FRISCO, Texas (Friday, Feb. 20) – FC Dallas downed DC United, 3-1, tonight in a preseason match at Toyota Stadium.
FC Dallas nearly unlocked DC United’s defense in the eighth minute when Mauro Diaz played a cutting pass to the back post for right back Atiba Harris. The defender timed his run well and played a first-touch pass into the area for Ryan Hollingshead to finish, but the second-year midfielder was unable to keep his shot on frame.
The teams took turns possessing the ball for 10 minutes apiece with no major scoring opportunities until Michel was shown a straight red card in the 23rd minute for a studs-up tackle on Sean Franklin.
Despite the disadvantage, FC Dallas struck three minutes later on a beautiful goal orchestrated by left back Moises Hernandez. The defender came forward and combined with Fabian Castillo on the left flank. After receiving the return pass, Hernandez played a left-footed cross to the back post for Blas Perez. The Panamanian forward rose above his marker at the far corner of the six-yard box and headed a pass back across the face of goal to Hollingshead, who roofed the shot with his first touch to score his third goal of the preseason.
DC United tied the match, 1-1, in the 62nd minute on a goal scored by substitute Jairo Arrieta.
After coming on for Chris Pontius in the 57th minute, Arrieta quickly established himself as a threat. The forward got on the end of a cross by Perry Kitchen in the 60th minute, but his header caught too much of the back post and was cleared away from danger. Just two minutes later, Arrieta finished off the chance at the same post after being set up by Nick DeLeon and Bobby Boswell.
FC Dallas responded in the 79th minute when Hollingshead knocked a pass to the top of the area for substitute Tesho Akindele. With his back to goal, Akindele flicked a heel pass into the path of Castillo and the Colombian did the rest. Cutting through the middle of two defenders, Castillo poked a pass to himself, went around a third defender and beat DC United goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra to the loose ball before pushing an easy shot into the back of the net for the 2-1 lead.
Akindele used his speed to earn FC Dallas a penalty kick in the 88th minute. After being brought down from behind in the box, the reigning MLS Rookie of the Year stepped up and finished off the penalty kick with a hard shot over the right shoulder of Dykstra to make it a 3-1 final.
DAL – Ryan Hollingshead (Blas Perez, Moises Hernandez) 27
DC – Jairo Arrieta (Nick DeLeon, Bobby Boswell) 62
DAL – Fabian Castillo (Ryan Hollingshead, Tesho Akindele) 79
DAL – Tesho Akindele (PK) 88
FC Dallas – Dan Kennedy, Moises Hernandez, Walker Zimmerman, Matt Hedges, Atiba Harris, Victor Ulloa, Michel, Fabian Castillo (Kyle Bekker 89), Mauro Diaz, Ryan Hollingshead, Blas Perez (Tesho Akindele 69).
Substitutes Not Used: Jesse Gonzalez
Total Shots: 11 (Fabian Castillo 3); Offsides: 0; Corners 4; Saves: 2 (Dan Kennedy, Jesse Gonzalez 1).
D.C. United – Andrew Dykstra, Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Steve Birnbaum, Taylor Kemp, Perry Kitchen, Davy Arnaud (Connor Doyle 87), Nick DeLeon (Michael Aguilar 77), Chris Rolfe, Chris Pontius (Jairo Arrieta 57), Fabian Espindola.
Total Shots: 8 (Nick DeLeon 2); Offsides: 2; Corners: 1; Saves: 5 (Bill Hamid 5).
DAL – Michel (ejection) 23
DAL – Walker Zimmerman (caution) 52
DC – Davy Arnaud (caution) 56
DAL – Blas Perez (caution) 60
DC – Jairo Arrieta (caution) 61
DC – Fabian Espindola (caution) 78
Referee: Armando Villarreal
Referee’s Assistants: Jeff Greeson, Mike Kampminart
Fourth Official: Michael Tomlinson
Weather: Cloudy, 66 degrees
FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja
On the game being chippy…
It says a lot about the dedication that we put into the exercise. Not that we want that to happen, but sometimes for both teams, it was very hard to keep them away. Despite not playing for points, they were putting everything on the field. So, the game going like that was normal competitors trying to make things happen. I thought it was very real today. It was not just an exhibition. It was people playing for pride and I like that.
On playing with 10 men…
It wasn’t in the plan to play with 10 men for 70 minutes, but we took the best out of that exercise against a very good team. We were tested today. Our fitness was tested. The strength, mentally and physically, was tested too for players who I needed to get that job done. It was very well accomplished by people like Mauro who played 90 minutes in a position that demands a lot of running. Victor (Ulloa), Blas (Perez), Fabian (Castillo), Ryan (Hollingshead)… the back four, held us for very long with a zero. So, it was good. I was very pleased.
FC Dallas defender Atiba Harris
On playing with 10 men tonight...
It's always difficult playing down a man, but it's preseason and it was the perfect opportunity to test ourselves. It wasn't the prettiest game, but we stuck together physically, mentally, and we came through with the result.
On the process of converting from midfielder to right back....
When Oscar called and made the proposal, I told him I was 100 percent committed. I wanted to be back in Dallas, and through the preseason I've just been getting more and more comfortable in this position.
FC Dallas defender Moises Hernandez
On the first goal (his cross to Perez)…
We were working on that a lot in practice this week… Those give-and-go’s where I’d give the ball to Fabian (Castillo) and he’d give it back to me. On that play, I overlapped and he found me. I crossed it to the back post. Blas (Perez) did well to get to the back post and fortunately we got a goal out of it.
Talk about playing against DC United two matches in a row...
It got a little feisty there. We played them last week. We wanted to get that win. Playing them back-to-back was good for us because last game was kind of tough. We knew this game would be intense. We are just happy we got the win today in front of our home crowd.
What was the biggest difference between the two games?
I felt like we were more prepared this time around. We practiced a lot on the things we felt we needed to improve after last match. I felt like we did things well. We played with 10 men most of the game and still were able to be dangerous. That’s going to help us out. It shows that we have a lot of character.
On Mauro Diaz…
Mauro (Diaz) is a great player. He helped us a lot on both sides of the ball. I noticed him a lot when we were defending. He worked hard defensively. Having Mauro healthy there in the middle helps the team a lot.