You really couldn't draw it up any better than how things went on Friday night at Pizza Hut Park. From the first minute, FC Dallas had their foot on the accelerator and didn't take it off until the game was at 3-0. A first half goal from Ugo Ihemelu and David Ferreira's first brace of the season saw FCD to a comprehensive 3-0 win in front of over 12,000 non-spectators.
High pressure, high work rate sets the tone for Dallas. It seemed like the entire midfield was pushed up 5-10 yards on Friday night and the pressure on the Colorado defense was just relentless in the first half. Time after time the Rapids were forced to kick the ball back to the keeper while Ferreira and Rodriguez pestered the Rapids backline. It's been awhile since we've seen Ferreira pushed as far up the field as he was, but it worked perfectly.
This high work rate was exceptionally effective on Friday limiting the Rapids to just two errant shots while amazingly shutting out Colorado in the Dallas penalty area as the Rapids wouldn't touch the ball once inside the Dallas 18 yard box for the entire first half.
Best Supporting Cast If they were giving out Golden Globes after this weekend's MLS action, the entire FC Dallas team behind Ferreira would win best supporting cast. We talked throughout the week on how the rest of the team needs to step up and from left back to right mid, the entire team did their job and did it excellently. I hold especially high praise for Jacobson and Hernandez in the midfield who absolutely gave the Rapids midfield their lunch and then some. Schellas mentioned post game how AJ was the connector that allowed Ferreira the freedom going forward
Total back four continuity While Conor Casey was out, Folan and Cummings are still a top half MLS forward pairing and they were given nothing on Friday night. A lot of that credit goes to the midfield, but I thought Shea and Loyd both looked much much more composed on the wings while Ugo and John were back to their old selves. I especially loved the fire George John showed towards the end of the game after a dive from Amarikawa.
Emotional intelligence It was much of the same tactics from Colorado that we saw last year, putting in horrible tackles that earned them five yellow cards(which could have easily been more) but credit to Dallas for keeping their heads rather than taking the law into their own hands.
Speaking of the tackles I can't imagine how frustrated Schellas must be that Jackson was sent off last weekend and Nyassi stays on the field Friday night. To put in a two footed sliding tackle on a player who is out of bounds, completely miss the bal, and not get sent off is just shocking to me especially given the red cards to Dallas two of the last three weeks. I was especially mad at the tackles from Moor and Larentowicz late in a 3-0 game. It was really hilarious that Drew Moor was arguing this tackle being a yellow card...he's lucky he wasn't sent off. PHOTO
-If Schellas doesn't use the same XI next week at Portland, I'm gonna lose it.
-Very high quality set pieces from FC Dallas tonight and lots of attackers in the box. It paid dividends on the first and third goals
-Jacobson with a very nice header to win the ball to Castillo on the second goal
-It was over an hour and 3 goals before Colorado touched the ball in the FC Dallas penalty box
-Why do the cameras always show the five people in the crowd that aren't celebrating after an FC Dallas goal? Show the supporters sections
-Anyone who's been following FC Dallas for awhile knows how great of a crowd that was. You could hear the supporters sections(and people joining in around them) for the entire game, and the crowd was going nuts on the goals. FCD is averaging over 6,000 more people a game through the first three games of 2011 compared to 2010 with a likely sellout up next against Los Angeles...hell yes.