The scoreless streak is over, the winless streak is over, the Brimstone Cup was won by Dallas and for the second year in a row FC Dallas qualifies for the MLS Playoffs. There was just a little bit on the line at Toyota Park as FCD topped Chicago in a rather feisty 2-1 decision.
FC Dallas started quickly earning two quick scoring chances falling at the feet of Marvin Chavez and Jackson that would go just wide, however simply the fact that Dallas was creating quality chances early in the game gave everyone hope that the scoreless streak would end soon. It finally did late in the first half as Jackson got on the end of a long throw from Ugo Ihemelu and slid the ball under Sean Johnson in goal for Chicago. Johnson probably should've done better, but given Dallas luckless run of late, it was as much as they deserved.
Daniel Cruz scored his first MLS goal in the second half on an acrobatic overhead kick from a bouncing corner and while Sebastian Grazzini would ruin the shutout late, Dallas held on to secure a vital 2-1 victory in Chicago. With the win, Dallas also wins the Brimstone Cup for the 87th year in a row.
This was the Dallas of old They didn't win the possession battle(60/40 to Chicago) and they didn't pass the ball around for long stretches. What they did was sit back defensively and kill you with speed on lightning quick counters led by Marvin Chavez, Jackson and Fabian Castillo that could have netted 4 or 5 goals. It was the formula for success during Dallas' run earlier in the year and it returned tonight.
Energy everywhere There was just so much energy all over the field for Dallas tonight. Speed was everywhere on the field and as you would expect it just seemed that everyone had their legs back. Great to see.
Good Jackson While he spurned his first opportunity, you could tell early on that we had the good Jackson tonight. The enigmatic Brazilian was all over the pitch leading Dallas in shots, shots on goal, fouls committed and fouls suffered. A man of the match performance from him tonight.
Keep reading for more thoughts and post-game quotes
Villar and Cruz re-energized I thought this was Ricardo Villar's best game in weeks. His heat map is all over the field meaning he covered tons of ground and finally combined well with Cruz. Danny Cruz got his first MLS goal tonight and looked dangerous for much of the game. I still believe only one of them should start at a time, but it worked tonight so full credit to both of them.
Maicon Sits, Offense Delivers Those saying Maicon is killing the offense certainly look smart tonight. Whether it was the long break, return to old gameplan or whatever, the offense looked good tonight without Maicon on the pitch. It may be tough for the Brazilian to get back into the starting lineup when Brek Shea returns as you'd presume Dallas will go back to the setup with Marvin Chavez up top and Jackson on the right. Speed kills and I doubt Schellas will want to change things at this point.
FC Dallas Manager Schellas Hyndman
On the team’s performance against the Fire:
“I think they had some trouble dealing with our pure speed and it’s not just them, a lot of teams have trouble dealing with that. I thought in the first half we really created some opportunities but gave too many balls away. It was frustrating. I thought the player we were most concerned about was Oduro because he knows us and he’s been really hot and I thought that he had a quiet night tonight. But a great goal by the Fire and for us, we’ve had a really difficult month in September with all the traveling and CONCACAF games, and cards and injuries, so for us to get the win here was huge. Now we know we are in the playoffs and maybe start to focus a little more on that.”
On the threat of the Fire getting another goal in the remaining minutes of the match:
“Of course, always. Always concerned. I thought some of the situations – we knew what the Fire were doing. They were trying to get it out wide and come back in the middle and hit shots and maybe get a second ball and then get the free kick. And those things were happening. We were very concerned. The funny thing about this team is we play better against eleven players than we do against ten. Sometimes people just let up a little bit. But again I give the Fire a lot of credit for fighting. It was a great goal and it was well earned.”
FC Dallas Defender Zach Loyd
On being satisfied with the road win:
“Yes, I think September was a rough month for us. I think fatigue caught up with us last month. But with international break, I think a lot of guys got their legs back, got some time off and mentally got their heads right. Today we came in here with the energy we were bringing in a couple months ago and I think it showed in the result.”
On having lots of shots on goal in the first half:
“It just shows the energy we brought. Earlier in the season, we had guys like Marvin [Chavez], Castillo, Jackson, Shea, all with their speed so we can just hit them and put the defenders on their heels. I think tonight it really showed with rest a lot of the guys have so much more energy.”
