There was no blown late lead, no last-gasp equalizer surrendered by a defense that had already given up two leads. Against the Red Bulls, FC Dallas scored in the first minute and played mistake-free soccer the rest of the match.
SBI Correspondent Casey Corcoran took in the action at Pizza Hut Park and shared his take on the Hoops’ first win of the season:
The attack rolls, the defense holds firm and the Hoops finally win
By Casey Corcoran
Many things were working for FC Dallas this past weekend, some key injuries to the New York Red Bulls, some superstitious omens, and some good old fashioned home field advantage.
The Red Bulls fielded a starting eleven without the likes of Jeff Parke, Juan Pablo Ãngel, Hunter Freeman, and Zach Thorton. The Red Bulls lineup was an injury depleted mash up of players trying to play in a different formation than normal and a completely patched together back four. It was all there for the taking for FCD, especially at home in a league where home field leads to a much higher winning percentage.
Also adding to FCD’s chances where some interesting superstitious omens, some intangibles if you will. Just a couple days before Saturday, Dallas had one of the most successful days in sports fan history.
You may read and think to yourself, what does this have to do with soccer? Well, a small foray into some fandom psychology helps shine some brighter light on this here writer. On the same day, the metroplex had the baseball Texas Rangers win two of two games, the hockey Dallas Stars win 4-0 in their playoff opener, and the basketball Dallas Mavericks win their 50th game of the season and secure a playoff spot. Not soccer related, but man will it boost ones morale when it comes to a little optimism.
Needless to say, spirits were high for the FC Dallas supporters in Pizza Hut Park. From the opening minute, all the omens and, more importantly, the issues with personnel New York had, produced a goal for FCD. Arturo Alvarez delivered a wonderful header off a lofted ball from Andre Rocha to immediately give the home side a one to nil advantage.
Halfway through the first half Alvarez again broke through completely unmarked for a breakaway. The left footed Alvarez waited far too long and right footed in to the keeper. Not to rain on the FCD parade, but this is exactly what the team has issues with. I’m not a statistician, but I’m willing to bet that missed opportunities contribute to that nagging issue of dropping points.
Later, in the 66th, Adrian Serioux sent a long ball towards Kenny Cooper, who expertly finished. Nearly the same situation as Alvarez before, viewers could see the right and wrong ways to beat a keeper one on one. Just like the two previous FCD games, the last fourth of the match turned in to a “baton down the hatches and counter attack” mentality. Luckily, Mr. Ãngel was injured. FCD wins 2-0.
There are still similarities between this team and previous teams. It seems early each season FCD picks up points from opponents without really living up to their potential. So far, everyone is sticking to plan. Differently, though, are this team’s attacking teeth. If they manage to put together a string of solid play and finishing chances, things will look very brightly for FC Dallas (and its fans of course).