Hey, want to know something?
Come closer I need to whisper it to you because it is kind of a secret.
FC Dallas are a pretty good soccer team.
Yes after years of being lost in the shuffle among the rest of the Western Conference it appears that FC Dallas are now getting the plaudits that they deserve. Although they did make the playoffs last season, it seems that yesterday’s 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union has sparked the nations interest in coach Oscar Pareja’s side.
There are a couple of reasons why yesterday’s match seems to sparking the interest of the soccer public in FC Dallas. The first is of course that the match was shown on UNiMas and available to a national audience. Aside from the playoffs last year, Dallas were on ESPN, NBC, or Univision four times last season. Unless one lives in Texas that is hardly enough of an opportunity to actually see what type of team FC Dallas has.
The other reason would be of course that the club has not been particularly good in recent years. Prior to last season’s fourth-place finish (16 wins-12 losses, 4 draws) the club had not made the playoffs in two years. Considering how many teams make the playoffs in MLS that should say something about how deep the club was into rebuilding.
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Since that last playoff appearance, FC Dallas have spent a considerable among of resources into their Youth Academy structure and into scouting young South American players. That effort was on full display Saturday as the club won on goals by Tesho Akindele (49th minute) and Ryan Hollingshead (59th minute).
Both Akindele and Hollingshead were originally draft picks of the club back in 2014 and 2012, respectively. Thirteen of FC Dallas’ twenty-three man roster were either picked up by the club in the MLS SuperDraft or are Homegrown Players/Generation Adidas players.
Dallas was also led by the play of midfielder Fabian Castillo. Castillo a 22-year old left midfielder who came to the club in 2011, galvanized the Dallas attack after Philadelphia Union midfielder Zach Pffefer was sent off in the 49th minute due to a reckless elbow. He used his speed to force a conservative Union defense out of their shell thus giving space for Dallas’ forwards to work the inside of the pitch. It was also his shot in the 59th minute that hit the cross-bar and gave Hollingshead the chance to head home the second goal.
If FC Dallas (3-0-0, 9 points) are to continue their winning ways in 2015 they will need to gain more consistency from their defense. The Union nearly gained the early advantage when forward Fernando Aristeguieta broke free of Dallas right-back Atiba Harris and broke for goal. His shot just narrowly missed the far corner. Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz did an excellent job at controlling the tempo of the match but he needs assistance from center-backs Matt Hedges and Zach Loyd in organizing some of Dallas’ young players.
If this was FC Dallas’ coming out party they certainly did not disappoint. Although they are a young club still going through growing pains, they shown enough early on that this will be a club that no one will want to face come playoff time.