Earlier in the week, new signing Milton Rodriguez said he hoped his first MLS goal would come this weekend in Toronto, especially after his first shot for FCD—a header against Real Salt Lake last week—caromed off the crossbar.
His wish was fulfilled.
Thanks to Rodriguez’s first MLS goal in the 77th minute, FC Dallas (6-2-8, 26 points) were able to keep their seven-game unbeaten streak intact and leave BMO Field with a 1-1 tie against Toronto FC.
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It was FCD’s league-leading eighth draw of the season. They haven’t lost on the road since April 17.
His goal, a brilliant header, came courtesy of fellow Colombian David Ferreira, who delivered a great corner kick to his countryman. That gives Ferreira five assists on the year, which ties him for the team lead.
“[It was] a nice head ball from Milton," Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com via phone. "We’ve been working hard the last couple of weeks on corner kicks. It was good to see a forward score a goal.”
In fact, Rodriguez's goal was just the fifth scored by an FCD forward this season, and the first in seven games. The last time a striker scored for Dallas was on May 15 in a 1-1 tie with Philadelphia.
The Colombian striker’s tally was significant on several levels. Not only was it his first MLS goal and it came in just his second game, it also tied the game at one apiece.
"You can see why we were so excited to get him," Hyndman said. "He has a nose for goal and he can hold the ball up.
The FCD coach asserted that it has never been a question of effort for the FCD forwards, but more an issue of good decision making and finishing in the final third of the pitch.
“We can’t ever say that the effort hasn’t been there,” Hyndman said. “It’s been the composure, the finishing, the bad bounces, the luck or whatever. It is awfully good not only to get him to score but also to score off a corner kick.”
Though it was Rodriguez's tally that allowed FCD to leave Canada with another point, the FCD manager was quick to acknowledge this was a solid team effort across the board. He especially took notice of how well two of his rookies performed.
“I thought Eric Alexander did a fine job for us,” Hyndman said of his rookie, whom he brought on at halftime for Bruno Guarda. “We felt like it was a little bit too much of a gap there in the midfield. So, we put Eric Alexander in there and told him to help Daniel [Hernandez] hold that midfield because in the 4-5-1 they had too many people free. I thought that was better.”
First-round pick Zach Loyd was also pressed into action a bit earlier than normal, and he too rose to the occasion. Normally a late-game substitute who comes on when FCD is ahead to help solidify things in the back by providing some fresh legs, Loyd was forced into duty in the 59th minute after center back George John had to leave the field following his second collision of the game with TFC’s Amadou Sanyang.
“I was really pleased with Zach Loyd coming in," Hyndman said. "What a great job he did at center back against a strong attacking team.”
All things considered, the FCD gaffer admitted that considering the weather conditions, the raucous atmosphere at BMO Field, how physical TFC plays and also how tough they are to beat on their home ground, he was pleased to leave town with a draw and one point.
“We fought all the way to the end to get a point on the road, which was really satisfying for us."