By Will Martin
What has indeed been a wet holiday weekend in North Texas would not dampen the spirits of those who make the trek north to Frisco on this night for another match of soccer with FC Dallas (7-2-3) and the Earthquakes of San Jose (3-4-6).
Although the heavy rains that fell earlier in the day were reduced to just game time drizzle it looked as if footing and swirling winds might make for an interesting evening.
FC Dallas wanted to erase the losing schneid after an embarrassing 4-2 defeat in Seattle to the Sounders.
At home the FCD have been just about perfect with a 6-0-1 record. Raul Fernandez at the goal has been beyond consistent.
With so much attention given to familiarity it would be a youngster making his first career start that would be the conduit to a victory. Using his head and his heart Walker Zimmerman would be the penultimate reason that FC Dallas would continue their winning ways at home with a decisive 1-0 victory, sending 15,063 fans home wet and happy.
Following a cross from Qauker striker Justin Morrow it was Walker Zimmerman who headed a pass directly to David Fereirra. Fereirra would then run the ball a good 35-40 yards before dishing off to Fabian Castillo who would nail a bender of a goal past Jon Busch for the only score of the game in the 33rd minute.
The win effectively ended the six game streak in which the Earthquakes (3-5-6) defeated or tied FC Dallas (8-2-3). It also improved Dallas’ home record in 2013 to 7-0-1. Equally telling is how the team of Schellas Hyndman performs when George John is on the field. 457 consecutive scoreless minutes since a Brad Davis score back on St. Patrick’s Day by the Houston Dynamo.
Possessions in the second half favored San Jose yet Raul Fernandez-still not 100 percent with an ankle tweak-was a perfect six for six with shot stops. The stop made on Chrs Wondolowski in the 81st minute you had to see to believe!
Even with all the extra strikers thrown at Raul Fernandez he improved his season save total to 45. FC Dallas successfully gathered three more points to maintain a five point cushion on the Portland Timbers (27-22) and must now prepare for a road trip to Florida to play the Strikers of Ft. Lauderdale in US Gold Cup match play.
Also of concern to FC Dallas fans is the condition of Kenny Cooper after a hard hit and slide out of bounds in which Coop lay prone for a while before being helped off the field. Worst case scenario more play time for Eric Hassli and Walker Zimmerman. Not necessarily a bad thing!
June will see the FCD on the road for all but 1 game. Sporting KC will visit Frisco on June 22nd before a July 4th holiday match with Chivas USA. Here’s to more home cooking and points.
Good luck on the road trip and Gold Cup qualifying.