We talked about it all week leading up to the match. While the offensive electricity of guys like Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo make the headlines, FCD was going to have problems against Chivas USA if they couldn't slow down one of the hottest players in the league, Mauro Rosales.
On Saturday night, FC Dallas was able to shut down Rosales and it's perhaps the least talked about but most important aspect of the 3-1 win that sees FCD go top of the Western Conference.
Before we look at Saturday's match, let's take a quick look back to see just how good Rosales was through his first two games.
In the opening match of the season against Chicago, Rosales was by far the best player on the field and had two assists in the match, but even more than that, the Argentine absolutely peppered the Chicago box throughout the match with cross after cross as evidenced by his OPTA passing chart from the game.
As you can see, 29 successful passes, 26 unsuccessful passes, 7 successful crosses, 14 unsuccessful crosses. That means Rosales sent in TWENTY ONE CROSSES in that game. They didn't all work, but that's pretty scary. Everything is into the box whether it worked or not which is not what you want if you're an opposing defense. In total, Rosales had 141 actions in that match, by far the most of any player on the field.
Now let's take a look at his game against Vancouver where Rosales had the lone assist of the match.
Same song, different verse. Despite being down to 10 men for most of the match, Rosales completed 52 passes, the most of anyone on Chivas USA. While he didn't have quite as high a number of crosses, it's undeniable to see his impact on the match given the stats and passing grid above. Rosales had 151 actions in the match, by far the most of anyone on the pitch and one of the highest numbers you'll see in an MLS game this season.
Now for the good stuff, let's see how Dallas handled Rosales on Saturday night.
Those dots are fewer and farther between aren't they? FCD limited Rosales to 26 completed passes but just as important he only had 15 unsuccessful passes combining for 41 total passes attempted compared to 53 against Chicago and 69 against Vancouver. Rosales had 95 total OPTA actions against FCD which, while it was still the most on Chivas USA, was far, far fewer than he's had in his previous two games this season. Long story short, the numbers show that Rosales had a 30-40% lower impact on Saturday's game.
Also, it's subtile but if you look at the heat maps in each of the three games, you can see how Mauro's actions were a good 10-15 yards closer to the midfield line than against Chicago or Vancouver. The plays he was making were farther from the goal, vastly limiting his impact on the match.
Finally, another key aspect to limiting Rosales was the set piece numbers. Against Chicago, Rosales and Chivas USA had 10 corner kicks, scoring the game-winning goal from a Rosales corner kick late in the match. It was a similar story in their draw against Vancouver with six corners to the Whitecaps' zero. On Saturday, FCD limited Chivas USA to only three corner kicks and commited just five fouls in their own half of the field for the whole match and did not foul Chivas USA once in their attacking third until the 61st minute of the match.
If you want to stop Chivas USA's offense, you limit Mauro Rosales' touches in the attacking third and don't give him an opportunity to beat you on set pieces. FC Dallas did just that on Saturday night and earned an impressive three points.
Here's Oscar's ten-minute post-Chivas USA press conference audio:
It's home match #2 at Toyota Stadium on Saturday night as FC Dallas hosts Chivas USA pres. by Novo Nordisk in the first Western Conference matchup of the season for FCD. Here are the 10 things you need to know before coming to Toyota Stadium tomorrow night:
1. Get there early to enjoy Lamar's Tailgate with DJ Spin of The LHK spinning up until our Lamar Hunt Scarfing ceremony where Chris Clarke of FC Dallas Youth will be our honorary scarfer in celebration of FC Dallas Youth night. Gates open at 6:00PM for the 7:30PM kickoff.
2. Saturday night marks the first time two Colombians will coach against each other as good friends Oscar Pareja and Wilmer Cabrera's sides battle.
3. Don't miss Seth Savage Band playing in the El Jimador Cantina in the northwest corner of Toyota Stadium.
4. If you don't have tickets yet and you live around downtown or 635, why not take a ride on the FCD Express? You can get a round trip bus ride + ticket for $25 or just a round trip ride for $10.
5. For FC Dallas, Saturday's game represents a chance to go 2-0-1 and stay at the top of the Western Conference with a win. Hear Hedges, Keel & Pareja give their thoughts on the match with our Quick Kicks.
7. Mother nature isn't being terribly kind to us again though temperatures will be much warmer than the last game. There's about a 30% chance of rain, though chances are supposed to go down by the evening so keep your fingers crossed, but bring a jacket.
