Orlando City's performance was, to put it in the most perfect way, toothless. The kittens were largely inefficient in front of another fantastic crowd at the Citrus Bowl. Without their leader, Kaka, Orlando City SC struggled mightily to get any sort of flow in this match. FC Dallas bossed the midfield, got the better chances, and were fortunate that Carlos Rivas did not breathe some life back in the match by doing his best impression of Sergio Ramos and sending the penalty kick awarded to the home team to outer space. Mauro Diaz converted on a penalty kick earned by Fabian Castillo in the first half with authority and a lovely team move led to David Texeira (!!!) finding the back of the net for the second time this season.
Finally, Texeira was able to grab that nasty monkey, throw it off his back, and hopefully leave it in Florida, ending his nasty drought with his first goal since the "Demolition of the Dynamo" in the Armpit. I understand that the striker's main purpose is to put the sphere into the rectangular shaped target at the ends of the large green rectangle. However, I really like the movement and pressure that David has been demonstrating in his last few outings. When the game-plan is not one that renders him invisible, he has been adequate as a Blas replacement. I really hope that this goal gives him the confidence he needs in order to continue to bag some goals for this team. Depending on only Blas Perez for scoring goals up top would be foolish.
Can it be? Was Diaz on the road finally going to emulate "the Magician" at home we all love cheering on at Toyota Stadium? The answer is yes and boy was it a pleasant sight for my sore road eyes. Diaz was splendid, commanding the game, sending beautiful through balls right and left, and leaving no chance for the keeper on the penalty kick conversion in the first half. The game plan (and home matches) have helped FC Dallas maximize their Diaz touches and I only hope that Mauro continues to maintain this level of confidence and match attentiveness weekly, regardless of where the fixture is being played. Mauro performing well sets the stage for others like Michael Barrios and Texeira to perform well. When he is pulling the strings, anybody on the offensive side of the ball is a threat at any given moment.
Three shutouts in a row is an exemplary achievement for the Hoops. Dan Kennedy has been protecting the net in style, but it is no secret that a large reason for that impressive feat is the return of Matt Hedges to the lineup. The FC Dallas Captain has been exceptional over the last three games calming the back line with his presence and the play of the full backs has been a joy to behold. Whether Je-Vaughn Watson, Atiba Harris, Ryan Hollingshead, Moises Hernandez, or even Kellyn Acosta, the gents have been playing spectacular, suffocating defense in league play over the last three matches. Hopefully, they can keep it up as you always have a better chance to emerge victorious when you are not allowing any goals (captain obvious, I know).
Carlos Rivas' penalty was pretty spectacular. Can we agree on that?
Luke Boden's red card to the noggin of Alejandro Zendejas was pretty dangerous. I do not think it was a malicious cock and swing at the teenager, but the elbow was high and the second caution/red card was the right decision. It always makes me anxious when someone takes a shot to the head, and I am glad he was okay.
Does Texeira have a shot at being productive for this team or has the ship sailed on the Uruguayan?
Do you think Diaz performs worse on the road than he does at home?
Given the current roster makeup, which player is more important to the starting lineup, Victor Ulloa or Matt Hedges?