The secret is beginning to get out. Mauro Diaz is really, really good. Matt Doyle and Dan Haiek break down what makes him so great in a special edition of MLSsoccer.com's Scouting Report:
Here are all the best shots from Saturday's game vs Chivas USA:
The accolades are rolling in for FC Dallas players after Saturday's 3-1 win over Chivas USA. For the second time this season and second home game in a row, Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo were named to the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week.
They had this to say about the FCD players:
MF: Fabián Castillo (FC Dallas) – Rampaged through Chivas USA’s soft middle during the first half, and started the scoring by linking up well with his teammates.
MF: Mauro Díaz (FC Dallas) – The young DP bounced back from a quiet performance last week with another strong game, showing he can set teammates up on dead balls as well as the run of play.
Maybe we could've gotten Je-Vaughn Watson at least on the bench for his performance, but we won't complain about getting two players on the list.
The ProSoccerTalk guys also had Fabian and Mauro in their best XI adding a deserved inclusion for Jair Benitez who did a great job with Mauro Rosales on Saturday night.
Jair Benítez, FC Dallas – What was supposed to be a matchup between him and Chivas USA right midfielder Mauro Rosales never materialized. Instead, Benítez used the space he was afforded to have an impact going forward, especially as Dallas turned up the heat in the second half.
Winning is fun.
EDIT: Our $10 link has expired but we've seen such great success that we're opening it up at the gates! Show up to the Toyota Stadium box office tomorrow with your student ID and you can score a $10 endline ticket while supplies last!
Attention college students! Saturday night at Toyota Stadium is college night and we're offering a great discount for you to watch first-place FC Dallas take on the Portland Timbers.
College students can score $10 endline tickets for Saturday night's game as first-place and undefeated FC Dallas battles Western Conference rival Portland Timbers in what should be another heart-stopping game at Toyota Stadium.
Students with a valid ID can purchase $10 endline tickets while supplies last by showing your student ID at the north box office.
All tickets previously purchased through the link will be at north box office will call and can be picked up with a valid student ID!
When you're in first place, everyone wants to chat with you and head coach Oscar Pareja joined the MLSsoccer.com guys yesterday for an interview on ExtraTime Radio. There's some great info in here from Oscar talking about the team, Academy, players like David Texeira and much more.
They kick the show off with some FCD talk and Oscar hops on about 5 minutes in.
More greatness taking a final look back at Saturday's win over Chivas USA:
Here's the highlights from yesterday's 2-0 Reserve League win over Chivas USA. Click here for the full recap.
EDIT: Castillo currently leads voting with only one day left! Get those votes in for Fabian!
For the second week out of three, FC Dallas is nominated for AT&T MLS Goal of the Week!
This week, it's Fabian Castillo's 71st-minute strike to give FC Dallas the lead in their 3-1 victory over Chivas USA. With the goal, Castillo has already equaled his goal output for 2013 and looks set for his biggest year yet in 2014.
WATCH: GOTW Week 3
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.
Multimedia Manager Aaron Griffin brings you The Final Word on Saturday's big win with great goals and post-game comments from Pareja & Hedges: