Raul Fernandez made four huge saves in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Toronto FC, but none was bigger than his sprawling, fingertip denial of Darren O'Dea's flicked-on shot.
MLSSoccer.com has nominated this stop for Save of the Week so head on over and give Raul a vote(or ten)!
Letting a two-goal lead slip away with under ten minutes left makes for a long trip home no matter the opponent.
Still, despite coming away from Canada with the solitary point, Zach Loyd knows earning four points from consecutive road games against TFC and New England is an acceptable overall result.
"We come out [of the road trip] with four points, so from that perspective it was a great road trip," Loyd said after Saturday's game. "It was frustrating not to get the six points after being up two goals, but we are very happy to come away with four points. Now, we get two home games where we hope to win both of them and stay at the top of the table."
Before Justin Braun's 85th minute header ended the defensive shutout streak at 272 minutes, the Dallas defense held TFC to just three speculative shots on goal, but unfortunately all that will be remembered is the two late strikes from the home side.
"We got a two goal lead, but we kind of took our foot off the pedal and started sitting in and tried to kill the game instead of continuing to play," said Loyd. "We took a lot of pressure in the last 30 minutes and I tip my hat to Toronto, they were down two goals and they showed a lot of resilience to come back and get two goals."
With LA - a team known for late goals - coming to town on Saturday night, late-game defense will certainly be a focus this week as Dallas looks for three points on Saturday to widen their first-place lead in the Western Conference.
"Going forward with leads we need to not take our foot off the pedal and keep possession," said Loyd.
Full match highlights from Saturday's 2-2 draw between FCD and Toronto FC
CROSSBAR: Andrew Jacobson pings one off the crossbar on a dipping effort from 30 yards out
GOAL: Andrew Jacobson finishes a free kick from Michel for his second goal of the season to give FCD a first-half advantage
GOAL: Blas Perez blasts home a long cross from Jackson to double Dallas' advantage in the 59th minute
GOAL: Second half substitute Justin Braun scores off a Dallas miscommunication to pull TFC within a goal
SAVE: Raul Fernandez gets a fingertip on Darren O'Dea's flick to preserve the FCD lead
WIDE: Fabian Castillo just misses restoring the two-goal Dallas advantage after a long run
GOAL: Darrel Russel hits an incredible shot in the 90th minute to steal a point for Toronto FC
FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper will be making an appearance at the Rally House next Thursday, April 11. Cooper will be there from 5-7 p.m. and will be accompanied by the FC Dallas Promo Girls. There will be various giveaways, including a four (4) person field-side table for Saturday's game against Los Angeles and autographed cards signed by Kenny Cooper. The Rally House is located off Alpha Road and the Dallas North Tollway, just north of the Galleria.
On Thursday, Dan Hunt joined the FC Dallas Facebook page for his weekly chat with the fans about anything and everything related to FCD. Among the topics discussed include third jerseys, Ajax, and Dan's favorite cold beverage(when he's away from the Budweiser Beer Garden, of course).
Click here to replay the full chat and start thinking of your question for Dan in next week's chat!
The NCAA March Madness tournament comes to a close on Monday, so now's the perfect time to check the standings of the FC Dallas Bracket Challenge and see who's got the best shot at winning our awesome prizes. The Final Four will play on Saturday and the championship game will take place on Monday night, so we'll be contacting and announcing our top three winners on Tuesday.
Overall top 10:
1) Thorsr's Bracket (80 points)
2) Jesse's Nice Bracket (78 points)
3) Big C's Bracket (77 points)
3) Shelby's Genius Bracket (77 points)
3) Thorjr3 (77 points)
6) Phil's Third (76 points)
6) Anthony's Agreeable Bracket (76 points)
6) Lloyd's Majestic Bracket (76 points)
9) Mario Valadez's Cool Bracket (74 points)
9) Full Court Press (74 points)
As you can see, it's a tight race at the moment, so be sure to check in on your bracket after the next round to see if you have a shot at one of our great prizes. We'll leave you with the rankings of each of the FC Dallas players who joined our Bracket Challenge. Take a look at where they landed among our 283 entries:
43) Jonathan Top's 2013 Bracket (66 points)
99) Zach Loyd's 2013 Bracket (61 points)
142) Chris Seitz's 2013 Bracket (56 points)
169) Bradlee Baladez's 2013 Bracket (53 points)
169) Walker Zimmerman's 2013 Bracket (53 points)
174) Kyle Zobeck's 2013 Bracket (52 points)
233) Bobby Warshaw's 2013 Bracket (43 points)
242) George John's 2013 Bracket (41 points)
Congratulations go out to FC Dallas midfielder Andrew Jacobson who was named to MLSSoccer.com's Team of the Week for week five. It's the first time Jacobson, who was named man of the match in the MLSSoccer.com game recap, has made the Team of the Week while FCD goalkeeper Raul Fernandez also appears on the bench this week. Read Nicholas Rosano's comments on Jacobson's game as well as some numbers behind his performance below:
Bench: Raúl Fernández (FC Dallas), Todd Dunivant (LA Galaxy), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Boniek García (Houston Dynamo), Eric Avila (Chivas USA), Tony Cascio (Colorado Rapids), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy)
MF: Andrew Jacobson (FC Dallas) – Was immense in the middle of the park as Dallas snatched a late 1-0 win on the road against New England. Shut down nearly everything the Revolution attempted to create through the midfield, allowing the FCD attackers more comfort going forward.
