If you asked most FC Dallas fans about this road trip, most would tell you that if the club got four points they'd be happy with it. Turns out, that's exactly what Dallas did. FCD went into Red Bull Arena and got a solid result agains the star-studded New York Red Bulls.
Marvin Chavez scored two goals in the 2-2 draw to give Dallas the four points on the east coast road trip. Dallas was kept at bay in the first half thanks to some solid possession and pressure by the Red Bulls but the second half was a completely different story as Chavez and the rest of FCD finally put it together offensively. Dallas took the lead with Chavez' second goal but then gave up the lead shortly after on a wondergoal from Thierry Henry.
(read on for more thoughts and quotes)
The heat. You'll see in the quotes below but the heat played a major factor in this game today. For some reason Hans Backe doesn't like to sub players and it cost his club in a big way in the second half. Give credit to Schellas Hyndman here for putting in Bruno Guarda at the start of the second half. His calming presence really helped Dallas gain control of this match.
Chavez's brace. It's been a long time coming for Chavez to have a night like this but he finally got it. Two solid strikes on goal and nearly a third late in the game. Probably one of his best games in a Dallas kit this season as he made Rafa Marquez and Tim Ream look very frustrated all night.
Villar's play is starting to impress. For months we thought Ricardo Villar was just dead weight that Barry Goreman brought in for no reason but we're starting to see his talent shine through here. Another strong effort tonight from him as he looked good in the midfield as is really starting to earn his keep with the club. Knowing we have this kind of depth really is important as we turn into next week's CCL match in El Salvador.
Henry's goal. Dallas probably got unlucky in the first half with Juan Agudelo's goal. It wasn't anything special but just one of those plays where a striker makes nothing into something. But as for Henry's second half goal. Wow. Just the classy play from the Frenchman shows he didn't want to back down in this one for a second.
Going up a man and getting the draw. Everything was going right for FCD in the second half. They tie it up, get the lead, go a man up and for a moment looked like they were walking out of Red Bull Arena with three massive points and be just one point back of the league lead in the standings. Funny how the game works though as Henry's turn and shot sealed the draw. Disappointing yes, but I'll still take this draw any day of the week. Dallas is still in great position to get one of the three automatic bids in the Western Conference for the playoffs and should things continue to go well in the Open Cup and potentially in the CCL, it could be a very fun second half of the season ahead of us here.
NEW YORK RED BULLS HEAD COACH HANS BACKE
On tonight's match:
"Great first half, we kept Dallas very quiet on the first 45 minutes. We played well, played smart, lot of possession and a decent end product with the possession. So we definitely deserved to be up one - nil at halftime. Then you can't say another poor start, but we were not really, really focused the first 10 or 12 minutes. They score a goal; they had one real chance to go two up in front of us. (I) thought it was a very even game and of course getting one guy out, red carded, 2-1 down, it's a good come back the last ten minutes. I think the psyche is really well and we showed a lot of passion just to get a tie, which we definitely deserved today."
On saying earlier in the week that the team could make a statement in the match:
"You can say in the first half we definitely made a statement to show we are a quite good team. We played very well against one of the best in-form teams in the league, a very good team. Being one-up, and then a quite even second half where we lost a little our passing game, our possession. Then of course it was very tough to go 2-1 down and get one player red carded, but to come back the last 10 or 15 minutes was very good because we suddenly started playing the way we wanted."
On Thierry Henry's game-tying goal:
"That's the kind of player he is. Suddenly he can just switch on, make a difference and score a goal like that. It's a phenomenal goal. But we didn't perhaps set him up the way we want in the second half. The first half was okay, but the second half, just a little too quick going for final passes, killer passes. And in this heat, it kills you."
NEW YORK RED BULLS DEFENDER JAN GUNNAR SOLLI
On tonight's match:
"It's not like a really, really good performance for any players. They were there and we gave them a little bit too much time and space and they scored two goals, but everybody is like, when we get back at least, there are some smiles in the locker room because quitting is not an option and we must never give up. We have shown it so many times that this team can strike back and of course we needed and we wanted three points tonight."
On if they are aware that they are squandering points that could affect their playoff position:
"We are definitely aware of the situation. Everybody was like we really need three points tonight but when we couldn't do it, it's like at least (we got) one point. But of course, we know it's been too many tie games and that is not something we are happy about. We need to win games or else the playoffs are slipping away from us. That's our main goal, as it turns out we are too far behind to win everything. It's all about getting into the playoffs, which that's, in the end, where we can be the champion."
NEW YORK RED BULLS FORWARD THIERRY HENRY
On the match:
"Coming back one goal down, one man down into the game, you can always say we came back. But we were in control of the game and again, out of nowhere, they scored a goal. The first one took a deflection, not as big as the one we scored, but at the end of the day they played better than us in the second half. I think saying that, I thought we didn't do badly playing with 10 men in the last two minutes. But again, it wasn't a consistent one. We played well in the first half, and we didn't play well in the second half. So we're going to have to work, work hard, and try and grab some points."
