FC Dallas In The Fight For First!

Je-Vaughn Watson got FC Dallas on the board first against Real Salt Lake. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch
Je-Vaughn Watson got FC Dallas on the board first against Real Salt Lake. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By Will Martin

Go back one year ago when August arrived for FC Dallas. A proverbial wall that Schellas Hyndman and his FC Dallas team had hit. Getting a win was next to impossible. The great start from March and April all but forgotten. Lamar’s kids fell short of the playoffs and Schellas Hyndman decided to resign his position as coach.

The month of May was one that FC Dallas would have liked to have forgotten in between four games lost by the same 2-1 score. In that span the one loss that was tough to take was a 4-1 defeat to DC United to end the month of April in less than pristine conditions.

Since June 7 the Red For 90 crew have been as hot as the weather going 6-0-3 without a defeat and in the mix in the Western Conference of the MLS.

Friday night in 101 degree heat at Toyota Stadium FC Dallas had a match with first place Real Salt Lake. With a win the FCD would have a share of first place with Real Salt Lake and (in the event of a draw) the Seattle Sounders who have had their struggles of late.

In favor of FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake has found winning in Texas tough. Prior to Friday night’s match a collective record of 1-9-2 in North Texas.

A scoreless first half would end with FC Dallas having to play one man short after Blas Perez was given a red card after getting shoved by defender Chris Shuler. Having already received a yellow card in the 31st minute this meant ejection for Perez.

FC Dallas would get on the board first in the 50th minute when Michel cornered a kick that Je-Vaughn Watson would deflect with his chest into the net for an early 1-0 lead.

“It was an excellent effort from the team and the guys,” said Je-Vaughn Watson. “Because even when we were down to ten players, everyone was still pushing, still fighting because we know we are a good team and better than them. So we just kept fighting because we needed it more than them to go top of the league and we practiced hard all week so the effort paid off.”

The lead increased to 2-0 in the 74th minute when Tesho Akindele set up Fabian Castillo for a goal when rounding past defender Nat Borchers and aiming his kick toward the corner post out of the reach of goalie Nick Rimando.

Real Salt Lake pulled to 2-1 in stoppage time when Olmes Garcia connected on a bicycle kick off one FC Dallas defender and past Raul Fernandez.

Castillo’s goal marked 11 straight games that he has accrued a point or a goal. His game winner was the third of the 2014 campaign.

FC Dallas now enjoys a share of first place while making a claim for having the top honor in the Supporters Shield Standings.

Earlier in the day there was a groundbreaking ceremony in Frisco for the Dallas Cowboys and their future headquarters come 2016. Jerry Jones spoke about having ‘a bad case of Frisco fever!’ He picked a good day to have that fever with FC Dallas now in the hunt for first place in the West.

Congratulations also in order for Tesho Akindele. He was named the MLS Player Of The Week after a hat trick performance in a 5-0 win at San Jose one week ago.

At 12-7-6 FC Dallas now goes on the road beginning with the Chicago Fire on August 30 followed by a return match with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. September 13 the Vancouver Whitecaps return to Toyota Stadium for the next home match for Oscar Pareja’s group.

Upcoming Schedule
8/30   @Chicago Fire   7:30 pm