Sporting Kansas City are the new kids on the block when it comes to the Western Conference in MLS. Having been in the considerably weaker Eastern Conference for many years, SKC were faced with their first test against a fellow Western Conference opponent on the young season. The outcome? Not as good as Vermes and Co. had hoped. Let's examine the positives and negatives for FC Dallas' second straight victory.
The beautiful attacking play on display at Toyota Stadium against Sporting Kansas City drastically contrasted with the home opener against the San Jose Earthquakes. Both SKC and FC Dallas came into this match knowing that three points were there for the taking. The differences between the teams were FC Dallas' clinical finishing and the offensive fluidity for the Hoops, being able to create chance after chance and really testing the depleted SKC back line. Blas Perez continues to be spectacular for this team, never quitting on any play and finishing his chances (even if one was offside). Castillo is dynamic, Hollingshead looks so good, and Tesho had a much better game against Kansas City than he did against the Earthquakes.
Also, home-cooking continues to be stellar for FC Dallas as this team always goes into matches at home knowing that three points are expected of them by their manager and their crowd.
Closing out the first half was not a positive for FC Dallas on a night with quite a few positives. Looking on from the East Sideline, I could not help but notice that the playing field was tilted towards Seitz's goal during the last 15 minutes or so before the halftime whistle and Espinoza made the defense pay. You could see the goal coming from a mile away as Roger Espinoza was able to dribble to the top of the penalty area and strike a shot with little-to-no resistance from the FC Dallas defense. Terrible time to give up a goal, and good on FC Dallas to respond the way it did, but discipline needs to be addressed for that specific situation. Goals before the half can completely change the momentum of a match and the Hoops are lucky that it did not come back to haunt them as the sloppiness continued in the beginning of the second half.
Contrary to some peoples' views, I thought Mauro Diaz had a decent game. That is why I think Diaz reacted poorly to his early substitution from the match. It sickens me seeing one of our best players not in the best place right now and I hope Pareja addresses this soon. His body language was very negative as he walked towards the sideline and there was one report that Diaz even blew off the handshake from Oscar Pareja. Either way, something needs to be done for Diaz to know where his place is on this team. Is it as a super-sub or a starter? Where will he have the biggest impact?His unhappiness of late could have a negative impact on this team and Diaz's performances and that is the last thing we want for this team. Pareja is great with youngsters and managing egos. I feel like he needs to work some of his magic in order to return Mauro to his wizardry and glory among the league's best.
Atiba Harris has two yellow cards in two matches this season. I hope this is not a norm that it set for the remainder of the season.
Terrible sportsmanship by Sporting Kansas City in the second half when Blas Perez seemed to be hit by a flailing hand by Peter Vermes' bench. Blas went down rather easily and Chris Seitz pointed to him multiple times before throwing the ball out. Vermes then proceeded to get in the ear of his player taking the throw in and telling him not to throw the ball back to FC Dallas, which is the sportsmanlike thing to do in that situation. Regardless of whether or not you think the player is flopping, the keeper had possession of the ball and threw it out of bounds. Give it back next time and do not be THAT team. Definitely a Houston thing to do.
Glad to be back, gang. I will try to squeeze this in on weeks I am not as busy.
Comments, concerns, questions? I have one for you.
Who do you think is the better start right now for Pareja, Hollingshead or Diaz?