Reporting: Garrett Melcer

Why FC Dallas Can Build on its Texas Derby Victory


FRISCO, Texas – Some wins mean more than others.

FC Dallas’ 2-0 triumph over the Houston Dynamo Saturday night certainly falls into that category. And not just because it’s a local rivalry and the first leg of the Texas Derby. FC Dallas entered the game on a seven-game winless run, one of the longest in club history. Ending that dreaded streak was paramount.

Now, the focus becomes turning the Derby performance into something the team can build on.

“It means a lot to do that in front of our fans,” said Marco Farfan, who made his long-awaited season debut Saturday. “But at the same time, we’re not proud of anything just yet. We had that winless streak, and now we’ve won just one game. It doesn’t mean anything, we have a long ways to go to get where we want to be.”

It’s tough to judge FC Dallas’ overall performance considering Houston played with 10 men for 85 minutes following Griffin Dorsey’s early red card. But there were signs that the result can be replicated. Farfan’s return from a host of injuries is one of them. The left back is among the club’s most consistent performers and his absence has been sorely felt. It was his darting run behind Houston’s backline that drew Dorsey’s tackle and subsequent ejection.

Marco Farfan races ahead of Houston's Griffin Dorsey moments before drawing a red-card foul

Another sign is the performance of record signing Petar Musa, who scored the winning goal to make it two from his last two games. The Croatian forward broke the deadlock early in the second half with a clinical finish following an excellent first touch on the edge of the box to create the chance. It’s the kind of goal everyone expected following Musa’s record-breaking arrival from Benfica; an indication that he’s starting to find his feet in MLS.

The final building block from Saturday’s game was the re-introduction of Jesús Ferreira, Dallas’ leading scorer of the past two seasons. The 23-year-old American international has struggled with muscle injuries in recent months but his Houston performance was a short reminder of what he brings when fit and available. Twice, Ferreira and Musa combined to create shooting opportunities for each other as they continue to build on-field rapport.

“We’re starting to connect more and I’m happy about that because I’m a new player and I need to know my teammates and they need to know my strengths,” Musa said. “I’m happy for that but I’m more happy that we won in (the) Derby. It’s very important because it gives us confidence for upcoming games.”

A 2-0 win against a depleted Houston side isn’t cause for celebration on its own. Dallas still sits in 12th place in the West with just two wins on the year. But the reappearances of Farfan and Ferreira, plus his growing understanding with Musa, are much-needed developments the club can build upon.

Musa: “It’s still near the beginning of the season, we have a lot of games in front of us and now we just need to continue and work hard. We need to continue.”

"I’m really happy for all of the players and the staff that have been working really, really hard these last few weeks with no reward on the scoreboard," said head coach Nico Estévez. "Today is a reward for all of the hard work that everyone has put in. Now we just have to keep going and keep moving forward and use that to build confidence and to try and win against Toronto.”