The FC Dallas season was 30 seconds from being over when a player that no one could've envisioned on FC Dallas earlier in the season, Julian de Guzman, popped up out of nowhere, volleying in the rebound of a 96th minute Fabian Castillo corner. Over 17,000 at FC Dallas Stadium erupted like we haven't seen in a long time.
My thoughts from a pulsating match at FCD Stadium:
Redempton for De Guzman Who would have thought as the calendar hit July that FC Dallas would now be one point away from a playoff spot and that Julian de Guzman, of all people, would hit a 25 yard volley to keep the Dallas season alive? You just can't predict soccer...And major redemption for De Guzman who keeps Dallas in the race in the same week that his old club, Toronto FC, was officially eliminated from playoff contention.
The Kitchen Sink The mentality from FC Dallas tonight was perfect for the entire match. They let it all hang out, throwing the entire kitchen sink, toilet, shower and everything else at Vancouver. It paid off in a pretty wild way, but realistically they probably should have been ahead earlier.
The Crowd Bravo to a big crowd at FC Dallas Stadium tonight. The 17,000+ in attendance practically sucked that Julian De Guzman volley into the back of the net and played a big part in keeping FCD on the gas when things began to look bleak.
Never Say Die For Dallas to find a goal after the pk miss, goal called back, post hit and numerous near-misses is something pretty special...and to do it in the last :30. Wow
Man of the match De Guzman's goal saved the season, but if you're talking about a man of the match over 96 minutes, it was Matt Hedges. The big central defender rebounded from a tough game against Seattle with a commanding performance tonight in central defense. His aerial play and ability to cut out Vancouver passes kept the Whitecaps off the board. I thought he was just remarkable tonight.
Scattershooting Blas is still rusty...The FCD attack with all of the pieces in place can really be a thing of beauty...Hartman's save on John Thorrington in the 84th minute, the moment that no one remembers but allowed for De Guzman's equalizer...Two weeks to get ready for San Jose...
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman
General thoughts on the game:
I think the game was great for both teams. Vancouver is an extremely talented team, tremendous talent all over the field. We seem to do well against Vancouver; it turned out to be a pretty decent game and now being one point behind makes it so much more exciting. We’re healthy now. I thought the game went about the way we thought it would. Both teams played very, very hard, both teams recognized the importance of the outcome. We went into the game with a little bit different mentality. We went into the game with the mentality that we needed a win and a tie wasn’t good enough. We needed to get the three points to close the gap, to make a one point difference for the fifth and final spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
We created some good chances in the first half as they did. In the second half, the game really opened up. It took a lot of energy from both teams. There was a lot of running in the midfield. It was action back and forth. All the fans that came and watched the game tonight are leaving with excitement about the sport of soccer. We just had them pinned in there for a little bit and so much pressure on them, and it was a brilliant goal at the end. The goal that was called back, I’ll be interested to see if that was an offside goal. But goals like that that are called back that late can easily break a team’s emotions and I was so proud of the guys, they continued to fight, and of course Julian scored his first goal for FC Dallas and we’re really pleased about that.
Talk about the character of your team:
We talked about the four D’s: determination, dedication, discipline, and desire. Those are the four D’s we talked about before the game and we felt like we can keep our emotions under control and stay disciplined not only with our response to calls or non-calls, but to stay disciplined with how the game goes and to stay with the key thing, and that’s determination, and I think the desire showed all the way to the end. So it became very emotional. It wasn’t just that one if you remember Brek sent a great ball into David, hit off the crossbar. Those were two opportunities we created that could have been goals, but again, a lot of credit to the players that they only had one thing in mind and that was to get a victory.
How do you use a result like this spur your team on in the final month?
