FC Dallas visited the Philadelphia Union in a delayed collision between two undefeated teams (albeit in different ways) and from the get-go both teams threatened to take command of the match early. Seitz was forced into action with a massive kick save and Akindele had a tap-in slide between his legs and harmlessly out for a throw in. Both sides pinned their ears back and went after it, but one decision changed the match and was too much to overcome. Silly Philly, points are for the Hoops!
FC Dallas exemplified the "killer instinct" we all hoped they would exhibit being up a man on the road in a tie game to take the three points handily even though Blas Perez did not have his best night. Lots of credit should go to Pareja whose insertion of Ryan Hollingshead for Michel really showed the team that he was wanting them to go for all three points. Papi was rewarded with another stellar effort by Ryan Hollingshead who continues to chomp at the heels of the starters showing his coaches that he wants to be in the Starting XI week in and week out.
Mauro Diaz also seemed to respond well to last week's speculation having his best game of the season in my opinion. Mauro was all over the place earning his side the man advantage after taking one for the team straight in the noggin. Diaz controlled the ball well and picked out the right pass all afternoon. He missed a couple of scoring chances that I expect him to bury, but it was still a great outing for Mauro.
Tesho scored his first goal of the season in Tesho-like fashion. That means the goal was a result of pure hustle and determination and a testament to the type of game Akindele plays on a weekly basis. As my friend and colleague, Mr. Jason Poon, noted on Twitter, Tesho Akindele has been holding up play very well and playing strong in the last couple of games.
Castillo is an absolute torment for any player he faces in any game he plays. He truly believes he can "shake and bake" his way past any player in the league and boy is it fun to watch.
The shutout earns a mention here even if I think they were fortunate to receive the man-advantage when they were given it as I do not think it ends that way if it stayed 11 v 11.
The way Philadelphia attacked the FC Dallas defense in the first half was cause for some concern as they were able to break down the back line a few times and should have had at least one goal in the first 35 minutes of the match. There were times when the defense looked a bit hesitant to win the ball and had to be bailed out by Seitz. A shutout is good (last year I do not think they complete this match with a shutout so progress!), but one of those chances gets finished early and we are looking at an entirely different game. We need them to be more decisive out of the back. Once that happens, watch out.
Mauro and Fabian Castillo were in on goal many times in the second half and really should have had at least one goal. The decision making in the end was not the best from Fabi, but the encouraging signs of their dynamic domination are there.
A flying elbow that Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson would be proud of by Pfeffer put his teammates in a tough situation right before the half. Contrary to the "People's Elbow" though, this one had the fans booing instead of cheering. Credit to the young man (regardless of some of the heckling that was being done by some of our #DTID brothers) for taking to Twitter and apologizing saying, "no intention what so ever," and I believe him. He made a mistake in the situation and paid for it, but the elbow was absolutely nasty and deserves to be looked at by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for a potential for more games to be added to the suspension. While I know Pfeffer did not exactly go into the situation wanting to hurt Diaz, he still kept his elbows much higher than they needed to be and was late on the challenge.
Snow delays stink, y'all. I felt lied to all day Friday, but I guess that is what you get from Philadelphia. Have fun there, Demarco.
Thoughts, comments, questions, concerns? Let's talk!
Is it time for Oscar Pareja to start only one of the two central midfielders, Michel and Ulloa? If yes, who do you replace them with and what formation do you roll out?