FRISCO – While there were a number of changes made to the line-up for FC Dallas’ 2-0 win against the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday night at Toyota Stadium, there was one player who stood out from the rest for head coach Oscar Pareja.
“Today we needed a pain killer. That was Javi [Morales] tonight,” Pareja said. “He glued us together. He put his personality on behalf of the team.”
The Argentine veteran created four chances, while completing a game-high of 99 passes at an accuracy rate of 90 percent.
“He got the touches we needed in order to upgrade everybody else’s performances," Pareja continued. "That change in the lineup helped us tremendously today. I've got to say it was the highlight of the win.”
Morales was tasked with anchoring the defensive side of the midfield alongside with Carlos Gruezo in a 4-2-3-1 formation, but added a layer of versatility for FC Dallas being able to transition into the attack and add another skilled number into the forward face.
The former Real Salt Lake man found comfort alongside Diaz and Gruezo, saying “The work for me is easy.”
“I like playing with good players. To share the field with Mauro [Diaz] is special for me because I consider him one of the best playmakers in this league," Morales said. “I try to help Carlos [Gruezo] in the middle and when we win the ball, I try to find Mauro. That works for me. I like it a lot because I was able to find him a lot today and he found a way to break their defense.”