FC Dallas went to Colorado with a chance to seize 3rd place after Real Salt Lake's draw with the Portland Timbers in Oregon the night before. Pareja's men went into this game with their last road win coming 2 months ago (the glorious 0-5 win in San Jose). Real Salt Lake fans were rooting against us hoping we'd also slip up over this week and keep the 3rd place in the West firmly in their hands. 2 big positives came from this that should relieve FCD fans (other than the 3 points of course): Blas finally scored a pen and restored our trust in him from 6 yards out, and we won on the road which is a vital duck to break before heading into the playoffs where we'll have to play an away game for sure.
Blas Finally Puts One Away
Chris Klute gave away an obvious penalty, anyone who doubts it was a penalty is delusional. Klute reacted with his arm, got it up to trap the ball and it had me jumping up arm in the air hoping the ref saw what I saw. Gotta admit guys, I doubted our big man when I heard it was him stepping up to the spot. I still remember the heartbreak in Frisco against Philadelphia, the botched penalty against New York Red Bulls that prevented us from leveling the score while playing down a man. This time Perez sent Clint Irwin the wrong way and calmly passed it into the back of the net.
Hello Third Place
Wow, if you would've told me back in May that we'd be above RSL and having the chance to clinch 3rd place in the West by beating Portland at home, I would've called you mad. Here we are 3rd in the best conference in the league, with a chance to seal a CONCACAF Champions League spot if we keep this position and other results go our way over the course of the playoffs. CCL and a 3rd place finish? I would've taken it before the season, and I'll take it now.
[Edit note: FCD can only get a CCL spot in this situation if they don't win MLS Cup and LA, Seattle, Vancouver or DCU do win MLS Cup.]
Most exciting player to watch during this game might have to go to Zach Loyd. Our veteran right back was up and down the field making game saving tackles, good shot blocks, and even moving up the field to help cycle the ball around during our offensive forays into opposing territory. Loyd has been standing in well next to Hedges and I think we'll be keeping him there for the rest of the season and possibly beyond.
Is anyone else relieved Blas could score pens now? Is there a 'best player playing out of position' award? Would Zach Loyd win it hands down? Let me know in the comments below!!