BRADENTON, Fla. (Wednesday, Feb. 19) – A hat-trick from Panamanian forward Blas Perez plus goals from defender Matt Hedges and rookie Ryan Hollingshead led FC Dallas to an emphatic 5-1 win over the University of South Florida to start their second leg of the 2014 preseason at the IMG Academy.
A heroic effort from University of South Florida goalkeeper Dallas Jaye highlighted the opening half of FC Dallas’ 5-1 victory against the Bulls in preseason action tonight at IMG Stadium in Bradenton, Fla, but forward Blas Perez scored twice in the final three minutes of the first half, then completed his hat-trick in the 77th minute, to lead FC Dallas to a lopsided win.
Adam Moffat nearly opened the scoring for the MLS side following a corner kick taken by Jair Benitez in the 16th minute. Moffat rattled the crossbar from distance after a clearance attempt from the USF defense found him open, 30 yards from goal.
The Bulls counter-attacked in the 20th minute with a long through ball played down the middle of the pitch by center back Juan Carlos Garcia. Fortunately for FC Dallas, Kellyn Acosta read the play well and cut out the pass at the last moment to deny USF striker Edwin Moalosi of a one-on-one opportunity against goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
Score two tix + an FCD beanie & scarf in our Winter Games package!
FC Dallas was finally able to put one behind Jaye in the 42nd minute. FC Dallas center back Moises Hernandez played a long through ball to Benitez, who had made an excellent run forward. The MLS veteran beat USF’s offsides trap and was in alone on Jaye before sliding a lateral pass to Perez, who walked the ball into the back of the net.
Just two minutes later, FC Dallas took a two-goal lead when Castillo blew by a defender to track down a ball played over the top of the USF defense. After winning the race, Castillo was tackled from behind and referee Ted Unkel pointed to the spot. Perez converted the penalty kick with a low shot into the left corner of the goal to give Dallas a 2-0 halftime advantage.
USF pulled within a goal just after halftime when a pass out wide to Moalosi beat an FC Dallas defender. The red-shirt junior slipped into the area with a defender on his back, and was able to get off a low shot to the near post that beat second-half goalkeeper Richard Sanchez to make it, 2-1, in the 51st minute.
READ: Cobi Span bringing professional attitude to every session
FC Dallas regained its two-goal advantage in the 63rd minute when Benitez bent a corner kick in from the left flank. Center back Matt Hedges used his chest to bring the ball down before volleying a hard shot by USF’s second-half goalkeeper Brentton Muhammad.
Perez finished off his third of the game in the 77th off a feed from Danny Garcia, who entered the match just moments earlier. Garcia dribbled through the middle of the USF defense to set up Perez with a short pass. The Panamanian side-stepped Muhammad with his first touch before knocking a simple pass into the back of the net from six yards out.
FC Dallas 2013 SuperDraft selection, Ryan Hollingshead finished the game with a goal in just 10 minutes of action after he tucked a loose ball away in the lower right corner of the goal. The play was created by Diaz, who collected the ball near midfield, carried it into the area and dished a pass outside towards Hollingshead.
FC Dallas’ next preseason match is set for Saturday, Feb. 22 at IMG Stadium versus NASL side, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The match is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. CT and will be streamed on the IMG Academy website.
DAL – Blas Perez (Jair Benitez, Moises Hernandez) 42
DAL – Blas Perez 44 (PK)
USF – Edwin Moalosi 51
DAL – Matt Hedges (Jair Benitez) 63
DAL – Blas Perez (Danny Garcia) 77
DAL – Ryan Hollingshead 89
FC Dallas – Chris Seitz (Richard Sanchez 46), Jair Benitez (Michel 71), Moises Hernandez (Danny Garcia 71), Matt Hedges (Aaron Meyer 83), Kellyn Acosta (Tesho Akindele 80), Andrew Jacobson, Adam Moffat (Victor Ulloa 71), Fabian Castillo (Ryan Hollingshead 80), Mauro Diaz, Je-Vaughn Watson, Blas Perez (Jonathan Top 77).
USF – Dallas Jaye, Juan Carlos Garcia (Diego Ramos 64), Jackson Brown, Nikola Paunic, Duane Muckette (Geraldo Hernandez 71), Lucas Baldwin, Wesley Charpie, Lindo Mfeka (Geraldo Hernandez 36, Lindo Mfecka 46, Cameron Thomas 78), Marcus Epps (Stiven Salinas 25), Terry Delancy (Marcus Epps 71), Edwin Moalosi.
Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistant Referees: Miguel Martes, Santiago Lorenzo
DAL – Moises Hernandez (caution) 56
Weather: Sunny, 75 degrees
FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja
Blas scored the hat trick today, what were your thoughts on his performance?
“Blas is working hard and getting there. He’s a veteran who knows his job, and today he demonstrated it. He displayed his work ethic with not only the goals, but his work off the ball so I was pleased with it.”
Were you pleased with how your team moved the ball today?
“Yes, I think we’re getting there. We have a long way to go but it’s coming together and I commend the players for their work and that for me is great.”
You gave the starting lineup about an hour today, are you starting to ramp up the fitness levels as we get closer to opening day?
“Yes that was the purpose today. Yesterday was a hard practice and I knew today that we would have heavy legs, but this was the plan and we’re getting there with the fitness.”