Another win in FC Dallas' back pocket and this one may have been one of the biggest yet. Here is how it happened.
DAL - Je-Vaughn Watson (Michel) 50
DAL - Fabian Castillo (Tesho Akindele, Michel) 74
RSL - Olmes Garcia (Sebastian Velasquez) 90+1
FC Dallas -Raul Fernandez, Jair Benitez (Kellyn Acosta 65), Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges, Je-Vaughn Watson, Fabian Castillo (Peter Luccin 80), Michel, Victor Ulloa, Andres Escobar (Ryan Hollingshead 70), Blas Perez, Tesho Akindele.
Substitutes Not Used: Richard Sanchez, Danny Garcia, Walter Cabrera, Brian Span.
Total Shots: 13 (Fabian Castillo 4) Shots on Goal: 5 (Fabian Castillo 2); Fouls: 13 (Michel 4); Offsides: 1 (Fabian Castillo 1); Corners: 3 (Michel 3); Saves: 4 (Raul Fernandez 4).
Real Salt Lake - Nick Rimando, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran, Chris Wingert (Olmes Garcia 57), Kyle Beckerman, Luis Gil, Luke Mulholland (Sebastian Velasquez 71), Ned Grabavoy, Joao Plata, Robbie Findley (Devon Sandoval 80).
Substitutes Not Used: Cole Grossman, Kenny Mansally, Jeff Attinella, Carlos Salcedo.
Total Shots: 18 (Robbie Findley 5); Shots on Goal: 5 (three players with one); Fouls: 5 (Chris Schuler 2); Offsides: 0; Corners: 5 (Joao Plata 5); Saves: 3 (Nick Rimando 3).
DAL - Blas Perez (caution) 31
DAL - Michel (caution) 33
RSL - Chris Schuler (caution) 45
DAL - Blas Perez (caution) 45
DAL - Blas Perez (ejection) 45
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Referee's Assistants: Eric Boria, James Conlee
Fourth Official: Armando Villarreal
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Clear, 97 degrees
FC Dallas head coach Oscar Paerja
On tonight's game...
This club has a new heart and they showed it tonight. This is the heart of this club and this is the heart of this organization. In regards to the game, it was a very intense game. I thought we played very well with 11. I thought we were controlling the game. We knew that Salt Lake has the tendency to have the ball in possession. We understood that sometimes it's fine that they have it against teams that have a lot of automatism and set sequences. Sometimes you have to pick your battles, and we know why we do that. We countered them in the first half three times to lead the game and I didn't see much of them during the first half in terms of the options. I'd say we played better than them in the first half. In the second half we were very smart - the team understands that tactically you can win these battles, even with 10 players. I have to give all the credit to the guys who were on the field. I don't know if you noticed, but the heart of the fans and the people who were in the building was laid down on the field. The guys took it and performed that way. I'm very proud.
Was this the most impressive win of the season?
Yes. So far we're good. We have 42 points, we're fighting for a spot on top. There are still a lot of games to come and this season is hard. We look on to the next one - to Chicago. Tonight we're happy. We're enjoying these points against a good rival with a lot of adversities, which reflect what has happened during the year.
On appealing red card...
Understand that referees are human beings who participate in this game, who make mistakes like coaches and like players do. That's the beauty of the game. We'll see what the reaction is from the club.
On playing with 10 men...
Playing with one man down is harder. The field becomes bigger and what you have set up on 75 yards is not easy. The plan stayed the same; we wanted to have some space with Fabian (Castillo) and Tesho (Akindele) and Andres (Escobar), and get them organized in the middle the way Victor (Ulloa) and Michel did today.
On Fabian's form...
He's committed. He understands what it takes to get to the next level. Now he's in a place where he has not been before and he is experiencing that. Now he's feeling it, and he understands that he will be the one to raise his own bar and keep going up. He's young. We forget that he's young - he's just 22. But Fabian has embraced this program and this project and that's great. It's a long way to go, it's a long journey. He knows.
