We have plenty to get to in the next couple of days with Tuesday's USOC semifinal here in town. Up first is a look at the highlights,stats and quotes from Saturday's win over Colorado.
DAL - Matt Hedges 9
DAL - Michel (PK) 11
DAL - Fabian Castillo 56
COL - Gabriel Torres (PK) 86
FC Dallas -Raul Fernandez, Zach Loyd, Walker Zimmerman, Matt Hedges, Je-Vaughn Watson, Michel, Victor Ulloa, Fabian Castillo (Adam Moffat 60), Mauro Diaz (Blas Perez 54), Andres Escobar, Tesho Akindele (David Texeira 75).
Substitutes Not Used: Richard Sanchez, Stephen Keel, Ryan Hollingshead, Peter Luccin.
Total Shots: 7 (Seven players with one shot) Shots on Goal: 4 (Four players with one SOG); Fouls: 12 (Michel, Tesho Akindele 4); Offsides: 2 (Tesho Akindele, David Texeira 1); Corners: 1 (Michel 1); Saves: 4 (Raul Fernandez 4).
Colorado Rapids - Clint Irwin, Christopher Klute, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Marc Burch, Jose Mari, Nick LaBrocca, Dillon Powers, Vicente Sanchez (Dillon Serna 77), Carlos Alvarez (Gabriel Torres 69), Deshorn Brown (Edson Buddle 66).
Substitutes Not Used: Thomas Piermayr, John Berner, Kamani Hill, Jared Watts.
Total Shots: 24 (Carlos Alverez 5); Shots on Goal: 5 (Five players with one SOG); Fouls: 17 (Jose Mari 4); Offsides: 1 (Dillon Powers 1); Corners: 7 (Dillon Powers 4); Saves: 1 (Clint Irwin 1).
COL - Nick LaBrocca (caution) 43
COL - Edson Buddle (caution) 70
DAL - Adam Moffat (caution) 70
COL - Jose Mari (caution) 73
DAL - Tesho Akindele (caution) 74
DAL - Michel (caution) 87
Referee: Carlos Rivero
Referee's Assistants: Kevin Klinger, Eduardo Mariscal
Fourth Official: Ismail Elfath
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Cloudy, 97 degrees
FC Dallas Head coach Oscar Pareja
Overall thoughts on the game...
First of all, I'm very happy with the result. We knew that tonight was a six-point game. It really wasn't a cliché; it was a six-pointer against a team that is fighting for the position. We're happy for it. Our job as coaches is to analyze the game, to know how we won those points. I have said all year that I want to make sure my players know how they lose, tie or win. Tonight's not going to be an exception. Despite the joy and the urgency to keep moving forward, we want to walk away knowing what we did well today and what needs to get better.
This was one of those games where we gave the ball away way too much and I didn't like that. At the same time I saw a team that is growing immensely. Now they know how to win the games that they need to win and they're getting that job done. It's exciting.
Today they came up sharp with two goals in the first half, but after that we gave the ball away and too much territory to Colorado. I was a bit uncomfortable, but it seems like we're learning to be comfortable with that level of pressure and counterattack. We're all evolving.
Our players played well. They scored three goals, but they could have scored a couple more and we need a lot of efficiency going forward. Now we are the team with the most goals, and I have to be proud of that.
On Selecting Attacking Substitutes...
Fortunately, we have the guys coming back from the nursery. That's great because we had the opportunity to rest Blas tonight and we gave him a break with Texeira. It shows that we're deep in that position and we want to keep having those options up front. Our team knew that the transition could bring us a couple more goals and we didn't want to sit back and wait for them.
Mauro Diaz's Improvement...
He's getting there. Today was a big hurdle for him because I was bringing him from the bench and he's doing progressively well. Today he needed to give me at least 60 minutes from the start. Finding the game from the beginning, trying to find the rhythm and I thought that mission was accomplished with him.
We all want to see the Mauro who played the first five, six games in the season. I know he wanted that too. Soccer is a tremendous sport and you have to be fine - everything has to be coordinated and Mauro is finding his way. I was very pleased to have him in from the beginning and to get the three points. He was a very big part of the victory tonight.
On Zach Loyd...
Zach's natural position is right back. He shows us that he can do a tremendous job in the center and he is a good candidate to be a starter for any team in the league for his physicality, his vertical jump, his anticipation. He has all the things to do it in the center position.
Zach has found the game already and he is a tremendous team player for us. We can say tonight that we have a tremendous defender.
Upcoming Match Against Philadelphia...
They have been getting confidence with some results. As I've said, respect the next opponent as the last one, try to beat them. We work towards the results and what we can control. That's the way we see Philadelphia honestly. It's going to be a difficult match for sure.
FC Dallas midfielder Michel
What did you see on FC Dallas's first goal, when you delivered the initial cross to Walker Zimmerman?
It happened very fast. I saw the run from Walker [Zimmerman] and I was able to put a good cross in to him. I was pretty far up the field for a corner kick, higher than I am normally. I'm glad that I was able to give him a good pass and that we were able to get the first goal like that. We were able to keep our heads up and close out the game. We can always get better though so we'll keep moving along step by step.
On changing the point of attack often against Colorado...
Colorado has a good team. They're tough through the middle with a lot of players of quality in that area. We worked hard. We gave it our all in the middle to match them. We tried to change the point of attack often tonight. That was a point of emphasis for us and we were able to score two goals that way. Getting two goals early was equally as important also.
On his part in FC Dallas' third goal...
There was good movement in the middle from Tesho [Akindele]. Blas [Perez] was in there as well. I saw the runs and I tried to give him the best cross I could and the ball got deflected. Fortunately, Fabian [Castillo] was in a good spot and was able to score another beautiful goal.
On his team-leading seventh goal of the season...
This is the most goals I have ever scored in one season... The most I had ever scored before this was six. I am glad. I'll continue to work hard and try to do well for this team. I love this team. I feel so comfortable here. I hope to be with FC Dallas for a long time.
FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman
General thoughts on the match...
Coming into this game we understood that things could change a lot in the Western Conference based on the outcome of this match. We knew we needed three points and we were able to take care of business.
On dealing with Deshorn Brown...
We decided before the game to play him two-on-one with me and [Matt] Hedges... We always played one defender with a lot of depth and the other one right on him. It actually became fairly easy for us to contain his movements like that.
On coming back to play in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal on Tuesday...
It's a must-win game for us. The U.S. Open Cup means a lot to the club. Lamar Hunt's name being on the trophy makes it very significant. We're all up for it. We want to be champions this year. The chance to host the final here is massive - two home games separate us from winning that championship. Everyone is fired up. We know it's going to take a lot of work but we're ready.
FC Dallas defender Zach Loyd
General thoughts on the match...
We came out and got an early goal. Right from the whistle, we showed up to play. Great result, we're on a great run right now. Now, we'll turn our attention to Tuesday night.
On playing three different positions in the last three weeks...
I've been moved around a lot since I've been here. I am able to do it. It really helps having guys around me that communicate well, wherever I am playing. Overall, I just want to be on the field and help the team out in any way possible. Tonight, we got a great result, so I'm happy about that.
On going up two goals early...
We felt fine dealing with the pressure from Colorado. If you've been watching us play the past few weeks, we've kind of dropped and focused on the counterattack. When we went up 2-0, we really dropped the line and concentrated on keeping the shutout. Unfortunately, we gave up a late goal, but overall, offensively and defensively, we played pretty well tonight.
On his involvement on the third goal...
We talked about changing the point of attack before this game. The guys did a great job of getting the ball over to me. I played it back to Michel, Michel played a great cross in and Fabian [Castillo] started on my side of the field but then went back to the opposite flank. We've been watching Colorado shift their entire team from one side to the other on video all week. So switching the point of attack left them wide open and it was a great finish by Fabian.
On being able to host the final with a win on Tuesday...
It's huge. I've been here five years and I haven't won a trophy so there is a lot on the line Tuesday night. Especially, with it being the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, it means a bit more to this club than others. We're really looking forward to it and we cannot wait to get out there Tuesday night.