Moises Hernandez makes his first start at Left Back this season and Chris Seitz jumps back in goal taking over for Raul Fernandez. Don't read into it too much, as Oscar Pareja drew up which keeper would play which game before the month started.
Chris Seitz made a huge error just 8 minutes into the match when a cross came in, but he could not keep his hands on it as it fell to Cole Grossman's feet just 7 yards out. He tries to chip it into the 6 yard box for a striker to finish, but Matt Hedges makes himself big and gets a head on the ball to save FC Dallas from going down early.
Je-Vaughn Watson got a chance of his own in the 21st minute after RSL Keeper Jeff Attinella spilled the ball when colliding with Walker Zimmerman. Watson struck a volley with his left foot towards a keeper-less goal, but failed to keep the shot down as it sailed over the bar.
Real Salt Lake had a decent chance in the 34th minute when Javier Morales got behind Moffat and into the gap in front of Zimmerman and rifled a shot towards the goal but it went a yard wide.
Joao Plata had to leave the field after pulling up with an injury and this is great for Dallas. Plata is RSL's biggest threat and to have him off the field will relieve a lot of pressure on the back line.
Quick Halftime Recap:
There weren't too many chances as highlighted by the 0-0 scoreline, but RSL showed that they plan on dictating the tempo of the match. Also, Chris Schuler made several great tackles to keep RSL from having any breakdowns in the back.
Tesho Akindele broke through the defense in the 52nd minute then cut inside and took a shot on goal, but Jeff Attinella made a strong save to keep the game level.
RSL had a good chance early on when Nat Borchers flicked on a header, but Olmes Garcia failed to get his shot on goal off a difficult shot.
Tesho Akindele nearly got his second goal in as many games when Fabian Castillo crossed the ball to the near post only to have Tony Beltran put enough pressure on Akindele to force the ball out for a goalkick in the 66th minute.
Zach Loyd crossed the ball into the box and it found Blas Perez wide open at the far post, but Perez was unable to redirect it into a dangerous area as he hit it right into Attinella's hands.
Pareja used his first sub in the 82nd minute when Andres Escobar entered for Tesho Akindele who was my man of the match. A late time to use his first sub, but I suppose the team is holding the result he wants so it isn't too bad.
Oscar Pareja didn't use his second substitution until the 92nd minute when Stephen Keel entered the match for Fabian Castillo. Oscar is just looking to close the match out. Also, Jair Benitez enters the match for Moises Hernandez who pulled up with a bit of an injury. Hope he is alright, we have enough injuries as it is.
Nothing else too important happens in the last minute of stoppage time and Pareja gets his wish, leaving Rio Tinto with a scoreless match and 1 important point.
Quick Match Summary:
FCD completed their gameplan to perfection as they got the shutout. Ok, maybe they wanted a goal, but I doubt any person in the locker room is complaining with the result. RSL dominated possession, but with only 1 shot on goal they had no chance of winning this match.
Moises Hernandez's recovery speed is fantastic and it's something we haven't seen outside of Jair Benitez since Ugo Ihemelu last played.
Zach Loyd had a strong game as he shut down any attacks that came down his side. He got forward a bit as well, but not as much as you would expect from someone like Benitez. I hope he gets the confidence to attack more like he had in 2012.
Moffat had an alright game. I don't think he was spectacular by any means, but I don't think he was his awful self we have seen of late. He still made several poor passes, but he had a couple good tackles as well to make up for them. Hopefully the shoddy passes stop and the tackles continue.
Oscar Pareja waited until the last 10 minutes to use his subs and I don't agree with this move. The team was playing well as a group and he wanted to hold on for a draw, but it's too risky to leave some of these players out there for this long when having 3 matches in 7 days. Moises still might not be 100% fit after pulling up late with an injury.
I thought Akindele and Perez's styles complimented each other well, but it will take many more minutes before they form the partnership we hope for. I thought Akindele worked off of Perez much better than we saw with Texeira, as Akindele is more active off the ball than Texeira.
Sometimes a team gets fortunate not to concede, but I felt like Dallas defended almost flawlessly in this match and earned the tough road point.
Questions This Match Created:
Now that FCD has their first shutout in the books, are there more to come or was this a fluke?
How high do you rate Moffat compared to the other center mids on the squad?
Zach Loyd had another strong game, do we see him as the outright starter when Acosta comes back, assuming he continues to perform at the same level?