made it through unharmed. It's a shame that home field and the Supporter's Shield are out of reach, but Dallas is a good road team.

-It sucks to lose the game and the streak, but last night was necessary in the grand scheme of things. After seeing the lineup with Ugo and Hernandez back, you knew there could be a little bit of rustiness and I think we saw that. Unfortunately, the game where everyone returned just happened to be the toughest fixture in MLS this season, RSL away. Against a lesser team, I think FC Dallas wins this game.

-This is another grind it out, playoff type game. If FC Dallas and RSL are to meet in the playoffs, FCD can take a lot of heart in knowing they can get that 0-0 or 0-1 away result that would probably see them through to the next round. The second goal was simply a product of FCD pushing for the equalizer and RSL had trouble all night breaking down FCD.

-A lot of "C" performances from the starters. Apart from Dario Sala who was obviously at fault for the goal, it's tough to say anyone really played well or bad in this one. Just a lot of meh out of the guys.

Jump ahead for who I think was the best FC Dallas player and another player who I want to see more out of

-Marvin Chavez again proving why he deserves a starting spot. I thought the one bright spot on FC Dallas was the speedy Honduran's work rate all over the field. His pressure earned Dallas' best chance of the second half and I thought he worked his butt off all night. Certainly what Schellas wants to see from him.

-Dallas needs more offense out of Dax McCarty. Granted it was a tough situation last night with Hernandez returning, but we just haven't seen Dax get forward like he was earlier in the season. Dallas is at its best when the midfielder behind Ferreira is making those late runs into the box and we've got to have more from McCarty. He was injured for awhile so a little rust is excusable but it's time for "la flecha roja" to step up. Its always seemed whenever Dax is playing well, Dallas plays well.

-I hate Fabian Espindola. Complaining about that yellow card for the studs up foul on George John? C'mon bro. Definitely the kind of player who could get sent off in a playoff series.


Thanks to RSL for posting a quote sheet....much love to every team that does this. One of those things that takes 15 more minutes before you can leave the stadium that night, but really makes a difference.

Schellas Hyndman

Overall thoughts on the match:

"I thought we started off very well for the first 15 or 18 minutes, and then we started giving a lot of balls away because the pressure was very high on us. I thought we came out well in the second half and we created a couple of nice chances. [Ned] Grabavoy gets a header and the second goal was a giveaway, but at the same time I thought we were outplayed tonight. Salt Lake had a step on us and moved the ball quite well."

On FC Dallas’ strategy entering the game:

"The idea of the game was to come out and get three points. We went after it and that’s why in the first 15 or 18 minutes we were doing so well. What ended up happening is that we were just turning a lot of balls over. I didn’t think too many of our players had a very good game. In the second half we went to a level two defense where our wing midfielders weren’t going out and trying to press the ball."

On possibly seeing Real Salt Lake again in the playoffs:

"If you look at both games [during the regular season] it was pretty even. If we match up again we will have to get the result at our field and then come [to Rio Tinto Stadium] and come after it again. I think that Real Salt Lake had a good game tonight and I think we had an average game and we didn’t do anything exceptional."


Ugo Ihemelu

Overall thoughts on the match:

"I think it was a good match for Salt Lake. They showed why they are undefeated at home [this season]. They have a solid team; they work hard for each other and they are coached well and it was a good win for them. It was not our best match. We have had better games this year. We didn’t create too many chances."

On the end of their unbeaten streak:

"Streaks are awesome. We had a great run, but I think our focus should be on the next game and into the playoffs."


David Ferreira

Overall thoughts on the match:

"I feel bad about the loss and we all knew it was going to be a tough game coming in here against Real Salt Lake. But we didn’t have a good game. We didn’t do the things we were supposed to be doing, so we just have to rest now and concentrate on the next game."

On the difference between the first 15 minutes and the rest of the match:

"We started giving away a lot of balls [after the first 15 minutes] and we were making a lot of mistakes and were out of position. When we were in the attacking third, instead of being precise with our passing we were giving a lot of balls away."

I'm not going to jack all of the RSL media department's work so please follow the link to get the RSL reaction to the game.

At the end of the day, the loss sucks but I'm still very confident FC Dallas would be the better team over two legs in this matchup. For me, there's a much better chance Dallas wins by multiple goals in Frisco over RSL than vice versa in a playoff scenario. However, the identity of FC Dallas playoff opponent, which we will look at in-depth later, is now very much in the air.