It does not happen often, but FC Dallas matched the weather on Saturday night with a dominant 4-1 victory over the disliked Portland Timbers. Blazing with speed, finishing skill, and composure, the Hoops were able to deliver happiness and fond memories to the fans drenched in body fluids. The Timbers had no chance in this one, with Michael Barrios bagging a brace in the first half. Add in a perfectly struck, well-timed (Portland had been pressing a little at the beginning of the second half) effort by Kellyn Acosta and the penalty kick by Diaz in the second half and that spells one of my favorite words, 'V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!"
Michael Barrios finally had his breakout (regular season) match and it was a dandy. Looking like a man on a mission, Barrios came out flying on the right side of the attack and, for the first time this season, really calmed the nerves of the fans who have been calling for a high-flying right midfielder opposite Fabian Castillo to do damage. Barrios took his goals well (even if the second one was deflected) and really was a terror for the Timbers back line all night. As he continues to get comfortable in this offense, it starts to look even deeper and scarier as Tesho Akindele is coming off the bench and playing the super-sub role nowadays. Wonderful match from Barrios. I hope this is the first of many to come for the Colombian.
I did not think I could be happier for Kellyn Acosta more than I was last week when his hard work was rewarded with a good finish against the Capitol. Fast forward to Saturday night and I proved myself wrong. Acosta shook a defender off, bent the ball with his weak foot, and Larsen Kwarasay had absolutely no chance. It was the second goal in two weeks for the recently turned 20-year old. The midfield pairing of Acosta and Vcitor Ulloa has been turning heads around the league and rightfully so. The two HGs have been playing spectacularly and seem to have an understanding between them that we have not seen in the center of the field for a long time in Dallas. I hope they can keep it up and it really makes you wonder where Ezequiel Cirigliano will fit with this team and who he will be taking playing time away from.
The defensive unit was spectacular on Saturday night with Portland's only real chance coming in second half stoppage time when the game was already put to bed. Atiba Harris and Ryan Hollingshead continue to impress on the wings of the back line while Matt Hedges and Zach Loyd dominated the Portland Timbers attack. Trying to remember, Dan Kennedy had a few moments when he had to come out and snag crosses but that is about it. The biggest threat on goal was Diego Valeri's attempt in the first half after Ryan was stripped of the ball by Darlington Nagbe. Otherwise, another fantastic effort from a makeshift back line which comes to show you that versatility is a gift that this team is blessed with.
Sitting on the "East Sideline" for this one was absolutely brutal. There was no breeze, the humidity was intense, and the water is so expensive. I am glad FC Dallas was en fuego otherwise this one would have been really difficult to get through. I hope nobody else felt sick for sitting in the heat for that long. Imagine if the matches were still kicking off during the day like MLS used to do in the past.
How do you think Oscar manages getting Cirigliano into the lineup without ruining what he has with Ulloa and Kellyn?