In a league where home teams win a large majority of the time, seeing FC Dallas pick up three points on the road this weekend was a nice way to start the back half of the season.
Typically we say you win your home games and find ways to grind out draws on the road. This was one of those games where FC Dallas had a lot going for them against the Montreal Impact. A defense that was playing fairly well, a midfield that was finding chances despite missing Mauro Diaz and an offense that actually looked like what we thought it might at the beginning of the season.
Patience paid off
Let’s be honest for a moment. Two goals from Cristian Colman were things we expected to say a lot this season but have had to wait until the end of July to do so in a league game. Yes, his finishing has been poor up until this very game, but I for one am happy to see it happen now and not earlier.
Why is that? Colman is a guy that has typically been in the right positions to score all along this season when he has been on the field but he’s been cold in front of the net. Now he’s gotten the monkey off his back and can relax in the games going forward in the part of the season where the club will need him to score the most.
If you think about it enough, getting Colman hot in July, August and September relieves some pressure on Maxi Urruti, Roland Lamah, Michael Barrios and Mauro Diaz. When one guy is hot, the others can play their roles a little more.
We’ve seen this a lot already this season with Lamah and Urruti going in and out of scoring spells too. Before Saturday, most around the league would say that Dallas needed one more guy to step up in the scoring in the second half of the season. Maybe Colman is finally going to be that guy to do it.
Injuries still a concern but not a total worry
I know not seeing Diaz or Walker Zimmerman in the lineup on Saturday was a concern for a lot of people. Zimmerman at least traveled and played the final moments of the match, which is good when you consider that Maynor Figueroa will be suspended for this weekend’s game against Vancouver on yellow cards (so will Hernan Grana).
Both guys were precautionary situations, which is something we should be very used to when it comes to Diaz. If you think about it though, while Diaz has played well since his return from Achilles tendon surgery, he still hasn’t been at 100%. Holding him out for a road game here and there before the final two months of the season isn’t the worst thing, especially if it is against a team that is weaker in the defense. This allows him to work through any remaining tightness or soreness that he has picked up.
VAR can’t come soon enough. It is tough to not get too upset over the first Colman goal that was called off because of an official that wasn’t in the right position to make the call. Still, next month when video replay comes to MLS, these sorts of things should sort themselves out. Let’s just hope it isn’t FCD on the other end next time around.
Games in hand. I love looking at the standings right now to see that FCD is at the top of the West with two games in hand over SKC and Houston, and then three on Portland. Winning this game on the road was a huge deal because of those extra games in hand. As long as FCD continues to make these games count, they’ll be in position yet again for another Supporters’ Shield crown.