With Matt Hedges suspended for the game against the Galaxy, head coach Oscar Pareja had to do some shuffling in the backline. He slid Maynor Figueroa from left back to the middle and put Ryan Hollingshead on the left side. It was Hollingshead’s first start of the season, and the veteran stepped up the challenge.
“It was good to be back out there,” Hollingshead said. “First start of the season, so I was pumped, ready to go. This is a fun place for me to play, living here and having a lot of friends and family here.”
In the 33rd minute, Hollingshead took a pass at the top of the box from Mauro Diaz and he finished the ball in the top corner for his first MLS goal since June 2016. Mauro had two assists on the night, giving him eight for the year, the second most in the MLS.
“When I saw [Mauro] drifting out wide, I tried to get in the middle and get on the end of a cross and then as he got the ball, I just realized I had tons of space at the top of the box, so I was screaming for it,” Hollingshead said. “And then he played it to my feet and it was just an open finish from there.”
Just seven minutes later, Hollingshead made another impact play. He made a run down the flank and Mauro Diaz found him; Hollingshead crossed the ball on his first touch and Cristian Colman headed the ball into the back of the net to give FC Dallas a 2-0 lead.
“I had tons of space again, no one was closing me down, I looked up, I saw Kellyn in the box, I saw Colman in there,” he said. “So I was like, I’m just going to put this in there and let them win it and that’s exactly what happened.”
It was Hollingshead’s first two-point performance in his five-year career, but his night was not yet finished.
In the 63rd minute, with the game still 2-0, Perry Kitchen headed a ball past Jesse Gonzalez on a corner kick, but Hollingshead got into position and cleared the ball from the goal line to keep the two-goal lead.
Just three minutes later, Carlos Gruezo helped put the game away to give FC Dallas a three-goal lead.
Hollingshead stepped up for the team in a big way offensively in the first half with FC Dallas playing without Maxi Urruti and Roland Lamah, who had scored or assisted on 13 of the team’s 16 goals going into the LA game.
His performance gives confidence to Oscar Pareja on the depth of his team.
“We had a few players today that are not regulars in the lineup and today they came in and played very well,” Pareja said. “So that made us a better team.”