FC Dallas credit San Jose win to Walker Zimmerman's quick thinking – and Adam Jahn's yellow

FRISCO, Texas – Two key elements combined to create the match’s only goal in FC Dallas’ 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes: a fourth-minute yellow card by Quakes striker Adam Jahn and quick decision-making by rookie Walker Zimmerman.

The sequence that led to Fabián Castillo’s game winner – and extended FCD's excellent start to 2013 – started in the back when Zimmerman cleared a San Jose cross directly to David Ferreira.

FC Dallas 1, San Jose Earthquakes 0 | MLS Match Recap

“[Zimmerman] made some good choices, good passes, he won a lot of balls in the air, he was physical, but that ball in particular,” FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman told reporters after the match. “I think the more we see him, that’s going to be one of his strengths, that he makes good decisions. A lot of people under pressure might kick it out, but he looked to see where that next ball was going.”

“When that play happened, it was almost like we went straight back to the practice ground,” explained Zimmerman. “George [John], cover near post, I’m watching the runner, so we picked it up well and I was able to get a good head on it, and David did a great job with the counter and then Fabián with the great finish for the goal.”

OPTA Chalkboard: FCD counterattack overcomes hard-charging Earthquakes

The Dallas 2013 first-round MLS SuperDraft pick’s quick thinking started the play, but Hyndman noted it was Jahn’s early yellow card that allowed the play to develop into a dangerous counterattack and ultimately into the game-winner.

“We’re fortunate that Jahn was covering [Ferreira] and running him down because he already had a yellow card and couldn’t kick [Ferreira] to stop him …that gave David enough time to find Castillo, who cut in with the left foot – and what a good job he did finishing that,” said the FCD boss. “I think if it had been [Sam] Cronin or somebody else, you probably would have seen a professional foul.”