On the second half, and if the weather had an affect:
"I don't know, don't get me wrong, it was crazy hot out there, and humid. As I said, we played better in the first half, which I thought some time in the first half, we kept cool around the box and had more awareness on the ball. We may have had another opportunity to score a second goal, we didn't. They played better than us in the second half. They scored two, should have scored three. We hit the post, so maybe at the end of the day maybe the draw was a fair one. But we have to be more consistent, not only playing well one half."
NEW YORK RED BULLS DEFENDER TIM REAM
On if there is a sense of frustration that they gave up a 1-0 lead again:
"Yeah, I mean it's definitely frustrating to give up a lead, especially after the first half where we controlled most of the game and knocked the ball around pretty well and created a few chances. To give up the two goals early in the second half but you can look at it the other way too. Down to 10 men and we fight back and Thierry (Henry) hits a good shot and scores a good goal. To be down to 10 men and to come back and tie it, you have to take a little something from that."
On when squandering points becomes a liability heading towards the playoffs:
"It started two months ago. For some reason we aren't winning games so it's frustrating and like I said, it was an issue two months ago and it's still an issue. So we have to figure out a way to dig even deeper and come away with three points next game."
On Dallas' first goal tonight:
"They played a couple good touches and that ball to (Marvin) Chavez who was toeing the line, he did well to stay onside and they slipped a pretty good ball to him and I was just trying to get over and get anything on it and unfortunately I got too little on it and put some top spin on it, over Frank (Rost) and under the crossbar."
FC DALLAS HEAD COACH SCHELLAS HYNDMAN
On the tie:
"Of course we are happy with a tie. I thought we were very poor in the first half. I did not think we played very well in the first half. Being down a goal, to come back, I think showed a lot of character and courage on our part. Being up a goal, you are disappointed. Both of us had difficult road trips. It took a lot of character for us to come back from that first half."
On the first half and being down one-nil:
"I think we are still kind of in that (Rafa) Marquez, Henry mentality-these guys are so good. The more and more we play these Red Bulls we will start to recognize yes they are exceptional players of course, but we cannot change our game."
"I just thought we had a couple of players who were really off in the first half. It seemed like whenever we were at a trigger point to get something going, the ball ended up on the other player's feet. That was the disappointing part. I thought the Red Bulls came out with a lot of intensity, a lot of focus. It was one of those things where they have a lot to get done here."
On Marvin Chavez:
"He is just a busy player. It was a lot of work out there today. He is a busy player, there was a ball save as well that he broke through. Today the ball broke through to him, in those cases."
FC DALLAS MIDFIELDER BREK SHEA
On if the team made offensive adjustments at half time:
"No, I just did not think we played very well in the first half. We came into halftime just talking about playing better. We kind of played well in the first ten minutes. Then we let up and they started attacking. Halftime we just talked about coming out and playing our game. We made a sub kind of early in the second half. We put Bruno (Guarda) in and it helped tremendously."
On of the team showed RBNY too much respect:
"I think we gave them just too much space and let them do their thing."
On his near goal in the second half:
"I came across wide and I made my run. It bounced and I could not get there before it bounced. I just tried to get something on it and I ran into the goalie. I thought it was a goal, but oh well."
FC DALLAS GOALKEEPER KEVIN HARTMAN
His overall thoughts on the game:
"The heat here was substantial. We train at 8:30 a.m. in Dallas because we have the similar heat. Today was difficult for us. I imagine it was difficult for both teams."
"I did not think we really had our best performance in the first half. The second half we came back and I thought played very, very well. We were able to catch two goals. Unfortunately, I did not think we did a great job shutting down (Thierry) Henry, by the time we got so many numbers over there I just could no longer see it. So I am disappointed we gave away the two points."
On Henry's Goal:
"I think he got the ball--he is very good on the ball. He was able to cut and we weren't able to get enough guys over there to put him under the type of pressure that he needed to be under from 19 or 20 yards out. I'm not sure it was a product of the heat, I think he is one of those guys that is able to cut to find time and space. We did not do as well as we would have like to have with it."
On Marvin Chavez's performance:
"He is one of those guys that is willing to work for us offensively, he is able to win the ball in advantageous spots. He gets to the goal quickly. He makes good runs. He is a small guy, he is willing to compete against much bigger defenders and try to win headers for us. We get numbers forward and are pretty quick up there but he is someone that is able to hold the ball for us. At the same time he is able to move us into a spot where we are going to be dangerous. So he is someone that is willing to do it defensively as well as offensively. He came through with some great scores today."