It happens by itself, the determination that you saw today and the reward. So many times teams work very hard and you don’t get the points. It’s hard to keep coming back. We ran into setting a record this year with the least amount of wins or number of games that we’ve gone without winning. Everybody let me know about it. It took an effect on the players as well, but they never gave up. They never quit. They kept on fighting. So I think the determination is there. How does this go forward? I think right now probably not too many teams out there want to play FC Dallas. There was a time we played Houston where we had seven of our first 11 injured, seven of the first 11 were injured. We were starting academy players for many games. So now we’re finding some results. The most important thing is when you work so hard that you get something for it and I think tonight was one of those nights where they got the three points. I don’t know if I need to be a motivator. They will motivate themselves.
FC Dallas midfielder Julian de Guzman
On his game-winning goal:
I was sitting in a position to get to whatever came out of the box after the corner kick. When it came to me, I had enough time to bring it down with my chest and hit it on the volley. When the ball hit the back of the net, it was like a dream come true. Especially because of all the opportunities we had that we were unable to put away.
On the play of the team:
The way the guys were still all going after 90 minutes was incredible. The result was well deserved and now because of everyone’s effort our hopes of making the playoffs are still in tact.
Where does a moment like this rank in your career?
It’s definitely one of the biggest highlights of my career. It’ll mean a lot more once we clinch that playoff spot. The objective this game was to get three points. We knew how important this was and we fought. We battled. We suffered and in the end we came out with what we deserved. Anyone would dream of scoring a goal like that and it’s not every day I find myself scoring goals so I was very grateful to be in the right spot at the right time.
FC Dallas forward Blas Perez
On the significance of playing next to Julian de Guzman four days after playing against him in World Cup Qualifying:
Julian and I are both very competitive. It’s fun. We have to prove ourselves for our individual teams when we are playing for our [National Teams]. Today, we were playing together with FC Dallas and it worked out well.
FC Dallas defender George John
On getting results on the road in the next few matches:
We have to maintain focus, keep our eye on the prize, take it one game at a time. Once we get into playoffs, anything can happen.
On the play of Matt Hedges:
I thought he played very well. We played really well in the back, had great communication going between the two of us. I really had a fun time playing tonight. Camilo is a crafty little guy. [Kenny] Miller is good. They brought [Darren] Mattocks in there at the end, kind of through everything at us, but it was great to get the win.
What did Julian de Guzman’s goal mean to you?
It was the goal of the year, absolutely. It was a great strike. I saw a replay up here in the training room. It was huge for us. Our next game is at San Jose in two weeks, so we have some time to regroup. I’m glad we’re still alive (in the playoff race).
FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges
On the significance of the win:
It really allows us to move forward and focus on getting into playoffs… a great win for us.
Was there a lot of difference playing next to Hernan Pertuz after George John left the game with an injury?
No, we slotted Zach [Loyd] in there at right back. It wasn’t a big change. I have played next to Hernan [Pertuz] a few times. I was playing next to him in the game already so it was just like a normal back four. I’ve played with both George and Hernan in the middle so it was not a big difference for me at all.
On the pressure applied by Vancouver’s forwards:
Every team has a lot of quality attacking players so you’re under a lot of pressure each week. Vancouver had good movement off the ball so we just needed to maintain a high level of communication. We marshaled them pretty well. [Darren] Mattocks brought a lot of pace and athleticism. He ran in behind us more than the other guys did. You just need to adjust your style of play to that and I think we did a good job of adapting quickly.
Martin Rennie- Vancouver Whitecaps Head Coach
General thoughts on the game:
First of all, I think it was a fantastic game. Both teams did absolutely great. The fans saw two great teams tonight. Every fan that came here tonight got their money’s worth. Both teams left everything on the field and obviously for us it is disappointing to come out of it on the wrong end of the result but I am very proud of my players. It gives me a lot of confidence going into the final stretch of the season. We have our destiny in our own hands in terms of getting ourselves into the playoffs, which is what our main goal is. It’s a big step for our club to get ourselves into the playoffs, that’s what we’re working so hard to do, and we feel good about where we are, although we’re disappointed with the result tonight.