8. If you can't make it to tonight's game, the broadcast is on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel 148/MLS Direct Kick/MLS Live as well as 100.7FM in english and 1270AM in spanish.
9. FC Dallas has only lost two of 13 MLS matches against Chivas USA at Toyota Stadium. You can find other interesting tidbits in our official match preview.
10. If you don't have your tickets yet, what are you waiting for? Buy them here.
We caught up with defenders Matt Hedges & Stephen Keel as well as coach Oscar Pareja to talk Saturday's game with our weekly Quick Kicks:
It's the second home game of the season on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium and FC Dallas is taking on a suddenly potent Chivas USA squad. Scott Brown and I break down the goats in our Toyota Keys to the Match:
Here are the best pictures from FCD's 1-1 draw at Sporting KC on Saturday night
A little late on this news, but we're now less than a month away from Dallas Cup and the FC Dallas U18's are back in the Gordon Jago Super Group for 2014. Having been placed in a group with 2013 Super Group champions Fulham FC, Brazilian powerhouse Coritiba and 2013 non-Super Group champions IF Brommapojkarna from Sweden, they've certainly got a tough group that will be a great test for Luchi Gonzalez's men.
To add a little extra spice to things, FC Dallas will open the tournament stadium games at the historic Cotton Bowl as they'll battle Fulham FC at 12:30PM on Sunday, April 13 in the first Cotton Bowl game of the week.
FCD could potentially play more games at the Cotton Bowl depending on if their game gets flexed to the Wednesday night games or if they make the semifinals/finals of the tournament.
In all, there will be nearly a dozen FC Dallas affiliated teams in Dallas Cup XXXV with the full schedule coming out soon.
Gordon Jago Super Group:
Group A: FC Dallas(USA), Fulham FC(ENG), IF Brommapojkarna(SWE), Coritiba FC(BRA)
Group B: Anderlecht(BEL), Fluminense(BRA), CD Guadalajara(MEX), LA Galaxy(USA),
Group C: River Plate(ARG), Entracht Frankfurt(GER), UANL Tigres(MEX), US U-20 National Team(USA)
Dr Pepper Dallas Cup Cotton Bowl Stadium Schedule
Sunday – April 13
12:30pm Fulham FC (ENG) vs. FC Dallas U18 Academy (USA)
3:00pm CD Guadalajara “Chivas” (MEX) vs. Fluminense (BRA)
5:00pm Welcome World Opening Ceremonies
6:30pm U20 National Team (USA) vs. River Plate (ARG)
Wednesday – April 16
5:00pm Gordon Jago Super Group games to be determined
7:30pm Gordon Jago Super Group games to be determined
Friday – April 18
5:00pm Super Group Semi-Final
7:30pm Super Group Semi-Final
Saturday – April 19
10:00am U13 Championship Match
12:30pm U14 Championship Match
3:00pm U15 Championship Match
5:30pm U16 Championship Match
Sunday – April 20
9:30am U17 Championship Match
12:30pm Super 17s Championship
3:00pm U19 Championship Match
6:00pm Gordon Jago Super Group Championship Match
Earlier this afternoon, Chris Seitz took to Twitter to ask you guys whether he should keep the beard or shave it?
Here at Toyota Stadium, we're partial to a little #FearTheBeard action, but what do you guys think?
Shave it? Keep it? Let us know in the poll!
P.S. In case you didn't know, Seitz has been pretty much awesome so far this season and currently sits tied for second in saves in MLS.
Today at Toyota Stadium, we had the chance for our media session with new forward David Texeira getting his headshot, signature move, name that tune & starting XI videos and graphics done.
We were all very impressed with Texeira(pronounced Tex-eh-ruh), who actually speaks very good English and will no-doubt become a fan favorite very quickly in Frisco.
You may see him very soon on the field as well with head coach Oscar Pareja hinting that he might make the trip to Sporting Kansas City this weekend.
It's just about time for our first Budweiser Party at the Pubs Watch Party of 2014! Join us this Saturday at Varsity Club Frisco a few miles west of the stadium on Main Street in Frisco as FC Dallas battles defending champions Sporting KC at 7:30PM.
Like last year, if you attend all eight of our Party at the Pubs in 2014, you'll be entered to win two 2015 Budweiser Beer Garden tickets and as with every watching party, we'll have lots of great FCD gear to give away.
Bring your friends, RSVP on Facebook and come out to the first watching party of 2014 on Saturday night in Frisco at Varsity Club!