By Will Martin
We’re no longer in the month of May.
A month that Coach Oscar Pareja would just assume rather forget with four 2-1 defeats and an inability to buy a win much less a point.
Hello July, hello victory!
For the seventh straight game FC Dallas avoided defeat by way of a 2-0 defeat of the suddenly faltering New England Revolution (7-10-2 23 points) by a 2-0 score.
An argument might be made that the Revolution team that made the trek to Frisco, Texas July 19 bore an uncanny resemblance to the FC Dallas team that struggled in the month of May.
FC Dallas got their first goal of the night in the 29th minute when Andres Escobar took possession of the ball (moments after Tesho Akindele missed a goal scoring chance when his strike hit the top of the crossbar). Escobar’s goal was made as has he passed two Revolution defenders and was able to deflect his shot past goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
It was an unseasonably cool July night for a crowd of 15,551 as FC Dallas improved to 8-7-5 (29 points) and in the hunt for a playoff spot with two other teams vying for second place, trailing the Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference.
In the middle of a stretch of games that will keep the Red For 90 crew busy for the next month Wednesday night some of the rookies of the FCD will get a chance to play in an international friendly against Aston Villa. That will be an 8pm start time locally at Toyota Stadium.
August 12 will be a semi final matchup with the Philadelphia Union for the right to gain the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in Frisco while the Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire will battle in Tukwila, Wa. at a later date.
Postgame Coach Pareja was in very good spirits, beginning with the play of a healthy defender Zach Loyd.
“That’s the Zach Loyd that I know at his best. That’s the player that I knew and wanted last year to go to the club that I was coaching,” Pareja said. “At the beginning of this year, it took him a little while to get back to his level, but the Zach Loyd that I saw today was the one that was called to the national team. That’s the one that we want.”
Coach Pareja also content with the way his team keeps progressing.
“I thought tonight we raised the bar,” coach Oscar Pareja said. “It was great to see the discipline and the composure that the team showed. I was very pleased to see the team have a professional performance. Having a clean sheet today is huge for this group.”
As FC Dallas continues to get healthier and the roster gets deeper with youth and experience Zach Loyd also noticed how his team is progressing.
“I think the break for us was really good. We had a tough two months there with game after game and finally getting back to full health and fitness,” said Loyd. “The weather was nice and allowed me to run a little more and overall it’s just continuing to play and being healthy this year has been huge for me. Last year, I kept playing through injuries, so it’s nice to finally go into games feeling healthy, not thinking about my body just thinking about the game.”
Tesho Akindele has been steady of late with his play. He dismissed any thoughts of comparison to the Revolution being in a slump like his team was two months ago.
“Truthfully, we were playing well even when we were losing,” Akindele said. “Now things are just clicking a little more. We’re finishing the chances that we were missing. There’s not much difference in our play.”
It’s back on the road again for FC Dallas after Wednesday’s friendly for a Sunday night match in Vancouver.
7/23 vs Aston Villa 8:00 p.m. – Friendly Match
7/27 @ Vancouver 4:00 p.m.