FC Dallas played Vancouver Whitecaps FC to one of the most up-and-down matches of the 2014 season to date. Started off horribly, recovered well, and held on for a hard-earned result at the end. It was a game that saw it all. Beautiful team play, through balls, handballs, penalty kicks, and big saves. Let's examine this match using the basic SSJN scale (if your mind went to Super Saiyan, we can be friends).
I was one of those people who was indifferent about Zach Loyd returning to this team in the last off-season. I wanted to see Kellyn Acosta get the playing time and I had a hard time seeing how he fit in to this team. Zach has proven me wrong. He has returned to the form that resulted in his USMNT call-up a couple of years ago. The biggest noticeable difference in confidence is the fact that he is being effective and contributing to the attack on the right flank more often. Exhibit A? How about the run he made into the box without fear to get on the end of a Moises Hernandez cross that led to the Hoops' first goal.
This is a rejuvenated Zach Loyd and that is music to FC Dallas fans' ears. I am interested to see how he pushes Kellyn Acosta to fight for his starting right back spot when he gets back. Will we see a change in playing position for Kellyn or Zach? Will Moises get pushed to the bench for Zach Loyd to play on the left side? We can worry about all of these questions when Kellyn Acosta is back and 100% healthy. For now, enjoy this Zach Loyd. He is playing at the top of his game.
For the better part of 30 minutes, the Whitecaps were freezing the entire FC Dallas formation. In a very important match, the team lacked passion and was punished by the speed and aggression of Mattocks and Vancouver early in the match. To be fair, FC Dallas finally melted their shell and took the lead before the half but I still think it took much too long for the team to fight back, especially since Mattocks had a couple of chances to send his team up 3-0 in the first half. For this team to make the playoffs, it has to get off to quicker starts than this one.
The Just Nasty
The fact that the foot was kind of taken off the pedal in the second half did not help in trying to take the three points. You have to believe the team was content with the draw when all things were said and done, but the defensive breakdowns towards the end of the match are things that need to be tinkered with. Were it not for the heroics of Superman, Raul Fernandez, this team would have fallen on the road in a big match. This team has found its' offensive groove with Super Teshton up top, but the defense continues to have a couple "ugh" moments per game. This was a better performance, but Raul's net should not be subject to a barrage of bombs from the Whitecaps during the most critical moments of the match.
BONUS: VERY NASTY
Cotton Bowl Cracks
Security failed miserably as at least two dozen people took the field in front of the reigning world club football champions. The game was not very entertaining, but the ending was even worse. Two things made me angry on the night. 1) the fact that fans love it so much when people are able to evade security and make it on the field. 2) people like to generalize based on stupid decisions made by these "fans'. If I wanted to be a condescending person, I could have made 2109 generalizations based off of stereotypes from events that took place during last night's (very bizarre) match. Let's all be wiser than that and call them out for their stupidity (jumping on the field) and not their heritage or ethnic backgrounds.
We can all agree on one thing. What on earth were the security officers thinking/doing? The fact that these fans made it back to their seats unharmed and were allowed to finish the match in itself is a testament to how much the forces were lacking in authority last night.
As always, let me have it if you disagree with me.