I have never left Toyota Stadium as ecstatic as I was Saturday in my life before. I told family and friends, whether you like him or not, Schellas Hyndman would never have us play beautiful football. It took Oscar Pareja one match to make me fall in love with FC Dallas all over again.
Mauro Diaz is a genius. Before, I said I agreed with Fabian Castillo about how Mauro is "a little genius." I was wrong. There is nothing little about how fantastic Diaz plays; he is the creative piece we have lacked since the 2010 season ended. That free kick... a beauty that would make David Beckham proud.
Chris Seitz was phenomenal in goal as he made several diving saves. He made 6 saves and conceded 2 goals, making for a solid 75% save percentage which is a decent day in goal. There was little he could do on either goal, and was constantly challenged by Montreal on the night. Hopefully our defense does better defending the counter next week, but an injured Hendry Thomas could hurt that case.
Dallas controlled the ball for 54% of the game, which is nothing to write home about, but it is how we handled the ball that had fans jumping out of their seats every few minutes. There was a buzz around the stadium (even though the weather forced a smaller crowd than we should have had) that I haven't seen in a couple seasons. The fans truly believe that this team can go far and it must be said that I believe this team will go far.
Two Homegrown players in the lineup was fantastic to see, even if they didn't have the best nights around the league. Pareja and FCD are truly motivated to play the youngsters and get them serious minutes and the experience they need. This will only benefit FCD as a whole in the future and it won't be so bad right now either as these players have some true quality.
What didn't work:
I am not too worried that Montreal had a weakened side and we still struggled to defend them. We had just as much of a weakened defense as they had offense, so no complaints from me in that department (well, not too many complaints.) I am however worried about the partnerships in the back; it looks like we will see a bunch of different lineups as players recover from injuries and this could hurt the communication and rhythm down the line.
I am not going to nitpick on the two goals that Montreal scored, as those things will be sorted out. Moises Hernandez will likely move out of the lineup next week with Stephen Keel coming in, and that should improve the communication in the back line, as there were several instances where Matt Hedges and Hernandez were not on the same wavelength (nothing against Hernandez, but a couple mistakes hurt us bad.)
Next week and Beyond:
The squad is in much better shape than it was months ago, so when we visit Kansas City next weekend, I expect a positive showing from the boys. Unless today was the outlier, I expect at least 2 goals for us next weekend and in most of the games this season. Expect to see some pretty high score lines until FCD shores up that defense of theirs.
With all of this said, I am beyond ecstatic about the way we played and the given result. This has me anxious for the next game to start, as I really don't think I can wait until next week!