Like my old soccer coach used to tell me and my teammates after a tough loss like this, 'shit happens'. It wasn't the most elegant way to put it but it certainly was a thing that always stuck out in my mind in a bad loss. The luck that FC Dallas had earlier this season is drying up and now they're getting on the bad end of things. Typical MLS season when you really look at it.
But for some good in this game.
Between the play of the Homegrown players, Victor Ulloa, Danny Garcia and Moises Hernandez, along with seeing more out of David Texeira and Walker Zimmerman, FC Dallas proved yet again that the depth will be their biggest asset going forward.
Garcia had his moments yesterday, certainly some shaky ones early on like you would expect from any young player getting their first chance in this league. But as the game wore on, his confidence grew. Every time he got on the ball you could tell he was going to make something happen. Oscar Pareja mentioned after the game that the idea for him on Sunday wasn't to be 'the guy' and create everything. They didn't want all of that responsibility on him but it turns out that he can handle it if need be. That is going to be a good thing moving forward should the team really be without Mauro Diaz for a long spell like we believe me will be.
Ulloa was fantastic in my opinion. Aside form the one goal that New York scored, I felt he along side Hendry Thomas really did a number on the Red Bull midfield. They limited what Dax McCarty was able to do on and off the ball and really kept Tim Cahill from being a facilitator on the ball.
I know Zimmerman got beat on the one goal but overall, he had a good game himself. He was calm and cool on the ball and didn't get out of position like we've seen Stephen Keel do from time to time this year. The goal was just something that Thierry Henry does, he finds a step and Zimmerman was just another defender in the long line of defenders that have been beaten by Henry in that manner. No real shame in that if you ask me.
One thing the Red Bulls did a good job of was limiting the service that Dallas had going forward. While Dallas got a decent amount of the ball, they weren't getting a ton of crosses into Blas Perez or Texeira. They also weren't able to spray the ball from side to side like they would have liked and weren't able to pin New York back on the wings. A lot of that had to do with playing with ten men and not making the game plan solely be about Garcia being the creator in the attack.
About those calls
One thing you have to give New York credit for was the scouting on guys like Jair Benitez and Perez. If you get them angry enough, in the right way, their head is out of the game. We saw that at times on Sunday where New York put in a bad challenge and frustrated what Dallas was trying/going to do.
I won't touch too much on that Je-Vaughn Watson red. Looking at the replay I totally get why he was red carded. Yes it was totally unintentional but leaving his boot out there like that with the studs up, I get it.
But the call that still bugs me the most was the blown penalty in the first half on Fabian Castillo. Had that call been made and the penalty been hit, we're looking at a different game. Same goes for the missed penalty by Perez in the second half but I believe that one would have opened up the game even more in the first half in Dallas' favor. New York wasn't pressing the way they should have with a man advantage, and even how Dallas does when they're goal hungry, I know for a fact that game would have been different.
On to the next one
But there is really no time to dwell in everything. We're going to give our two or three cents about this game like we always do but it is time to move on and hope for the best this week in Seattle and San Jose. We know the Seattle game will be rough on Wednesday but Michel will return to provide some service, the wing game should be back in Dallas' favor, even without Watson.
Then on Saturday in San Jose, Dallas gets a Quakes team that has been struggling to find their way this season. Points are there in my mind for this week, and given how frustrated this club was after the game yesterday, they appear confident enough in my mind to take some of those points.