KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Saturday night was just what Michael Barrios’ 2018 season needed.
After consecutive seasons as either Dallas’ leading scorer or leading assist man, it had been a quiet start to the year for the Colombian winger.
In just 20 games, he’d managed just one assist. In his 21st, he scored his first professional hat trick and almost single-handedly led FC Dallas to its first win in Kansas City since 2011.
“I'm very happy,” Barrios said after the match. “[It’s] all thanks to the sacrifice and the daily work, the trust that my teammates have given me and the coaching staff as well. And this result is where you can see the hard work reflected.”
“It’s great to see him in the score line. It’s great to see him being a part of that and giving us the opportunity to take those points,” head coach Oscar Pareja said. “I know Mikey has worked very hard just to get those goals. He has been playing well, but he hasn’t found the net. Today, the game rewarded him.”
Coming into the match, Pareja and the staff knew Barrios had the chance to change the game. Against a team that likes to play out of the back, it was the speedy winger who they looked upon to break lines and wreck havoc on the road.
“We knew that Mikey creates on the counter, especially on that side coming out of the back and we know they try to put a lot of sequences in the middle,” Pareja said. “We knew that we were going to have some counter options and they key was to play it to Mikey up front.”
“Coach just asked me to make diagonal passes between the center defenders,” Barrios added. “We know the quality of Opara and Besler. We wanted to take advantage of my speed and thank god I was able to score the three goals and a win for the whole team.”