FC Dallas played out a goal-filled 2-2 draw against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at Toyota Stadium. Tesho Akindele gave Dallas the lead shortly after coming off the bench before two well taken goals from Dom Dwyer threatened to give SKC a surprise win and end FCD’s long-standing unbeaten home run. It wasn’t to be, however, as Maximiliano Urruti popped up shortly afterwards to equalize and despite a few late chances for Dallas to win it, that’s how it finished in Frisco.
The result extends Dallas’ unbeaten home run to twenty-three games in all competitions since last August and keeps the team well placed to win the Supporters’ Shield after the big LA Galaxy-Colorado Rapids fixture this weekend also ended in a stalemate at one apiece.
Dallas managed to create fifteen scoring opportunities and, with some better finishing, could have ended the game with four or five goals to their name. The attacking performance was once again impressive, especially as the team was coming off a grueling encounter in midweek that went 120 minutes and only two changes were made to that lineup going into this one.
Keeping the unbeaten home streak intact was also a big positive as the team came as close to letting it go as they have done since it began last summer but managed to maintain it, even on their last legs following a tough week. It’s the ability to compete in adverse situations that has allowed the Toyota Stadium to grow into a fortress for the team and be recognized as one by visiting opponents within the league and, for as long as the team remains this competitive at home, cracking the code when it comes to ending this long run will be difficult for just about anyone who comes here.
Defensively the team had as many problems as it’s had all year long and were even fortunate to get away with just two conceded goals as SKC exposed the back line’s fallacies on the evening, in particular Dwyer. With some more incisive finishing in front of goal, or at least better defending at the back, SKC could have turned the point they got into three and few would argue against the merit of it, given how much Dallas seemed to struggle in an area where the team has improved a lot in recent months.
A big reason for the team’s problems at the back is very likely down to tiredness as Oscar Pareja fielded the same defensive four for the fifth game in a row and with most of them hardly getting any rest since late June because of a complicated, condensed schedule across three different competitions. With the MLS regular season going into its final stretch now and with two trips to Central America as well as a U.S. Open Cup final still to come, the importance of managing the squad and affording some more rest for some of the key players will grow bigger if Dallas is to remain fresh and not burnt out going into the final stage of a year that could prove to be historical for the club in terms of sporting success.
Dallas will now have the luxury of not having a midweek game for only the second week since mid-to-late June before heading to Utah on Saturday for a vital fixture against Real Salt Lake, the first of three consecutive away matches which includes a long distance trip to Nicaragua in the midst of it.