FRISCO, Texas (Tuesday, June 17) – FC Dallas earned passage into the fifth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 2-0 victory over NASL side San Antonio Scorpions tonight at Toyota Stadium.
FC Dallas will now travel to Houston to face the Dynamo early next week. The winner of that match qualifies for the quarterfinal round of the 101-year-old tournament.
FC Dallas’ Chris Seitz earned his second shutout, and the first at Toyota Stadium this year, but the goalkeeper was kept busy throughout the first half. After making a straightforward save on an Eric Hassli deflection in the 17th minute, Seitz was tested by San Antonio forward Billy Forbes in the 32nd minute. Forbes broke through off to the right side of the six-yard box and attempted to pick out the back post, but Seitz got down to make a diving save. The deflection fell to a wide-open Hassli but the Frenchman was unable to keep his shot on frame.
San Antonio was back at it again in the 36th minute when Freddie Braun went by his marker on the left side and fired a shot, low to Seitz left side. Once again, the 27-year-old goalkeeper did well to make a diving save that looked destined for the side-netting of FC Dallas’ goal.
FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja shifted Fabian Castillo up front to start the second half in place of Tesho Akindele, who left the match at halftime. Andrew Jacobson slid into Castillo’s position on the left flank. The move gave Dallas a distinct advantage in possession through the early minutes of the second half.
Dallas’ best chance came in the 53rd minute when Castillo won the ball back and slipped a pass inside to Andres Escobar. The Colombian quickly played a one-two pass with Blas Perez and would have been in alone on goal if not for a well-timed slide tackle by San Antonio defender Julius Jones.
Drifting into the center of the pitch during the half, Jacobson provided the cutting pass that finally broke down San Antonio’s defense in the 74th minute. The long ball was read perfectly by Castillo, who brought the ball down in stride, ran at San Antonio’s Jeremy Vuolo, and got off a left-footed shot that split the goalkeeper’s legs on its way into the back of the net.
Dallas took a two-goal lead in the 81st minute when Escobar raced up the left flank to catch late substitute David Texeira and make a fine overlapping run. Texeira, who had entered the match just three minutes earlier, put a perfect pass on Escobar’s foot and the 23-year-old finished off the chance with a well-struck ball that beat Vuolo at the near post.
DAL – Fabian Castillo (Andrew Jacobson) 74
DAL – Andres Escobar (David Texeira) 81
FC Dallas – Chris Seitz, Moises Hernandez, Stephen Keel, Zach Loyd, Je-Vaughn Watson, Fabian Castillo (Jair Benitez 86), Victor Ulloa, Adam Moffat, Andres Escobar, Tesho Akindele (Andrew Jacobson 46), Blas Perez (David Texeira 78).
Substitutes Not Used: Raul Fernandez, Cobi Span, Nick Walker, Ryan Hollingshead.
Total Shots: 7 (Blas Perez, Andres Escobar, Moises Hernandez 2); Shots on Goal: 2 (Fabian Castillo, Andres Escobar 1); Fouls: 10 (Andres Escobar, Moises Hernandez 3); Offsides: 2 (Fabian Castillo 2); Corners: 5 (Andres Escobar 5); Saves: 6 (Chris Seitz 6).
San Antonio Scorpions – Jeremy Vuolo, Gerg Janicki, Freddie Braun (Julio Garcia 80), Stephen Deroux, Julius James, Jonathan Borrajo, Danny Barrera, Walter Restrepo, Richard Manjivar, Billy Forbes, Eric Hassli.
Substitutes Not Used: Troy Hernandez, Leon Cruz.
Total Shots: 14 (Billy Forbes 4); Shots on Goal: 6 (Freddy Brann, Billy Forbes 2); Fouls: 15 (Danny Barrera, Jullius James 3) Offsides: 1 (Walter Reskepo 1); Corners: 2 (Danny Barrera 2); Saves: 0.
DAL – Andres Escobar (caution) 57
SAS – Eric Hassli (caution) 69
Referee: Ted Unkel
Referee’s Assistants: Jennifer Garner, Jeff Greeson
Fourth Official: Bill Johnson
Weather: Partly Sunny, 90 degrees
FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja
(It was a) difficult game, very difficult game, especially the first half. I thought for a long part of the first half we gave some options, and I have to say that we weren’t surprised at the game San Antonio had today. It was a very hard competition for us. We took it in a very professional way. They gave us a lot of difficulties in the first half, but I thought the boys fought it out. The second half was much better. We scored a couple of goals and got a result, but it was a very difficult competition.
On Fabian Castillo and Andres Escobar….
It’s great to see them jelling already and see how they are getting some understanding on the field. Andres (Escobar) looks more engaged and committed with everything we want. Obviously, Fabian is coming off a very long stretch and the last month has been very hard, not only with him, but with the whole team, all the adversity the boys had to get through in the last 40 days. But today was very healthy for the group to see. Andres is getting great chemistry with the forwards and the whole team. I thought he was very, very important for us as an individual.
Today was a great night for the organization on seeing young players participating in the game and seeing players who have been running in the biggest stretch we’ve had, the last 40 days, come out and show a commitment and also the guys who we brought here to see how they are impacting the game, so that’s great news today.
On facing Houston in the next round…
It’s a very important competition and we want to take it seriously. We knew today that the boys were going to feel the heat, the effort that we have gotten through in the last 40 days and we wanted to come through and face this game with all we can, and then advancing to the next round, going to Houston, it’s big. It’s not just for the rivalry. It’s because we really want to get this trophy. It’s important. The boys are committed to it. We know it’s challenging with our schedule, but our mind is set on fighting hard for this cup.
FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz
On San Antonio...
They were a very, very high energy team. We had to get going a little bit. It maybe took us 45 minutes to get into the game. In the second half, we were able to come out and really control the ball, control possession and field position. To be out there, keep the clean sheet... It's always good for the team. It's the performance that we have been looking for...
On picking up the team's first clean sheet at Toyota Stadium this season...
You look at the guys we had back there [on defense]... Every single one of them grind it out. That is kind of what we have been looking for this year. The intangibles... They did all the right things. They were never taking breaks on plays. All of them. Mo [Hernandez] had a couple great tackles. Zach [Loyd] and [Stephen] Keel were very busy and Je-Vaughn [Watson] helped out with a game-saving tackle in the first half. Every guy put in a great shift tonight. It's a good start towards something we hope to carry throughout the entire tournament as well as in league play.
FC Dallas midfielder/forward Fabian Castillo
Can you take us through the game-winning goal?
The play started with AJ [Andrew Jacobson]. His long cross just shifted the game and the only thing I had to do was run, meet the ball and after controlling the ball, just get in the box. Winning that position enabled me to pick my head up, look for a cross... I didn't see anyone so I decided to take the shot on net and thankfully, I was able to score the game-winning goal.
On his first touch, when receiving the pass from Jacobson...
Whenever you take a touch like that when you're a forward - speed doesn't matter. The touch itself puts you into an attacking position. It felt good. I try to make those plays all the time and sometimes it doesn't work out. Sometimes your first touch goes too long, other times too short... When you feel a touch like tonight and you see the ball bouncing right where you wanted it, that's when you know that you are in a good place [You know you're confidence is back].
What does it mean to be on the scoresheet for the second straight game with your friend and fellow Colombian Andres Escobar?
I’m happy for Andres [Escobar] because since he arrived in the team he’s been working hard trying to reach the goals he set for himself. He’s getting there little by little. I’m very happy to see him score both in the league and in [the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup]. It makes Andres happy as well because he’s contributing more for the team and that’s good news for everyone.