FC Dallas (8-6-9, 33 points) drew, 3-3, with two-time defending MLS Cup Champion LA Galaxy Sunday night in front of 18,161 fans at FC Dallas Stadium.
Blas Perez scored twice for Dallas while LA’s Landon Donovan recorded the fourth hat trick of his career.
FC Dallas took a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute on a goal scored by Matt Hedges. The FC Dallas center back came forward from his defensive position to tuck away a corner kick served into the area by David Ferreira. The 2010 MLS MVP lofted a ball to the back post, where Andrew Jacobson rose above his marker to head a ball back across the goalmouth. Hedges met the pass at the back post, nodding a shot just inside the post to give Dallas a one-goal lead. The goal ended the longest scoring drought in franchise history at 464 minutes.
The Galaxy countered with a solid scoring chance from Robbie Keane in the 27th minute. The setup came from U.S. National Team midfielder Landon Donovan, who dropped the ball into Keane’s path with his first touch. Also on his first touch, Keane attempted to pick out the top left corner of the net but FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz was there to make one of his three first-half saves.
FC Dallas’ Jackson tested LA goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini from long range in the 38th minute but the Italian was equal to the task tipping the ball over the crossbar to keep the score, 1-0.
The Galaxy equalized just before the half when Keane chipped a ball over the top of the FC Dallas backline for Donovan. Seitz came off his line to cut out the pass, but Donovan beat the goalkeeper to the ball by a few inches, heading a shot into the back of the net to make the score 1-1 at halftime.
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman opted to bring on Michel for Jacobson at the start of the second half. The move needed only three minutes to pay off as the Brazilian put a dangerous cross into the area that was finished by Dallas’ leading goal scorer Perez in the 48th minute. Marked tightly by LA defender Leonardo, Perez managed to wriggle free before sliding to get the slightest touch on Michel’s serve, redirecting a shot past Cudicini for the 2-1 lead.
The Galaxy would have equalized in the 58th minute if not for Seitz, who came off his line to rob Gyasi Zardes on a one-on-one opportunity. The chance was set up, once again by Keane. The Irish international combined with Donovan before pushing another one-touch pass into space for Zardes. The left midfielder took a touch inside before attempting to pick out the far side-netting but Seitz cut down on the 21-year-old’s angle before making a left-handed save.
LA found a game-tying goal in the 73rd minute. Donovan got an open look at goal from just outside the area thanks to a textbook chest pass from Marcelo Sarvas. Donovan hit the ball on the full volley, sending a hard shot just inside the left post behind Seitz.
Donovan completed his hat-trick, the fourth of his MLS career, in the 82nd minute. The play began with a long throw-in from the left flank. The ball was won by second-half substitute Hector Jimenez, who unknowingly knocked a pass into the path of Donovan, who finished into the far side-netting.
Perez answered for Dallas in the 86th minute with his eighth goal of the season. The play began with another free kick played to the back post by Michel. LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez won the header, knocking a high clearance to the top of the box. Perez was in perfect position to capitalize, hitting a full volley just inside the right post to knot the score, 3-3.
FC Dallas nearly won at the death when Jackson beat two defenders and fired a shot from 45 yards, but the chance rattled the woodwork behind Cudicini.
DAL – Matt Hedges (Andrew Jacobson, David Ferreira) 15
LA – Landon Donovan (Robbie Keane) 45+1
DAL – Blas Perez (Michel) 48
LA – Landon Donovan (Marcelo Sarvas) 73
LA – Landon Donovan (Hector Jimenez) 82
DAL – Blas Perez 86