Disclaimer for this article: I apologize to all, but I wasn't able to make the game this weekend. I had my sister go instead to note-take for me, this recap is a mesh of her notes along with what I was able to catch of the game on TV. This will hopefully be the only home game I miss.
A nice crowd out on a warm Saturday night was ready to see an FCD team come home for the first of 2 league home games. A World Cup deprived San Jose came into town while FC Dallas is still frustratingly missing many players due to injury. A sense of hope was creeping in, with this being a perfect chance to break our winless streak and in front of the home fans to boot.
Pretty Good Start, Abysmal After That
Rolling out the same line-up as last game to give a bit of consistency, we got some pressing soccer and did well in the opening minutes. San Jose were really taking some tumbles during the match and the ref was obliging by calling multiple times in favor of the Earthquakes. Old friend Atiba Harris showed up to put us back on level turns, and then Adam Moffat made a 2nd bad choice in midfield to try and recover the ball. Then some guy I've never heard of blasted a shot that probably wouldn't have been taken if our Scottish midfielder didn't make 2 awful choices. The first half had all the action while the 2nd had a bunch of desperate defending on the part of the San Jose Earthquakes, and whole lotta 'hoofball' on the part of FC Dallas. You have to love 'hoofball', it's definitely effective as we've seen from all the times we use it to try and get back into a game.
Why does Benitez take the corners and free kicks? Every one of my friends moaned when Benitez was standing over the ball. Half the time the Colombian couldn't even beat the first man on the delivery and not many people I meet are fans of the drilled cross into the box. If this team was to get anything it'd have to be from a floated corner near the penalty spot to where our tall men can get a head to it. Victor Ulloa took a corner late in the game and had a really good delivery that was met by bad timing on the part of the FCD attackers. But if this is what Pareja has instructed the players to do at times then this rant is moot, I just wish we'd take corners that actually looked dangerous instead of the rare one that looks dangerous.
Okay seriously, there needs to be a team meeting, a chat, something. We can't keep getting red cards. Aggressive play is good at times, but read this next sentence. Since the DC United game FC Dallas has scored 6 goals, and racked up a whopping 4 red cards within the same time frame. If Pareja is telling them to tackle hard, it needs to stop. If they're tackling too hard cause they're frustrated, then the discipline on this team is completely out of hand. Either way, we're building a reputation among refs that isn't exactly a healthy one and the manager really is the only one who can sort it out.
Ryan Hollingshead made a rare appearance that night, had some action but being a man down I really don't think he was able to make much of an impact. I'm glad to see Pareja has finally acknowledged the existence of our 2013 first round draft pick, but what does that say about Andres Escobar? Are we saving him for another match? Or just getting Ryan some minutes?
All of our shots were right at Busch. Literally all of them other than the Blas Perez goal. It was appalling to see us get a nice sight of goal then shoot it straight at Busch. I want to attribute it to tired legs, and the effort they showed was tremendous, but we need to give Busch a real test and I don't feel like we did this night.
You guys like Benitez, I can't stand him, am I just a mean fellah? Our tackling strategy needs to change, agreed? What is up with this team?! Do they like breaking my heart week after week?!!? Mauro can't be the only reason!