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FC Dallas locks up third place in the Western Conference with a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City

Paul Arriola scores his first goal in a couple of months as he found the game-winner.

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The turnaround is complete for Nico Estevez and FC Dallas as they wrapped up the regular season with a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City.

Last year, FC Dallas was third-worst in the Western Conference with 33 points and this season saw FC Dallas improve by 20 points to finish third.

FC Dallas wasted no time finding the back of the net in this one as Paul Arriola scored his tenth of the season in the sixth minute. But a video review determined that Arriola was just a foot offside on the through ball from Sebastian Lletget.

Thirty minutes later FC Dallas managed to find the back of the net for real as Jesus Ferreira found Lletget open at the top of the penalty box. The veteran fired a shot on goal that deflected off a Sporting defender and into the back of the net.

Sporting tied it up right after halftime as Graham Zusi came into the penalty box unmarked and fired a shot off an Erik Thommy pass.

FC Dallas regained the lead in the 65th minute as Arriola officially scored his 10th goal of the season as Facundo Quignon picked off a pass in the midfield and played a long through ball to Alan Velasco. The Argentine playmaker sped into the penalty box and found a cutting run from Arriola who easily slotted home the go-ahead goal.

Instant Reaction: This was one of the results you wanted to see this team get before the playoffs begin. There was some worry that they would back into the playoffs after picking up a draw in San Jose and then a loss in Colorado before this game. But the energy was there from the start in this one and it showed up and down the pitch today. Having Alan Velasco return was key but so was having Arriola back from his suspension. The only bummer on the day was that Ferreira didn’t get the single season goal record.

Man of the match: Arriola hands down showed how much the club lacked his energy last weekend in Colorado.

What’s next for FC Dallas: The first round of the playoffs kicks off next weekend as FC Dallas will take on Minnesota United at Toyota Stadium.