David Ferreira was "dead" and FC Dallas’ playoff hopes were nearly the same as the clock ticked down at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night.
“He came to me and said, ‘I’m dead, I’m absolutely dead,’” FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman told reporters after the game. “And I said, 'I’ll get a change for you,' and he said, ‘No, I’ll keep fighting, but I just want you to know I’m dead and I can’t run.’”
With Dallas having used their third and final sub to remove injured center back Matt Hedges after a collision with goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, Ferreira had no choice but to stay on the pitch. In the 94th minute, his perserverance paid off as he struck what could be a signature moment in FC Dallas' 2012 season.
As Real Salt Lake pushed for what looked like an inevitable late winner, Dallas flipped the script in an exact role reversal from their previous meeting at Rio Tinto in 2012 that saw Salt Lake beat FCD in second-half stoppage time.
Jackson freed Brek Shea down the left wing and the Texan earned his second game-winning assist of the week by sending a perfectly weighted ball to Ferreira in front of goal. The 2010 MLS MVP lashed a shot past Nick Rimando to give Dallas their third win in a row in stunning fashion.
“Like I told the coach, I was very tired and playing with no gas in the tank,” Ferreira said through a translator. “But the desire to win and to help the team on the field pulled me through.”
With the win, FC Dallas pull within five points of both the Vancouver Whitecaps and the LA Galaxy, their opponent next weekend. Dallas are 5-2-3 since Ferreira’s return on July 4 against Toronto FC.
“We’re a completely different team,” said Hyndman of his squad with Ferreira back. “I think before we battled and had some good players, but we were always hoping to get a result. Now we’re going in thinking we are going to get a result.”