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FC Dallas picks the right time to come alive offensively
For the first time in the regular season, FC Dallas found the back of the net four times.
FC Dallas was consistent for the last two months, but not in a good way. Their attack would create chances but not finish them; the defense would be stout enough but would also still give up a bad goal. They’d either give up a lead and end a match level or have to climb back in a game to secure a point.
Still, they didn’t lose a game during the last two months.
Going into Saturday night against the LA Galaxy, FC Dallas had to win in order to punch their ticket into the MLS Cup Playoffs instead of continuing to play down in quality against a team that was already eliminated from playoff contention. FC Dallas put together their most emphatic result to date by scoring four goals in the first half against the league’s worst defense.
“It was now or never,” said midfielder Paxton Pomykal following the game. “We’d created a lot of opportunities in front of goal the past few games but didn’t put away our chances early. When you can do that to a team that’s already out of the playoffs, the second and third come easier. I thought that we did really well off the ball today; we were hungry, and the result reflected that.”
For the first time this season, FC Dallas scored four first-half goals to help push their unbeaten run to nine games (2W 7D) as they head into the playoffs.
“Well, I think the first chance we had, we scored, and this gives the team confidence,” explained head coach Nico Estevez. “I think the chances were very clear, as we all also had in some of those games that we couldn't score a second goal.”
FC Dallas came with a game plan that worked well against the Galaxy by pressuring along the wings with Bernard Kamungo’s early brace before he was subbed off with an injury before halftime. Kamungo was fresh off a couple of assists in his United States U-23 national team debut last week as he continues to add to his amazing story with his first career brace with FC Dallas.
"He shows his character and mentality as a person and a player," said Estevez when asked about Kamungo’s performance. "He doesn't care about the opponent. He doesn't care about the situation of the game. He just goes outside and competes, and that's the best way that he can do it."
FC Dallas will now get a bit of rest as they begin to prepare for their Round One series against the Seattle Sounders next weekend. Both meetings this season with the Sounders ended in 1-1 draws. With a Best-of-three series that has to have winners in each match, it is likely going to be a tightly-contested affair that will add to the history in the playoffs between the two squads.
“It just has to be a classic Dallas-Seattle matchup. It’s going to be a good one, like it always is,” said Pomykal. “We’re looking forward to going up there and competing. We know the environment that they have, we know the quality of team that they are–they finished second for a reason. We’ll need to have a complete performance.”