By: Rees Linn
If you hadn’t seen the first three matches of FC Dallas’s young season, you would never have dreamed by watching Saturday’s game against the Colorado Rapids that Dallas was winless and still searching for their identity as a team. But, despite all of the soul searching that has taken place over the last few weeks, Dallas found redemption at Pizza Hut Park by thumping Colorado 3-0 in dominant fashion.
For the second straight week there were interesting lineup changes for Dallas, most notably in the backline. Brek Shea slid over to left back to replace the injured Jair Benitez, and Zach Loyd returned to the starting eleven at right back. This allowed for the classic pairing of Ugo Ihemelu and George John in the center. The match marked the fourth straight game that Hyndman has changed his backline, but this time he got it right – earning a shutout against a Colorado side that has scored eight in the first three matches.
Considering their defensive success, Hyndman may have a difficult time finding a place in the lineup for Jackson, who missed the match through red card suspension.
Elsewhere on the pitch, Andrew Jacobson started the night in the center of midfield in place of Eric Alexander. It seemed to be a tall order for Jacobson, but he slotted in well by playing his own style which yielded terrific results. Though his technical abilities aren’t quite strong enough to provide genuine creativity and attacking support, his physicality makes him a force to be reckoned with. He was dominant all over in terms of breaking up Colorado’s possession and challenging for balls in the air, which allowed Daniel Hernandez to play more centrally to keep the formation tight.
Dallas dominated early possession and generated some good early scoring chances through the wide play of Marvin Chavez and Fabian Castillo. Ugo Ihemelu tallied the first goal in the 26th minute after a poorly cleared corner, and the home side continued their mission of revenge through David Ferreira who added a second goal with five minutes left in the half.
The third and final goal came after a terrifically creative attacking run from Eric Avila, who was played into the box by Daniel Hernandez. Avila was able to use his opportunity to slide the ball across for Ferreira who finished past Matt Pickens.
All-in-all, Dallas’s performance should completely restore the faith of the team in their own abilities. Their attacking creativity in the midfield was simply too dynamic, even for the defending champions, and there can be little doubt that if Dallas continues to show the kind of form they put on exhibit on Saturday they’ll be competing for the Supporters Shield in October.