By Will Martin
In case you were thinking the Dallas Mavericks were the only thing happening last weekend in San Antonio guess again! There was a little matter of one final exhibition game to be played by FC Dallas prior to getting ready for the start of the 2014 season on March 8th with the Montreal Impact.
It was a sellout crowd at Toyota Field in San Antonio for a friendly with FC Dallas and the Scorpions. With a large contingent of fans making the trek from North Texas and with Chris Seitz handling the goalie duties the crowd was treated to some incredible defensive stops and some near makes of shots.
This would be a scoreless affair until a few minutes out of the first half when the pride of Plano, Kellyn Acosta, would handle a well placed Michel cross for a textbook header past the Scorpion goalie for a 1-0 lead.
Minute 50 we almost saw the lead get doubled when Blas Perez looked to have the perfect angle to head another goal across Scorpion lines, only to have it go a little bit wide.
If this is an omen of things to come then bring on 2014. FC Dallas applied pressure seemingly all evening to the home opponent. Another scoring opportunity from a Fabian Castillo pass to Andrew Jacobson looked to be set in the right piece and the right place, only to have the Scorpion goalie lay a paw on the kick and have it deflect off the post.
The score remained 1-0 until late in the match. FC Dallas was mere minutes away from walking out with a convincing shutout before one time Vancouver defender Greg Janicki took a free kick and deposited it past Chris Seitz for a 1-1 tie when all was said and done.
Still, Coach Oscar Pareja was thrilled with the amount of fans who made the trip for the game in San Antonio. The whole FC Dallas team walked over to address and thank the fans for coming out.
“That was the highlight of the game, I thought,” said Pareja. “Our players and our whole staff couldn’t believe how many of our fans were here. I was excited to see such a large group. It was good to enjoy this night, not just with the San Antonio community, but also with our fans. That was awesome.”
Coach Pareja also had a special message to convey to the Scorpion group and its city.
“I want to thank the San Antonio organization for the great attention they gave us, the hospitality and the atmosphere of the game,” said FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja. “The fans made us feel today that it was an MLS atmosphere, and it was a very good way for us to wrap up the preseason.”
Fans of FC Dallas soccer now have one week of events to get all fired up prior to Opening Day. While taking Monday off before getting back into a week of practice starting Tuesday at 10am at Toyota Field Coach Pareja was asked for one final comment about this final preseason test, if you will.
“The Scorpions were a great opponent for us, but now we need to start thinking about Montreal,” said Pareja. “I feel like we’re ready to go and that’s encouraging. Now we just need the games to come.”
Saturday night March 8th at 7:30 pm CST in Frisco. Soccer season is back! I for one cannot wait. Bring it!