The OPTA Chalkboard numbers from Saturday's game certainly justify Rosano's comments. Jacobson truly was a force in the midfield at New England, logging 79 actions - his most of any game this season - while completing a team-high six headers. His passing game was on point as well, completing a season-high 37 passes with just seven unsuccessful passes for a successful passing ratio of 84% - also a season-best.
Do you think MLSSoccer.com got this one right? Should any other FC Dallas players have been included after the big road win?
After making five saves in FC Dallas' shutout win over the New England Revolution on Saturday, Peruvian goalkeeper Raul Fernandez was ranked number one in the Castrol Index Weekly Top 20 for Week 5. Fernandez becomes the first FC Dallas player to claim the Index's top ranking in 2013.
Captain David Ferreira also made it into the Top 10 this week, as he landed at number nine on the list.
Castrol Index Week 5 Top 20 Performers
|1||Raúl Fernández||Goalkeeper||FC Dallas||90||New England Revolution||1,443|
|2||Mike Magee||Midfielder||Los Angeles Galaxy||90||Toronto FC||1,430|
|3||Robbie Findley||Forward||Real Salt Lake||14||Seattle Sounders FC||1,162|
|4||Eric Avila||Midfielder||Chivas USA||90||Vancouver Whitecaps||1,144|
|5||Devon Sandoval||Forward||Real Salt Lake||90||Seattle Sounders FC||1,101|
|6||Will Johnson||Midfielder||Portland Timbers||90||Colorado Rapids||1,001|
|7||Will Bruin||Forward||Houston Dynamo||82||San Jose Earthquakes||965|
|8||Tally Hall||Goalkeeper||Houston Dynamo||90||San Jose Earthquakes||960|
|9||David Ferreira||Midfielder||FC Dallas||90||New England Revolution||929|
|10||Jon Busch||Goalkeeper||San Jose Earthquakes||90||Houston Dynamo||919|
You can see the full Castrol Index Weekly Top 20 list from Week 5 here.
Tuesday, April 9, FC Dallas will be holding a special training session open to the public at Southern Methodist University's Westcott Field. The session will take place from 5-7 p.m.
The team's practice session will run from 5-6:30, and the last 30 minutes will be dedicated to an autograph session with the players.
The training session will be led by former longtime SMU Men's Soccer coach Schellas Hyndman and attended by former SMU student-athletes Ramon Nunez and Ugo Ihemelu, in addition to the rest of the FC Dallas professional team.
The event will also feature the FC Dallas Promo Girls and team drumline FCDrum, and the club will be providing attendees with free shirts (above, right) and CiCi's pizza (*while supplies last).
PARKING DIRECTIONS: Please note, parking spots are limited on the SMU campus. Fans may park in the Binkley Ave. garage directly north of Westcott Field for a charge of $1.00/HR. Fans should exit at Mockingbird Lane (whether traveling via US-75 or the Dallas North Tollway) toward SMU, turn north on Bishop Blvd and right on Binkley Ave. Please see directions below arriving from Mockingbird Lane.
David Ferreira is in the running for MLSsoccer.com's Top 3 Performers of the Month for his output through five games in March.
The FC Dallas captain scored a goal or an assist in four of FCD's first five matches. Ferreira's lone goal came in the club's only loss of the season, 3-1, to Chivas USA.
El Torito also set up FCD's game-winning goals against the Colorado Rapids and New England Revolution, with his third assist of the month coming on Dallas' second goal in a 3-2 win over the Houston Dynamo.
You can vote for Ferriera to be one of the Top 3 Performers of the Month here.