On Blas' reputation working against him...
I think he has been stigmatized in the league and that's unfair. Blas - that's his heart and that's the way he plays. Sometimes that's not what's seen because the defenders don't like to have someone that's working as hard as he works. They normally just have people making diagonals and runs but Blas is working and fighting for the ball and using his body. Sometimes defenders don't like that and everyone starts talking about the things that are not beneficial to the game.
On team taking a top spot in the league...
We feel like we have a lot of responsibility now that we've started on this path. There are still many games, but simply put, we have a heavy responsibility.
FC Dallas midfielder Fabian Castillo
On playing for the Colombian National Team in the future...
There are a lot of forwards in Colombia who are playing well right now. I'm only concentrating on FC Dallas right now. I'm focused on helping my team here by scoring goals. I'm just trying to do things right and everything should work itself out on its own. I'm not working to leave. I'm working for FC Dallas and for this team to become a champion.
Is there one thing that you can attribute to the success you and the team has had this season?
Things are just falling right for me and for the team right now. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep playing at a high level. All the players on this team have contributed to our success equally.
FC Dallas midfielder Victor Ulloa
On the game...
Just a great result for us - obviously we're happy about the three points. The guys showed a lot of character. Getting that red card and playing a man down for a half is tough, but we knew we could still go forward. We threw our whole effort forward, and we got the first goal on that set piece. Then Fabian [Castillo] finished them off. Fabian is doing great. He's hot right now, and we get the three points.
On playing compact with Michel in the defensive midfield...
We've played a lot of games together now. We know what the coach wants and tactically, we're on the same page. Things are going right for us. [Salt Lake] had a lot of possession tonight but they weren't dangerous. We tried, when possible, to keep the ball in their half... We'll take it.
On playing against U.S. National Team midfielder Kyle Beckerman...
For me, it was a big deal. I watched a lot of video on him. Obviously, he went to the World Cup... He is a player that I look up to... He plays the same position as me. It was a test for me, today, to see how I matched up with him. I thought I did well.
Have you finally arrived as a professional?
I feel like I have seized my opportunity. I feel like I am a starter now. I feel like a professional and I am just really happy that I was able to take the opportunity when it came my way.
FC Dallas defender Je-Vaughn Watson
On playing against Real Salt Lake with 10 men in the second half...
We just sat back and let them play and tried to beat them on the counter. It takes a lot of hard work to defend with 10 men and they were moving the ball pretty well from side to side. They're a fit team too. They're no pushovers, but we knew from the beginning that this was going to be a hard game.
What was the mood like at halftime?
We were still upbeat. We were still coming off that 5-0 win. We were still on that high. In the first half, we were just going, going, going for the kill - the red card came, but we were just frustrated that we didn't score. When we came in coach talked about how we still had another half to play and that we needed to calm down. We weren't even thinking about being a man down in the second half. We were still banging at the door, banging at the door. When we scored the first goal we were saying ‘all right, now we're going to keep that clean sheet.' Then we got the second goal and that turned out to be very important. The halftime talk was a good talk because everyone looked at themselves and came out thinking ‘we have to win.'
On his goal...
We worked on that same play yesterday in practice. Matt [Hedges] ran across first and drew some attention. I just arrived at the right place at the right time. It was low and the only thing I could score with was my chest. I just directed it towards the goal. I was just in the right spot to score. Anything can happen, it doesn't matter what it hits off as long as it goes in... You could get a redirect, who knows. I'm just always hunting for a goal when I'm in the area.
On Fabian Castillo...
He is one of our best attacking options right now. He has been working hard on the training field. He comes to practice early. He does his work in the gym. It's his hard work paying off. With a good coach like Oscar [Pareja], who gives him the freedom to do whatever. That's why the team is doing so well. Everyone is happy. Everyone is comfortable. We're more than just a soccer team here. We're more like a family.