On a beautiful night at Pizza Hut Park, FC Dallas, winners of their first two group stage games, couldn't beat the easiest team in the group drawing 1-1 with Tauro FC of Panama. Dallas took a lightning fast lead, the quickest in team history, through Daniel Cruz just seconds into the game, but couldn't put together many solid scoring opportunities after that.
Tauro, who came to Pizza Hut Park with a mind to attack, found a deserved equalizer in the 41st minute as Ugo Ihemelu needlessly jumped into a tackle on Victor Mendieta earning the Panama side a penalty kick which was dispatched by Luis Moreno.
The Panamanians were much the better side in the second half, hitting the post and nearly finding the equalizer on many occasions, though the match would end 1-1 in a result that was probably fair for both sides. Dallas remains comfortably on top of the group with 7 points from 3 matches sitting 3 points ahead of second place Pumas who easily beat Toronto 4-0 in a game that included most of the starters for the Mexicans who come to Frisco next week.
Didn't like the lineup offensively at all I realize Schellas' hand was forced a bit due to injuries and what not, but Jackson is not a forward and Jeremy Hall is not a right mid while the Cruz/Villar midfield fails to impress yet again. Jackson got the assist on the goal, but looked lost other than that drifting all over the field and being called offsides a whopping 7 times(though some were bogus) while Hall does not have the offensive skills to play right mid in the Dallas system.
It would have been a much better option, in my opinion, to keep Jackson on the right while starting Ruben Luna. I also feel that Andrew Wiedeman should have been subbed in for Hall 30 minutes earlier than it happened to provide more offensive support as it was clear Dallas was not going to threaten the Tauro goal. If you're not going to give the reserves a chance to show what they can do tonight, when will they ever get a chance?
Am I Being Too Harsh on the Offense? I've been pretty down on the offense today and in the last week or so, but is it pretty harsh considering Jackson is probably the only player that figures to be a starter when everyone is healthy? Marvin Chavez rather than Jeremy Hall on the right would have changed the game completely, the same goes for Brek Shea on the left and Fabian Castillo's injury has come at a terrible time. Dallas needs to get healthy and needs their starters back.
Tauro Counterattack Gave FCD defense problems A lot of credit should go to Tauro who came to Frisco with a clear game plan and really played some great soccer at times. They hit FCD extremely quickly on the counter in the second half and should have scored a couple of times. MLS teams should watch tonight's video to see how the FCD backline can be breached. MLS level finishing would have put a few away tonight.
Passage still straight forward While tonight wasn't very heartening, passage to the group stage is still completely straight forward. Win one of the next three games and you're in. Next Wednesday against Pumas should be a lot of fun in what is a stretch of 2 weeks with 4 home games. It sure is nice to be out at games where you don't start sweating from simply sitting there.
What did you see from tonight's match? Is the sky falling or is patience still needed?
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman
General thoughts on the match…
"I thought it was a hard contest by both teams. Both teams went at it pretty well. It was probably more physical than it needed to be. Down at the end I thought they had a chance to score on that header that hit the crossbar."
On what he said to his team following the game…
"I told the boys I was very proud of the way they competed. I felt that we kept our emotional intelligence to good point, and I just thought the game was very disruptive."
On the opponent…
"[Tauro was] very athletic. A lot of flank play. They seem to have a good structure down where they attack with a lot of services, second balls, and I thought they worked awfully hard tonight."
On getting a point at home…
"For us it’s a disappointment. We’re at home, we’ve won two games, and got a point here, which is not why we play. We play to win. That was disappointing, but at the same time, I think there was a lot of positive that came out of it as well."
On preparing to play New York this Saturday in league play…
"We are very, very anxious to play New York. They are an extremely talented team. They haven’t really lived up to their own expectations or other people’s expectations. But I think anytime that you have a wounded person or a wounded animal or you are fighting for pride and character is on the line, I think that is when you will see the best out of players. I would expect that from New York when they come here Saturday."
FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman
General thoughts on the game…
"You have to give them a lot of credit. They came in tonight. They put pressure up top, and they forced us into playing longer balls than we really wanted to. They are fairly athletic in the center of the back and were able to win some balls and get at us a bit. Unfortunately for us, we had a PK called against us. But at the end of the day, we needed to do more to be better, and we certainly created a number of opportunities. We continue to try to shore things up as we get our group back from injuries and national team call-ups. We look forward to the opportunity this weekend against a very good New York side. Certainly tonight, you have to give a lot of respect to the Panamanian side. They were very, very good."
On having center backs Ugo Ihemelu and George John back together…
"Playing with George and Ugo in front of me is something I am extremely comfortable with and I know they have a great working relationship. You also have guys like Zach [Loyd] and Jair [Benitez] who have the capabilities defensively but are also able to attack and make some late runs and get some offensive services in. I feel like we are a pretty complete group."