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FC Dallas Looks Good (But Not Great) In Season Opener Against Colorado

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Dallas moves to 1-0-0 on the season thanks to a goalkeeper gaffe in the first half.


At times it wasn't super pretty but in the end three points is all that matters. FC Dallas downed their rivals the Colorado Rapids 1-0 on a Jackson goal in the first half.

The Brazilian midfielder took advantage of a bouncing ball that Colorado goalkeeper Steward Ceus misread on the edge of the penalty box. Jackson practically walked the ball into the goal after it went over Ceus' head. David Ferreira got his first assist of the season on the play as well.

The important thing is the three points. If we win 1 to nil, it’s still three points and that’s what matters. -Jackson

Jackson nearly had a second goal in the first half when a play in the midfield was broken up by Je-Vaughn Watson, he played the ball up on a quick counter to Jackson who had a three-on-two attack with Kenny Cooper and Fabian Castillo on either side. Instead, Jackson fired off a shot on the edge of the 18-yard box nearly went in - it sailed just wide of the net.

Colorado pressed Dallas pretty well after the goal. The 4-3-3 formation that Oscar Pareja used last night would occasionally look more like a 4-5-1 with the midfield being a bit of a log jam. Colorado would bank on the speed of rookie Deshorn Brown up front while Atiba Harris (you all remember him right?) and Kevin Harbottle would fly in from the two wings.

The Rapids nearly got on the board in the first half with Harris. He took a ball on the right wing and crossed it to another Rapids' rookie Dillon Powers who put a good shot on goal. Thankfully Peruvian goalkeeper Raul Fernandez was up to the task last night for FC Dallas. He made a couple big saves and commanded his box fairly well.

Dallas was able to get some good play up front with Kenny Cooper and Fabian Castillo. But unfortunately none of their shots on goal really troubled Ceus.

General thoughts on the night:

Newcomers showed well. Overall I was pretty pleased with the play of Fernandez in goal. He came out of his box and contested balls when he needed to and didn't look over confident. I say it like that because sometimes when a keeper loves to come out and contest balls the way he does he can appear too confident and end up hurting his team. Fernandez did not appear to do that last night.

Watson did fairly well in his time in the midfield. I was a bit shocked to see his named called on the starting lineup but in the end, once he got settled, the helped control the midfield for Dallas and was even helping set up a couple chances. I think he and Andrew Jacobson have a bit of work to do on their chemistry before this pairing is what we'll want to see full time.

Lastly, Michel got some time in the game due to an injury to Jair Benitez. The Brazilian didn't miss a single beat in having to come in early. I think he helped calm the speed of Harris and Brown down a bit for Matt Hedges on the left side, which was a problem early on in the game.

Ever shifting formation. At one point in the game, Hyndman moves the club to a 4-5-1 of their own with Cooper playing the lone striker role. This was a defensive move in the biggest way to close out the game. You could see at the late stages where players like Jackson, Ferreira, Castillo before he was subbed were getting a bit tired and heavy legged. Bringing on Bobby Warshaw helped calm that down a bit and while it didn't create any offense for the last 20 minutes or so of the game, it helped get the victory. I think it also shows that Dallas is still very much working on their formation here. The 4-5-1 may be their defensive mode kind of formation for games like this.

Offense still a work in progress. The Rapids outshot FC Dallas last night 12-8, some of those were a late furry of shots in the dying moments of the game but it still has to be said, the offense is very much a work in progress. Thankfully they'll get a team in Chivas USA next weekend that should help their offensive issues out a bit before coming home for a Week 3 battle with in-state rivals Houston.

Different attitude than 2012. I'm not so sure the early season version of this club last year would have pulled out a 1-0 win like this. It wasn't pretty and the team certainly played better in the preseason too. But these are character kind of wins too. Having an ugly win early in the season isn't a bad thing to have at all as it can be built upon for the following games and it can show some of the guys that they can win in any situation if they really want to. But it was good to see the discipline there out of the club last night, there weren't any stupid fouls and the only yellow card of the match didn't haunt them in the end.

Game stats:

Scoring Summary:
DAL - Jackson (David Ferreira) 11

FC Dallas - Raul Fernandez, Jair Benitez (Michel 30), George John, Matt Hedges (Stephen Keel 92+), Zach Loyd, David Ferreira, Andrew Jacobson, Je-Vaughn Watson, Jackson, Fabian Castillo (Bobby Warshaw 79), Kenny Cooper.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Bradlee Baladez, London Woodberry, Eric Hassli.

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Jackson 2, Kenny Cooper 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Fabian Castillo, Jackson, Kenny Cooper, Michel, David Ferreira, Andrew Jacobson 1); FOULS: 10 (Jackson, Fabian Castillo, Kenny Cooper, 2); OFFSIDES: 5 (Kenny Cooper 2, Fabian Castillo 3); CORNER KICKS: 1 (Michel 1); SAVES: 3 (Raul Fernandez 3).

Colorado Rapids - Steward Ceus, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Diego Calderon, Brian Mullan, Pablo Mastroeni, Hendry Thomas (Tony Cascio 62), Dillon Powers, Atiba Harris, Kevin Harbottle, Deshorn Brown (Andre Akpan 83).
Substitutes Not Used: Christopher Klute, Matt Pickens, Jamie Smith, Nathan Sturgis.

TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Paul Mastroeni 3, Atiba Harris 3, Hendry Thomas 2, Deshorn Brown 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Pablo Mastroeni, Dillon Powers, Deshorn Brown 1); FOULS: 15 (Pablo Mastroeni, Dillon Powers 3; Atiba Harris, Deshorn Brown, Tony Cascio 2); OFFSIDES: 3 (Deshorn Brown 3); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Brian Mullan 6); SAVES: 5 (Stewart Ceus 5).

Misconduct Summary:
DAL - Je-Vaughn Watson (caution) 80

Referee: Allen Chapman
Referee's Assistants: Peter Manikowski, Jeremy Hanson
4th Official: Ismail Elfath
Attendance: 18,075
Weather: Clear, 50 degrees