FRISCO — It didn’t take long for FC Dallas winger Michael Barrios to make his mark against OKC Energy FC in the 4th Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on Wednesday.
Barrios was able to make an impact in just over 10 minutes in the match. FCD won a corner in the 11th minute, and Barrios swung in a cross from the corner flag, and it met the head of defender Matt Hedges to open up the scoring at SMU’s Wescott Field.
Barrios’s constant distribution to teammates was an occurring theme Wednesday night, and he even bagged a goal of his own in the 43rd minute. Ricardo Pepi received a pass near the center of OKC’s half, turned to his right, took one dribble, and played a through ball to the right side of the box. Barrios cut to his right, beating the defender, and blasted a shot to the back corner of the net for FC Dallas’ second goal of the match.
FCD put up two more goals in the second half and kept the clean sheet for a 4-0 victory to advance to the Round of 16 of the Open Cup.
With one goal and one assist on the night, Barrios felt like he was getting more space on the wings than usual, and he tried to exploit that Wednesday night.
"Yeah, I felt really good, physically, emotionally, in the game,” Barrios said. “Thanks to god we got the win, which was the most important thing. I had a lot of good movement, good dribbling on the flanks and we got the goals that were important in the victory."
Barrios became a constant threat to OKC due to his speed and delivery into the box. He and Dominique Badji were able to get a little more creative with the ball than usual due to the amount of space that was left on the outside of the Energy’s formation.
“Every game, every practice, Mikey is a handful,” Badji said. “He always works hard, gives it everything he’s got. No defender wants to go against him, so it’s just another day in the office for him. I’m glad that he was able to score today.”
FC Dallas Head Coach Luchi Gonzalez said he was proud of the way the team responded after a difficult match against the San Jose Earthquakes last week. FCD only put away one goal of its own, but scoring five against OKC is giving the group a confidence boost moving forward.
“We created from the beginning — a few chances,” Gonzalez said. “We didn’t panic, and we just kept trying to create and to put ball into the box, put numbers into the box. Things bounced our way, and we created them. That’s a confidence-booster to take from the game to now using our next opportunity.”