For the better part of 60 minutes it appeared FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo were possibly heading for a hard fought draw on the night at BBVA Compass Stadium. But as luck would have it, fortunes changed for Oscar Pareja's men as David Horst gets red carded and the Hoops end up winning 4-1.
Je-Vaughn Watson has a big night
Watson nearly was unavailable for FCD on the night after earning a red card a week ago against Portland. Thankfully it was rescinded earlier in the week and that allowed Watson to be there in a big way last night.
I've asked Watson in the past if he likes playing his old club Houston for any particular reason. But his answers are typically the same. He likes playing them but has no real ill will about beating them up like some players do when they play their old clubs. His normally fun celebrations were rather muted on the night.
You wouldn't know it by looking at how Watson played last night. Two goals in the second half, both thanks to Mauro Diaz's services. A third could be argued but it was an own goal in the end on Giles Barnes. He looked like a player that absolutely belonged on the field and one that is certainly inching is way into the hearts of every FC Dallas fan these days.
Not your old FCD squad
More and more as this season rolls on we're seeing just how Pareja has instituted his style of play on this team. In the past, FCD would get the lead and hold on for dear life, especially on the road.
But not last night.
The red card changed the face of this game, I'm willing to concede that. Houston had little to no answer for the amount of space that FCD was able to gobble up in the midfield. Dallas made sure to seize the opportunity like we've never really seen them do before. Like I mentioned, in the past, they would have gotten a goal advantage and held on for dear life even with a man advantage on the road.
Last night, they smelled blood and continued to get more...and more...and more.
I have to say this is starting to get fun to watch each week.
Seitz's job to lose
Once again I'll say that I believe the starting goal keeper spot is Chris Seitz's job to lose at this point. Five games into the season and he has given up six goals. While that may seem like a ton, the team is actually playing very well and are winning.
But these last two games and shown me a ton out of Seitz. He really can't be blamed for most of the goals that he has given up this season and last night was another case of just bad defending on a set piece that caused the goal.
Seitz was massive though throughout the night, especially in the first half when Houston was sending waves of players forward into the attack. Unlike a week ago when he would bobble a couple saves, Seitz held his own this weekend, in a rough environment.
Then there was that PK save in the late stages of the game. Sure, Oscar Boniek Garcia didn't put in the greatest of penalty kicks but it was a big stop nonetheless. If that goal goes in, we're looking at a 4-2 game with 10 minutes left. Plenty of time for that Houston team to charge forward and cause all sorts of problems for FCD. Instead, Seitz brushed away the PK and kept the game far out of reach for the Dynamo.
In Oscar I trust
I don't know how many of you messaged me before the game when the lineups were announced. No Blas Perez in the starting 18 was the biggest shock to anyone. Here is the thing, Pareja already knows that he has depth in nearly every position. While we may look at the depth across the board and say the wings are thin behind the starters or that Diaz lacks a true back up, Pareja must see something different to want to give players some rest.
More importantly, if you look at the injury report that was put out on Friday, he only had two players left on it. That means he has to have an odd man out or two. So what does he do? He gives a guy like Kellyn Acosta the night off, he starts Perez on the bench. He gets David Texeira the minutes he needs to get acclimated to this league. He gets Zach Loyd the minutes he needs in this early part of the season.
Pareja has a plan, I'm just going to throw all my doubts aside and run with it as well. So far you can't blame him for doing what he is doing either. In Colorado he never had this kind of depth, and if you look at his team that reached the post season last year, they were burnt out. He is making sure that doesn't happen with this bunch. I'm totally fine with that as long as the strings he continues to pull are the right ones.