FC Dallas welcome Mauro Diaz and Hendry Thomas back to the bench after their mid-season surgeries and we should ecstatic to have them back.
Tesho Akindele was active from the start, but his first real chance came in the 5th minute when he flew down the right touchline, cut in, and fired a shot but it could only roll into the hands of Zac MacMath.
FCD earn their 5th corner in just the 9th minute, but the lack of quality service from Andres Escobar fails to put pressure on the Union defense.
Zach Loyd put some moves on Danny Cruz before crossing into Blas Perez who could only head wide of the goal 19 minutes into the match.
The moment of magic came in the 26th minute. Tesho Akindele knew he had to make up for the sitters he missed against Columbus and that he does. Blas Perez chipped in a ball, similar to ones made by Di Maria and Michael Bradley, leaving Tesho to volley it into the back of the net. Absolutely brilliant goal.
Victor Ulloa makes one of his only mistakes of the year as he lost his mark as Cristián Maidana put in a ball on the ground for Amobi Okugo who easily tapped the ball into the back of the net. 1-1 in the 43rd minute.
Quick Halftime Recap:
FC Dallas were clearly the stronger of the two sides throughout the majority of the first half, but when FCD scored they decided to sit back and get into halftime with a 1-0 lead. That didn't work for them as Philadelphia knew they had to up their tempo and notched a goal themselves a few minutes before half.
FCD came out looking to attack again in the second half and it immediately paid off as some nice one touch football led to Fabinho knocking the ball off of Sheanon Williams and into the back of Zac MacMath's goal giving FCD the 2-1 lead.
Hendry Thomas entered the match in the 68th minute after missing 7 games due to an injury and surgery and FCD fans around the stadium let him know how much we had missed him.
Chris Seitz immediately went to the ground clutching his hamstring on his right leg after taking a goalkick. This is a freak injury, but I know everyone is just praying he will be fine and it isn't anything too serious. In the meantime, Raul Fernandez enters the match in the 73rd minute to replace him.
Mauro Diaz entered the match in the 78th minute for Andres Escobar after missing the last 10 matches. Unfortunately for the game itself, I think this was the highlight of the match. The stadium went crazy to see the magic man return to the fold and his presence was felt immediately.
Mauro Diaz made a long pass that only Mauro Diaz could make as he floated in a ball past the defense for Je-Vaughn Watson, but Watson couldn't get the touch he needed and MacMath Caught it with ease with only 10 minutes left to play.
Maurice Edu endangered the safety of Blas Perez and earned himself a red card in the 89th minute of the match. I don't think it was anything intentional, but the way MLS and PRO are instructing their refs to give cards, this is a definite red. Two footed with studs showing, no question about it.
There weren't any great chances from this point on, but you could see what Diaz brought to the field for FCD as he would seemingly create something out of nothing every time he touched the ball. If you haven't seen him play before, get your butt into Toyota Stadium and see this kid play.
Quick Match Recap:
FC Dallas were easily the more dominant of the teams. Philly didn't really create any great chances other than their goal so it wasn't a tough task for Dallas on the day. The real storylines were the returns of Mauro Diaz and Hendry Thomas and the unfortunate injury for Chris Seitz.
My Thoughts on the Match:
Seitz... Ugh... He's in the best form of his career (probably) and to go down that like? It's a tough one to take for sure.
On another note... DIAZ AND THOMAS ARE BACK!!!! Time to rejoice FCD fans!
FCD answered my question of how they will cope without Fabian Castillo. Escobar has been a revelation and Tesho Akindele... I'm sorry I doubted your finishing ability last week as that goal was stunning.
Moffat and Ulloa didn't have great games; both had silly turnovers, but both also had some good tackles and distribution. Average games from both for me.
Moises Hernandez and Zach Loyd both had solid games handling their business without doing anything too flashy (other than that one nasty move by Loyd on Cruz.)
Escobar again showed to be an important piece for FCD without Castillo and Diaz on the field.
Diaz was better than most of the players on the field and he only played 12 minutes.
Perez again has a solid game without scoring. His holdup play is second to none in MLS and that pass to Tesho!? World Class.
The defense as a team was fantastic tonight. Rarely gave up any chances for Philly to exploit and if not for the silly mistake from Ulloa they have their third shutout.
Questions this match created:
1) We now have Diaz, Thomas, Castillo, Escobar, Perez, Ulloa and Akindele to play above our back 4 as our starters. Unfortunately that's 7 players with only 6 spots to fill; who do you believe doesn't make the cut, and what formation do you put the team in?
2) Does FC Dallas have to sign a keeper after just selling Sanchez if Seitz has a longterm injury? (No one really knows if Gonzalez is ready to be a backup.)
3) Unbeaten in 6 is FC Dallas back to their early season form, or is this due to an easy schedule?