Offensive firepower leads FC Dallas to Lamar Hunt US Open Cup victory in Carolina
FC Dallas took a page out of Germany’s book on Wednesday night.
Oscar Pareja’s men ran their unbeaten streak to seven games in all competitions with a five-goal offensive explosion that saw FC Dallas end the Carolina Railhawks’ 23-match home unbeaten streak in a 5-2 win that sees FCD through to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup semifinals.
“I thought our boys did a great job covering a lot of ground in a game that was dependent on our transition,” Pareja said after the match. “I have to recognize that the whole team did an excellent job in that plan.”
When you score five goals, there are plenty of accolades to go around, but it was Blas Perez who notched the third hat trick in FC Dallas Open Cup history with three trademark finishes to lead FCD to victory.
“I’m happy first of all for the win because it was what the team was looking for and the goals give me a lot of confidence going forward with the games ahead,” said Perez. “When you work hard the goals are going to come. The most important thing if I can’t score is to always put in the work.”
The aforementioned Perez tallied a hat trick on the night while Fabian Castillo continued his red-hot form with a goal and two assists. In addition, Mauro Diaz found the back of the net for his first time since returning from two months out sending a message to MLS that FCD could be an offensive force to be reckoned with as the second half of the season continues.
“We have great chemistry and you see that on the field. That’s what it’s about having good chemistry and good team bonding,” said Perez through a translator. “Great things are coming for this club if we keep working hard. I have a lot of faith in God that we have a great team.”
The name of the game for FCD on Wednesday night in Carolina was the transition play that Pareja mentioned in the post-match press conference. Dallas was devastating on the counter Wednesday night seemingly inviting pressure from the Railhawks only to break out with blazing speed that the NASL side simply couldn’t keep up with.
“It’s something that we work on a ton because we have so many dangerous players offensively all very fast on the counter,” Matt Hedges said after the win. “So it’s something that we work on a lot and it’s very effective for us.”
Wednesday’s win seals the eighth trip to the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup in franchise history and FCD will host Philadelphia Union on Tuesday, August 12th in their quest to win the trophy for the first time since 1997.