FRISCO, Texas (Sunday, March 6) – FC Dallas’ Mauro Diaz assisted on goal in the 22nd and 79th minute as FC Dallas (1-0-0, 3 points) opened the 2016 season with a 2-0 victory against the Philadelphia Union today at Toyota Stadium.
Union goalkeeper Andre Blake kept the match scoreless with a diving save on Maxi Urruti in the 13th minute. The play was set up by Atiba Harris, who got by his man on the right flank and centered the ball for Urruti at the top of the six-yard box.
Three minutes later, Union defender Fabinho made another diving save with his chest to deny Fabian Castillo of a goal on a shot from a similar position. Michael Barrios created the opportunity, and nearly had a goal on a breakaway but Blake came off his line to push the midfielder wide. Barrios retained position of the ball and picked out Castillo with a pass but Fabinho read the Colombian well and reacted instantly to the shot.
Dallas’ biggest offseason acquisition, 20-year-old World Cup veteran Carlos Gruezo, made the play that led to the first goal of the match, scored by Castillo in the 22nd minute. The Ecuadoran made a sliding tackle to steal the ball from a Union midfielder. The loose ball ended up at the feet of U.S. National Teamer Kellyn Acosta. The Plano native quickly moved the ball forward to Mauro Diaz, who saw a streaking run from Castillo and played the ball forward into space. Castillo picked up the ball in open space and slid a shot underneath Blake from 17 yards out to give Dallas the 1-0 lead.
Blake started off the second half with another strong save to keep the visitors in the match. On a FC Dallas corner kick, redirected on goal by Maynor Figueroa, Blake was able to track the ball through heavy traffic and snatch the ball out of the air just before it crossed the goal line, near the left post.
Diaz picked up his second assist of the day in the 79th minute. After just missing on a through ball to Maxi Urruti. Diaz switched to defense and picked the pocket of Fabinho at the top of the area. The Argentine walked the ball to the end line before sliding a pass inside to his countryman, who struck a first-touch shot off the bottom of the crossbar to make the score, 2-0. The two-assist match was the fourth of Diaz’s MLS career.
DAL: Fabian Castillo (Mauro Diaz) 22
DAL: Max Urruti (Mauro Diaz) 79
FC Dallas – Jesse Gonzalez, Maynor Figueroa, Walker Zimmerman, Matt Hedges, Atiba Harris, Fabian Castillo, Kellyn Acosta (Victor Ulloa 80), Carlos Gruezo, Michael Barrios (Tesho Akindele 84), Mauro Diaz, Maxi Urruti (Maruo Rosales 86).
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Zach Loyd, Ryan Hollingshead, Juan Esteban Ortiz.
Philadelphia Union – Andre Blake, Anderson Conceicao, Keegan Rosenberry, Fabinho, Ken Tri bbett, Brian Carroll, Vincent Nogueira, Leo Fernandes, Iisinho (Roland Alberg 60), Chris Pontius (Sebastian Le Toux 72), CJ Sapong (Fabian Herbers 83).
Substitutes Not Used: Richie Marquez, Warren Creavalle, John McCarthy, Raymon Gaddis.
PHL: Brian Carroll (caution) 34
DAL: Matt Hedges (caution) 71
Referee: Mark Geiger
Referee Assistants: Craig Lowry, Eric Boria
Fourth Official: Fotis Bazakos
Weather: Sunny, 72 degrees