Two matches in a row, FC Dallas had to spend the majority of the game down a man, and the team lost both of those matches. The difference between those two games though, was that Sunday afternoon against streaking New York Red Bulls, the Hoops had a number 10 to gave them hope.
It just wasn't the number 10 we've become accustomed to.
Danny Garcia is awarded Man of the Match because he played the pivotal role in FCD being able to continue to push forward even though they spent 80 minutes of the match at a man disadvantage.
We've questioned the depth at central mid all year, but I don't think we should worry about that anymore.
Garcia stepped up in a huge way in place of injured Mauro Diaz. Garcia has not gotten much pitch time this year, spending the majority of the year as the leader of the Reserve squad. Once the team was close to certain that Diaz would not be able to go Sunday, we probably all knew who would be called to fill in.
In watching Garcia in the two recent reserve games that FCD has streamed online, I've been very impressed with the former North Carolina Tar Heel. He plays just like Mauro, which i'm sure is a combination of the workings of Oscar Pareja and the fact that Garcia and Diaz are both small, shifty players who have incredible touch with the ball.
If one had turned on the game yesterday in the 25th minute, I don't think one would notice that FCD was down a man, unless of course you counted the players. The team still held 44% of the possession and still had over 300 total passes which led to the team never really being out of contention for some sort of result.
Defensively, I have full confidence in Raul Fernandez going forward as he made some excellent saves and did his best to stop Bradley Wright-Phillips' goal for NYRB.
I look to Garcia as the main source of this silver-lining success. Sunday's match was his first career MLS start, but you wouldn't notice that by watching him.
"It felt different at the beginning. After ten minutes, it went away. It just felt like another game" said Garcia.
Although the squad has now lost three of the last four, I feel very optimistic that this team can handle setbacks as long as they continue to push forward.
Diaz completed 18 of his 21 passes along with drawing three fouls and adding two interceptions.
FC Dallas will look to get things back on track as they head to the Emerald City Wednesday night in a re-match against the Seattle Sounders, and if Mauro can't make the 18, I look forward to seeing HGP Danny Garcia continue to make an impact.
Who was your man of the match? What are your thoughts on my pick? Vote and comment below. DTID!