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FC Dallas vs Real Salt Lake: What we learned

FC Dallas finally showed what their offense could do.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at FC Dallas Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night for FC Dallas was historic to say the least. Not only did we see the fastest hat trick in club history, the youngest goal scorer in club history but we also got a much needed win for a team that was started to look questionable at times.

Anytime you get a six goal outburst in a game, things went your way. And for FC Dallas, they certainly did against Real Salt Lake.

Coming out party

In a small way this was a coming out party for two players: Roland Lamah and Jesus Ferreira. Both scored big time goals and likely got a massive shot of confidence along the way.

For Lamah, the goals were coming at some point for him but I never expected them to come quite like they did. His first was almost a fluke like his goal in Chicago but it was a matter of being Jonny-on-the-spot and putting away the chance. But the other two goals showed me much more that I’ve wanted to see out of the club’s most expensive player.

Lamah not only took care of the hat trick in the opening 31 minutes but he did so in style. Look at the touch and composure in the second goal.

Lamah wouldn’t have done that two weeks ago, maybe not even last week. His confidence is now there to put his chances away and make the most of the great passing that he has out of the midfield (and defense...Atiba Harris gets a good amount of credit for setting up that play).

Ferreira’s goal was equally as huge as he was able to shake off a tough moment from when he came on to allow Kyle Beckerman’s goal on a corner kick. In my book, it was jitters and poor positioning for a young player against a gritty veteran that lead to that goal, but Ferreira redeemed himself in the biggest way possible.

Atiba-Maynor combo

Our weekly Chalkboard covered this a good bit but it was the one thing that stayed on my mind after the game during the press conference with Oscar Pareja. Just how good were Harris and Maynor Figueroa this week as the new center back duo? While there were two quick goals given up, overall, the entire night they looked pretty comfortable back there together.

Harris for one didn’t have a lot to do in terms of actual defending. I credit a lot of that to Carlos Gruezo and Victor Ulloa. The two of them cover so much space in the midfield and it tends to lend itself to easier defending in the back.

The big thing for me was their distribution out of the back. Both had some iffy passes at times but they kept things in front of them and found ways to open up a RSL defense that looked possibly as bad as I’ve ever seen a MLS defense to look.

The big test will be this coming weekend for Harris as Figueroa moves on to national team duty with Honduras. I would imagine we’ll get a Harris-Walker Hume partnership, which could be tough to watch on the turf in Portland.

Other thoughts

Finally playing to expected level. Normally we see this group play a bit down to their competition at times but this was a great example of this team finally playing to their expected abilities, even without three key players (Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman and Kellyn Acosta).

Diaz is already looking good. There were two, maybe three, really good moments from Mauro Diaz that made you think that he’s not that far away from really being himself again. There is the fitness side of things that he still has a ways to go but the touch and IQ on the field is always there.

Barrios quietly looked dominant. The three assists on the stat sheet will likely go unnoticed to some but Michael Barrios arguably had his best game in a Dallas uniform on Saturday for me. His ability to read the defense and find his fellow attackers was something we haven’t seen from him. I want more of that in games to come.