Quick notes on the match:
David Texeira gets his first start in an FC Dallas jersey in place of Blas Perez
Zach Loyd gets his first start since offseason surgery in place of Kellyn Acosta.
Raul Fernandez makes his return to the bench after a long injury kept him off the field.
Je-Vaughn Watson is in the line-up after his red card was rescinded.
It only took 37 seconds for the Houston Dynamo to pounce on lackadaisical defending by Dallas as Loyd loses Giles Barnes in the 18 (not the only time on the night) and he hits a low shot to the right which Seitz gobbles up.
After a mix up at the top of the eighteen Brad Davis pops up with the ball and slots it to the left side of the box into Cory Ashe who whips a low cross into Giles Barnes who hits a solid shot but Seitz comes up HUGE on that play to keep it level.
Both teams were looking to get chances early on and open up the opponent, but early on it was Houston who looked the stronger of the two.
It was Houston again in the 20th minute when some nice tiki-taka opened up Ricardo Clark about 25 yards out but a left footed shot curls wide.
After a little back and forth spout between the two teams, Mauro Diaz finds the ball at his feet inside the 18 and after nutmegging Rico Clark he is fouled and to the spot we go.
Michel steps up in the 31st minute and slots it past Tally Hall who was left helpless by a perfectly placed PK.
In the 40th minute Ricardo Salazar gives Houston a controversial free kick outside the box and on the ensuing free kick Brad Davis finds the head of Ricardo Clark who easily lost Loyd on the mark and nodded it directly past Seitz to even the match.
44th minute now and a miss-timed challenge from Jair Benitez led to a Houston counter attack but Michel made a nice sweeping slide tackle to win the ball back for Dallas.
Brad Davis left the match just before halftime injured from the Watson challenge and Tony Cascio replaces him.
Quick Halftime Recap:
It would have been tough for Houston to enter the locker room down a goal, as they had been the better of the two on the young night. They looked to be strong in all places on the field, but one mental lapse let them down. If they continue this way they will probably win the match.
Ricardo Clark again had a look at goal when a Michel tackle led to Clark having the ball at his feet just outside the 6 yard box but he knocked in wide. He should have tested Seitz on that one, as it could have easily been the go-ahead goal.
Note: At this point Houston led FCD in shots 11-3.
Michel had a long free kick in the 43rd minute that he drove into the back post to find an open Texeira who hits it low at the back post, but somehow Tally Hall makes a wonder-save to deny him.
Curse of the commentator in the 60th minute as Horst takes down a streaking Fabian Castillo on the left side of the pitch. It is a harsh red card, but remember the 2011 challenge against David Ferreira? Yeah. It endangered the safety of Castillo and it is definitely punishable by a red card. (I will admit that I did not think it was a red at first - just read my twitter @riesekyle)
Mauro Diaz hits a rocket of a free kick into the box in the 61st minute while Watson muscles off Barnes and Watson hits a perfect header to put FCD in the lead for the second time.
Perez enters in match for Texeira, solid hold-up game from the FCD #9.
A dangerous Michel free kick finds the back on Giles Barnes in the 68th minute and puts FCD up 3-1 after a weird deflection turns into an own goal.
Diaz has vision comparable to that of Mesut Ozil as he slots a through ball into Watson who makes it two on the night and puts the game out of reach. An easy slot in goal to the back post with his left foot gives FCD the 4-1 lead and another win on the year.
Victor Ulloa comes on for Hendry Thomas after the goal.
Dallas looks to hold the lead and tries to settle and slow down the match.
Peter Luccin on for Diaz in the 80th minute
Just a few seconds after the sub Jair Benitez commits a foul that may or may not have been in the box, but either way Ricardo Salazar points to the spot and Houston has a chance to make this game interesting.
Chris Seitz comes up huge again tonight with a PJ save from Boniek Garcia's penalty.
Houston kept trying to open up FCD, but the defense was solid and didn't leave any gaps to be exposed and kept the game 4-1 as the final whistle blew.
It all comes down the Horst red card as that really was the turning point in the match. Teams have to keep Diaz in check and when you're a man down it makes that even more difficult therefore giving a huge advantage to Dallas. Most of the great chances fell to Houston, but there shooting boots were nowhere to be seen Saturday night. A great win with a couple reserves and I know Oscar will be proud of the lads.
Notes on the Match:
Loyd and Benitez had shaky nights to say the least. They were both caught out of position on several occasions and will need to clean it up to keep their positions going forward.
Michel.... Where do we put you so we get your set piece ability as well as keeping you away from a defensive role? He had too many giveaways in dangerous places, but several solid free kicks that always keep oppositions on their heels. There will be some tough decisions ahead for Oscar.
Seitz is brilliant. He is a worthy starter in MLS.
We really haven't seen FCD tested this year. Games against weak Montreal and Portland sides, Chivas, a tired SKC (that still should have smashed us) then up a man against Houston. I believe we are easily a top 3 team in the West, but we haven't played teams at their best, so I find it hard to gauge FCD at this point.
Barnes is an awful finisher. Not much else to say on him other than that.
Thomas seemed a step behind in this match. He had some solid plays but was caught out of position on several occasions, as was Loyd.
Hedges and Keel were once against a solid pairing in the center of the defense.
Texeira should have scored on that tap in, he did exactly what he was supposed to, but Tally Hall made a ridiculous save. Props to him on that one. Other than that, Texeira had an average night, I would like to see him be more mobile, as he was not involved that much.
Questions this Match Created:
What is the ideal line-up for FCD?
Have these results proved FCD are "for real" or have we had a pretty easy schedule thus far?
Can Michel play 90 minutes against tough opponents, or does he need to stick to a super-sub role?
(Bonus) Keep suggesting names for the article as I decide which one to go with! Really need a new flashy one!