SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Saturday, March 1, 2014) – A last-gasp goal by the host San Antonio Scorpions wrapped up the 2014 FC Dallas preseason with a 1-1 draw in front of a sold-out Toyota Field Saturday night.
“I want to thank the San Antonio organization for the great attention they gave us, the hospitality and the atmosphere of the game,” said FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja. “The fans made us feel today that it was an MLS atmosphere, and it was a very good way for us to wrap up the preseason.”
FC Dallas created several goal-scoring opportunities throughout the game. The visitors threatened often in the first half, but it was the start of the second half before FC Dallas finally got on the board. Just two minutes into the frame, Plano native Kellyn Acosta shook his defender to get on the end of a Michel cross and send a textbook header past the ‘keeper.
The goal came after steady pressure from the Dallas side throughout the first half. Early on a defensive miscue and tricky deflection by Fabian Castillo forced a fingertip save from the Scorpions goalkeeper. Later in the half Castillo gave the ball to Andrew Jacobson near the top of the 18-yard-box and the veteran midfielder quickly turned and shot. The Scorpions’ goalkeeper stretched to get a glove on it and managed to redirect the ball enough for it to carom harmlessly off the top of the post.
Meanwhile, Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz charged way off his line to smother San Antonio’s most dangerous counterattack opportunity in the 34th minute.
Forward Blas Perez nearly doubled the lead in the 50th minute, getting on the end of a Michel corner kick that lined precisely across the goalmouth to find the big Panamanian target at the far post. However, his header was narrowly off frame to keep it at 1-0.
Despite the slim one-goal lead, it appeared FC Dallas would walk out with a victory. However, with the clock winding down, San Antonio made its last chance count with a dangerous free kick that picked its way through the crowd to find Greg Janicki and the former Vancouver defender flicked it past Seitz to even the score.
Following the match, the team headed across the field to the South end where a large group of FC Dallas supporters had loudly supported the side all night.
“That was the highlight of the game, I thought,” said Pareja. “Our players and our whole staff couldn’t believe how many of our fans were here. I was excited to see such a large group. It was good to enjoy this night, not just with the San Antonio community, but also with our fans. That was awesome.”
The team returns to Dallas on Sunday and, after taking Monday off to rest and recover, resumes training at Toyota Soccer Center on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. FC Dallas opens the 2014 regular season at Toyota Stadium on Saturday, March 8, versus Montreal, presented by AdvoCare.
“The Scorpions were a great opponent for us, but now we need to start thinking about Montreal,” said Pareja. “I feel like we’re ready to go and that’s encouraging. Now we just need the games to come.”