On how the team is looking to finish the rest of the season:
“We’re looking to get on a roll here. You always want to get on a little win streak before the playoffs, get your confidence up because anything can happen in the playoffs so hopefully we can go into this next week and qualify for Champions League and get a couple more wins in the league.”
FC Dallas Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman
On the match:
“I thought you could really tell we got a little bit of a rest. We’re a very athletic team and I think you can tell by the amount of speed that we have up top and the athleticism in the back. When you’re fatigued that’s really going to affect you quite a bit. Tonight, after a bit of a rest, and an international weekend, I thought that you could tell we were able to really win balls in more advantageous parts of the field. And when we did sit, I think that we could tell we were attacking with pace and certainly at halftime I felt that it could have been more than it was.”
On the team’s end of season focus:
“It wasn’t just a physical rest we got, we got a mental break. We’ve been playing two games a week since July 1st, so it’s been pretty fatiguing. We are not a group that really likes to make excuses and we get out there and do our best. I think you could tell as the games wore on and on, we were just not having as much success. We weren’t able to put the pressure up top that we wanted to, we weren’t able to win balls 30 yards from their goal; we were really kind of disjointed. I thought today we got back a little more to the FC Dallas that we are proud to be and get a victory. It’s something we are extremely proud of.”
Frank Klopas, Chicago Fire interim head coach
Thoughts on the match:
“We didn’t have the start that we wanted. We came out a little bit flat and that was a concern of mine. I wanted to put the U.S. Open Cup match behind us right away. I talked to the guys and told them that they needed to stay focused, that we still have a lot to play for ahead of us. We were flat from the beginning, we weren’t sharp. We were just one step behind everything. Give credit to Dallas. They made it difficult for us. But we pushed the game late and we got something going. In the end, we gave up two soft goals that hurt us. We’re disappointed. Not only to lose but to lose at home. Now our chances are very slim for the playoffs.”
On timing of his substitutions:
“We made a change during the game when I felt Dominic could help. We had a hard time keeping up with Dallas’ wing plays. When we gave up the second goal, we had to make changes. Because when you lose 2-0, 3-0 it doesn’t matter, you have to push the game and try to get a result.”
Dominic Oduro, Chicago Fire forward
On the remainder of the season:
“We’re not mathematically out of it right now, but I don’t think we helped our chances of making the playoffs at this point either.”
On the team’s performance:
“I’m very disappointed. We started out flat and we gave them momentum starting off and it was hard for us to fight back after going down 2-0. We just need to keep our heads up. We fight every game and that’s what we need to continue to do. We still have a small chance of making the playoffs and we have to give all that we’ve got in the two games left, then we’ll see what happens.”
On Dallas’ defense:
“It was really difficult for me to get behind the defense. They just dropped back the whole time, so we had to change tactics in the second half. I had to go play on the right and I think I was able to get to a few more balls on the right. Technically, they did well the whole time by just sitting back to try and stop a run from behind and they did great with that.”
Gonzalo Segares, Chicago Fire defender:
On how the team will approach the final two games:
“Like Frank [Klopas] said we need to regroup, go to D.C. and look for the win. We’ve been pushing pretty hard for the past couple of months and it got us pretty close to being in the position where we’re fighting to make the playoffs. With the result today, it’s really tough to swallow but we have two more games to play and we need to go out there and get wins.”
Pavel Pardo, Chicago Fire midfielder:
On his red card ejection:
“It was a play that I came in a little bit late and I know it was a foul. But I think sometimes this is a foul you make 10 or 20 times in a game, but this is the referee’s decision. That is no excuse, I got the red card and I apologize because when you have to play with 10 players it’s difficult to try to win.”
On his future with the Fire:
“Of course I’d like to come back. I was talking about this situation with the people from the Fire and they want me to here next year. And I want to be here also, but not for one year, I’d like to be here for more years. I’ve integrated with this team, the club and the fans. I’m very happy playing here with the Chicago Fire.”
Sean Johnson, Chicago Fire goalkeeper
On the result:
“I tried my best to keep the team in it, but unfortunately these things happen. I try and limit my mistakes, I pride myself on being consistent day in and day out. But it’s just one of those things, you do your best to try and save the ball. On this night they were the better team and deserved to win the game.”