What’s the mood of the locker room after a loss like this?
Obviously just very disappointed, the guys put a lot into the game. I feel that we deserved a bit more. We had a good chance to maybe get ourselves in front, we didn’t manage to quite take that one and obviously its well into stoppage time by the time we lose the goal, so everybody is very disappointed but what it is going to do is make us stronger. This is a team that is a very youthful team, in terms of being together for hardly any length of time. You need to go through disappointments to get to where you want to get to. No one ever has success without stumbling along the way, and the people who do well get up and get on with it. That’s what we’re going to do.
Is there any concern about the confidence in this team?
No, not at all, I think the confidence is there, you saw it tonight. We played well, we had a lot of good possession of the ball, clearly some good chances, on another night, could of won the game. Confidence to me isn’t the issue. Dallas put a lot into the game tonight and got themselves a goal at the end, but I am confident this is going to make us much stronger. It has to in order for us to finish where we want to.
Were you happy with Y.P. Lee’s defense?
I was happy with it. I thought he did a good job against Brek Shea. I didn’t think too many balls came in from his side.
How much are you looking forward to going home after a month on the road?
I’ve had nine games out of the last 13 on the road, so a lot of games on the road, and I’ll have to reintroduce myself to my kids and see if they remember me, but it will be nice to be home and we’re going to be back at B.C. Place in front of our incredible fans. We need them to absolutely unite behind us. We’re trying to be the first Canadian team ever to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs and it’s a big task. It seems very, very hard to get over that line, but with our fans and our players united together we’re going to get there.
What did you think about the offense?
I don’t think there were too many chances going the other way. There was a penalty kick. There was one chance in the first half and then in the second half there were a couple chances for Dallas so it was a tight game. Both teams defended well.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Jay DeMerit
General feelings on the game:
Sometimes football is heartbreaking. Sometimes football is frustrating. Sometimes football is helpless. And that’s what I think we feel here tonight. Anything that could have gone our way didn’t, but when you’re down in the dumps these things turn your way. Sometimes after all the work you put in, things just don’t go your way and they show up and they hit you in the face one more time.
The overlying message is we just have to dig ourselves out of this. There’s only one thing that’s going to get us out of this and that’s belief that we can – belief that things will turn, because things like this can’t keep happening.
On moving forward:
Now it’s just about attitude and making sure we come ready to train. We’ve got four games at home out of the next five and we control our destiny still, so that’s all you can say for now. We’ve just got to keep going as a group. We all know there’s five more games left in this league and we still control our destiny. We’ve got to make sure we take control of that. We own the opportunity that comes in front of us and we bottle up this feeling and make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Brad Knighton
General feelings on the game:
It’s just one of those [games] where I’m at a loss for words right now. We’re all pretty heartbroken and it’s a tough one to swallow right now. It’s going to make us stronger. As you saw tonight, we played with a lot more intensity, a lot more confidence. We strung together a lot more passes. We played more on their end. We had more of the game then they did. It’s just unfortunate they were able to finish their chance off at the end there. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.
On moving forward:
We’ve got to come together as a group. We have a good run of games coming up at home the next four games. We’ve got to take maximum points from all of them. We’re fine. Our mentality was a lot better than it has been the last couple of weeks. We’re awfully confident. You know, it’s in our hands to lose.
On his penalty kick save:
It’s huge. That was my first touch of the game... just guessing right and having to make a big save and keep us in the game. It’s nice, but I’d take three points over a penalty kick save any day of the week.
On the game-winning goal:
It’s a never-ending story now. The last three games I’ve played there have been three wonder-strikes and this is probably going to win “goal of the week” as well, so. He hit it fantastically off his left foot… hats off to him. He hit it well. It’s one of those where you’ve got to try and spring for it and if you get there you get there, but he put it on the inside corner. I saw enough of it, I just couldn’t get there.