By Will Martin
After a month of May riddled in 2-1 defeats, yellow cards, red cards, and an inability to win and get points it appears FC Dallas may have turned a corner in their season.
Before an overflow crowd of 21,182 at Toyota Stadium on July 4 the Red For 90 kids had their only meeting of the season with the Philadelphia Union led by Sebastian Le Toux under sunny skies and 96 degree holiday heat.
Prior to this night FC Dallas had not won on July 4th since 2009. A 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls. New York was also in Texas this night by way of Houston.
Go back to last week and one of FC Dallas’ forwards, Tesho Akindele had two prime scoring opportunities to put away the Columbus Crew. That didn’t happen as each team drew to a point. Before the game Friday Tesho approached Coach Oscar Pareja and told him he’ll get redemption.
Isn’t that right Oscar?
“Sometimes we don’t notice how a rookie can come back from a performance like he had at Columbus,” Oscar Pareja said. “He knows that those chances are normally back of the net. He didn’t lose confidence. Today he looked in my eyes and said ‘I’ll get those goals back.’ That shows character and we trust him and he’s showing us that we were not wrong.”
FC Dallas indeed struck first in the 26th minute after a concise floater by Blas Perez found its way into the path of Tesho Akindele who promptly balsted a shot past Union goalie Zac MacMath.
17 minutes later Cristian Maidana would set up with a cross to Amobi Okugo who slipped a shot past Victor Ulloa and Chris Seitz to send the game into the break tied at 1-all.
About four minutes into the second half a flurry of volleys came to haunt Philadelphia when Fabinho tried to clear a pass out of the box only to hit teammate Sheanon Williams as the ball ricocheted past the Union.
Addition by subtraction-The MacMath didn’t add up for Philadelphia. a 2-1 lead was FC Dallas’ to keep even after the team suffered a scare.
In the 72nd minute goalie Chris Seitz went down after kicking the soccer ball into play. Preliminary thoughts were that he did something to his quadriceps muscle as he was stretchered off the field and El Matador Raul Fernandez finished out the match.
The Union showed a lack of discipline in the second half when yellow cards were assessed to both Conor Casey (65th minute: foul) and Sebastian Le Toux (68th minute: dissent). In the 89th minute a red was assessed to Maurice Edu after a hard foul was committed which gave the FCD a one man advantage.
FC Dallas now back to .500 while collecting three points in the ever tightening Western Conference (7-7-5).
Tesho Akindele was smiles after the match. How did it feel to score your second goal of the season?
“It felt great,” Akindele said. “As a striker you’ve got to believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, you’re not going to score. I had confidence in myself and it paid off.”
To score your first goal at home before a sellout crowd (the sixth largest in team history) was there any added pressure?
“It’s fantastic. I had a goal and assist away, so finally a home crowd you get to celebrate with some noise,” said Akindele “When you’re away, nobody’s cheering for you so it’s a lot better to score here.”
FC Dallas will now try to bring the noise as they continue their U.S. Open Cup play on July 9 in North Carolina. A quarterfinals matchup with the NASL Railhawks. Nothing would make FC Dallas happier than to win the Cup that bears Lamar Hunt’s name.
Next home game for FC Dallas will be on July 19 with the New England Revolution (7-7-2). Currently they sit in fourth place with 26 points, tied with Colorado and two points behind the second place squad from Real Salt Lake.
7/9 @Carolina Railhawks 6:30 p.m.