A Kevin Hartman goalkeeping gaffe paired with a last-second Fabian Espindola goal defeated FC Dallas tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium. Things never really got going for FC Dallas tonight and yet, a midfield of Bobby Warshaw, Ricardo Villar and Eric Avila could have easily tied the game if not for a miraculous Chris Wingert clearance off the line.
In a surprising twist, Daniel Hernandez doesn't even travel to Salt Lake City and Bobby Warshaw starts. Safe to say, it was a bit out of his depth so far as he seemed to start ok but got worse as the game went on and really struggled towards the end. At the same time, Warshaw wasn't playing with the calming influences of Jacobson or Hernandez either as the midfield for the last half hour was Warshaw, Villar and Avila...second choice all over the field.
However, no excuses for Dallas, they lost the game tonight and a chance at first place in the league. Coupled with the Los Angeles win tonight, first place is a little farther away now.
One more thing...don't miss Tuesday night at Pizza Hut Park. If you think it got chippy tonight, this was just the prologue. The real battle is the win or go home game on Tuesday.
Quote sheet and highlights after the jump
On playing without their captain, Daniel Hernandez:
"We’re going without our captain and team leader, Daniel Hernandez. We left him behind at the last minute and I think that there was a little bit of confusion in our midfield between the three of them. But I thought they did do a pretty good job of just trying to stay compact and block the passing lanes and try to make the play predictable going out wide."
On Kevin Hartman’s uncharacteristic mishandling of Andy Williams’ shot:
"I think that it was so easy that he took his eye off the ball to be honest. You see in the other football sport, when a ball is thrown right to a receiver and he’s got it in his hand and he drops it because he’s looking somewhere else. I think that was very uncharacteristic of Kevin."
On Jackson’s second half opportunity to equalize:
"It was a great ball to Brek Shea and he took it down extremely well and he was going in to try to take the shot himself and he played a great ball across to Jackson and I don’t think he hit it as cleanly as he wanted to hit it. Give credit to [Chris] Wingert for never giving up and for coming in. I mean, that’s a 1-1 game and I don’t think Salt Lake scores unless the gods are with them."
On returning to Dallas to play a U.S. Open Cup contest in three days’ time:
"We’re at home. We won’t be listening to a fantastic crowd like [Real Salt Lake] have. Hopefully the officiating is something we can live with. I think it’s a great opportunity for a recovery. We lost here, tied at home. It gives us a good opportunity to have a third match."
On allowing the first RSL goal:
"It just seemed like the ball moved late. They obviously had guys in the box kind of anticipating me losing it and I just thought about that too much and it maybe knuckled and got behind me. It was unfortunate. I think the most important thing for me is it really kind of changed the game."
On playing at Rio Tinto Stadium
It’s a tough place to play, between the altitude and the atmosphere and the confidence that they play with here. It’s always a difficult thing to come here and get a result and unfortunately tonight we weren’t able to do it.”
On FC Dallas’ fighting spirit trailing 1-0:
“I think that we are a team that battles and I thought we continued to push and we really had a great opportunity to tie it up when Jackson had that opportunity from six to eight yards out and we weren’t able to convert that and I think that we just continued to push and then gave up that second goal.”
On the result:
“This was a huge, huge match for us; probably the biggest one we’ve had this season against what I think is arguably the team that is in the best form right now. A positive result, doesn’t matter to me the score, to get all three points at home against them was big for us. It wraps up the series where we drew with them away and win at home.”
On the goal by midfielder Andy Williams:
“Kevin [Hartman] has been extremely good against us – I think he’s been extremely good against everybody – but for some reason he’s pulled off some incredible saves against us in the last year and a half since he’s been [with FC Dallas]. … Some of the assistant coaches and I were talking about ‘couldn’t we just get one bounce to go past Kevin Hartman,’ and we got it. I think a bounce has been a long time coming for this club.”
On the play of midfielder Luis Gil:
“[Luis Gil] has a ton of respect for the players around him and I think he’s often times thinking about how he can make a goal for somebody else rather than take the final responsibility. He did get himself into some really, really nice positions tonight and was a little bit hesitant [to take shots].”
On going into Quarterfinal Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against Dallas:
“When I said this match was one of the biggest, if not the biggest one that we’ve played in MLS this year, I wasn’t only talking about MLS. I knew there would be a positive statement to make to get a little confidence and go down to Dallas and hopefully move on in the U.S. Open Cup.”