FRISCO — It took three goals from FC Dallas' Colombian contingent for the team to stage a comeback 3-2 win against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night, but the end result could have been dramatically different if not for for Kevin Hartman’s heroics midway through the first half.
With Dallas down a goal already, Colorado hit FCD on the break in the 31st minute. Rapids midfielder Martín Rivero found Jaime Castrillón unmarked on the left side and the winger — with a goal to his name already in the first half — played across to an unmarked Omar Cummings in front of goal. The Jamaican looked sure to score, but Hartman came up with back-to-back sprawling saves to keep the deficit at just one goal. [WATCH]
“It’s one of those things you’re excited about as a player because you realize how important it is with the timing,” Hartman said about the sequence. “I think that if we go 2-0 down at that point, it’s probably a different result for us. So to be able to bail us out on that occasion is something that’s exciting.”
It was a point not lost on the rest of his teammates.
“It was definitely an eye-opener for me, personally,” forward Ruben Luna said of Hartman’s saves. “It’s motivation that [your goalkeeper] is saving us, so you need to do the same.”
And Dallas certainly did. Just minutes after Hartman's heroics in goal, Dallas were able to hit the Rapids for three consecutive goals between the 41st and 49th minutes to rack up three crucial points.
“The first 15 minutes [of the match], the team was feeling a little bit dormant and not playing in the rhythm that we want to play,” Fabián Castillo, who tallied a goal and an assist, said through a translator. “The two stops of ‘El Gato’ were the ones that woke us to push forward.”
Hartman logged three saves in his MLS-record 177th win, and for head coach Schellas Hyndman, Hartman coming up with a big save is a familiar sight.
“If you remember the last couple years, when we really were doing so well, Kevin always found a way to come up with one big save a game, and I think this was his big save of the game,” Hyndman said. “Most 'keepers get beat on those opportunities and I think it inspired our team — and I think it also brought a little bit more comfort to our attack — knowing that Kevin is back there.”