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FC Dallas vs Atlanta United: Highlights, stats and quote sheet

All the facts and comments from FC Dallas’ win over Atlanta.

FC Dallas added three more points to their season tally on Wednesday night in a 3-2 win over Atlanta United.

FC Dallas Head Coach Oscar Pareja

General thoughts on the match…

Today I felt the engagement and the commitment from our fans to motivate this group of players and the boys felt it too. They were all talking in the locker about how good the fans were today. So thank you to them. We would like to tell them that we will keep working to put your team where you want them. That’s what we can guarantee.

On beating the No. 1 team in the MLS standings…

We beat today the best team in the league. Without a doubt, I have my respect for Atlanta and what Tata [Martino] is doing there. It is very difficult to play against a group of players that are very talented and very crafty. They had a lot of sequences that were not easy to manage or control, but that’s what we did in the first half. We controlled their sequences. Our team was disciplined enough. We created chances, which give us the hope to be a team that can compete against anyone.

On the second half…

In the second half, I thought we gave away the ball too much. They had the initiative. We were down one goal. It was a different energy from the group to come up and push the game to tie the game and then to win it. I saw a different spirit today, which is a characteristic of this team, and it’s good to hear.

On tactics…

We came with a 4-2-3-1, which is something that we know. We wanted to neutralize the middle especially, have some options on the flank. I thought in the first half it worked well, but we were having some leaks on the left and that was that’s why we brought Kellyn [Acosta] in to balance that side out. And after that, while we were losing, we had just Tesho on the left and had two forwards and Mikey on the right and just two midfielders to have more volume there.

On how the team started the match…

We wanted to neutralize and then counter them—that was the initiative. But definitely, when the boys came—Tesho [Akindele] and Kellyn [Acosta]—that lifted us up. That, for me, was a big part of the game.

FC Dallas defender Reggie Cannon

General thoughts on the match…

What a game to come to on July 4. It was a great experience playing out there. It was probably the most intense game I’ve ever played. One of our subs ended up coming really through for us. We defended well, for those 80 minutes, but we had a couple of slip-ups. Josef Martinez, that guy is a hunter. He knows exactly where to be in the box but we put the goals away and we got win.

On getting the win…

It is one of the best feelings… to win. It was exciting to come back into the locker room. This is one of the best starts we have ever had. With 35 points in [17] games, it is amazing. We just have to keep pushing and we’ll be in for a really good postseason.

On getting two goals late…

It’s all about believing. We told each other that it was going to be rough out there. Atlanta is a very dynamic team. If you’re down, you need to keep going and believing. That is the morale of this team. [Roland] Lamah kept saying – go, keep on going, keep on believing.

On the play of the subs…

Just come in and change the game, that’s what Tesho did. All of the subs gave us some fresh air, some time to breathe on and off the ball. Tesho ended up putting those two goals away and it’s a good feeling.

FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele

Process of his second goal…

Ryan [Hollingshead] had the ball. I checked to it. He passed it to the inside and I knew it was going to Maxi. I knew he was going to be able to flick it on somehow so I just turned and took off. When I got the ball, I looked up to see if it was two-on-one, but it was just me kind of one-on-one so I went at the goal and finished it.

Thoughts on team’s atmosphere tonight…

It was a combination of things. One, I think we were playing well. Even though we were losing, this was one of the best games we’ve played all year. There was a lot of energy from everyone on the team. You see people like Maxi [Urruti]. He has played every game almost this season and he’s still running as hard as he can on every play. People like [Roland] Lamah, [Michael] Barrios and [Carlos] Gruezo. All of our players are still just giving it all they have and that energy is contagious. I try to come on and add to that.

Thoughts on coming on and making an impact…

[I tried to bring] energy mostly. I try to run offensively, defensively, and then you know they put me on the field to score at the end of the day, I just have to take my chances.