FRISCO, Texas – Brek Shea may have been given the game ball Saturday night, but Blas Perez should receive his own award for the heart and determination he displayed on the field during FC Dallas' 2-1 victory over Montreal.
With FC Dallas facing a 1-0 deficit late in the second half, Perez knew he had to call his own number to make magic happen. In the 77th minute, Perez headed the ball in the back of the net after George John was denied by the crossbar.
“It was a little bit of luck when the rebound came from the top post. I was in a very tight space, but I was able to define and put the ball in the net,” Perez said. “That was the goal that gave us the motivation and the energy to come back and to get the result.”
Shea scored the game-winner in the 88th minute, but it was Perez that started the FC Dallas rally. The Panamanian striker wreaked havoc in the second half after FC Dallas head coach made the switch from a 4-4-2 to 4-1-4-1 after halftime- making Perez the lone striker up top.
“In the beginning of the game, the team was distracted by the two forwards and the impact of the wind,” Perez said. “Coach realized that we would be way more effective by having Fabian [Castillo] and Brek on the wings and moving the formation to one striker. That proved to be the right decision. It changed the game.”
The equalizer was Perez’s third goal of the season. In just his first season with FC Dallas, he leads the teams in both goals scored and assists. Perez credits his hot start to the work ethic put in by the entire team but is not satisfied.
“Whenever I score a goal, it benefits the team,” Perez said. “I’m doing well so far, but there is still more work that we can do to understand each other better and to have better chemistry.”
With a tough three-game stretch to close out April looming, FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said Perez will continue to be relied upon and is impressed with the way his new striker has lifted this team.
“Think what the team would’ve been like if he would have been with us last year. We worked awfully hard to try to get him, and finally, it worked out,” Hyndman said. “What you see is a very intelligent player. He’s giving good balls off. He holds the ball very well. He’s strong in the air, and he’s got an unbelievable work ethic. When you get all of those qualities together, he’s a pretty special player.”