FC Dallas a "more mature" team in win over Toronto FC, responding to first loss of season


FRISCO, Texas – Relentless pressure and set pieces helped guide FC Dallas to a 2-1 win on Saturday night over Toronto FC.

FC Dallas responded to their first loss of the season last week against Seattle with a persistent attack – including a team-record 16 corner kicks – against Toronto, something that manager Oscar Pareja viewed as a maturing aspect to his team’s game.

“The team continued that pressure this week,” said Pareja. “The result was a lot of set pieces, corner kicks, fouls and crosses. I want to highlight that it happened against Seattle last week, we had five corners in the first five minutes. But we didn’t come away with points. The guys look more mature just a week after losing.”

FC Dallas scored one goal off a set piece, a first half corner kick by Matt Hedges. Blas Pérez came on late in the second half to net the game-winner off free kick from Michel

“The service from Mauro [Díaz] and Michel is world-class,” said FC Dallas defender Stephen Keel. “You see the quality we have going forward, so teams are going to sit back. It is a 90-minute game, I think we’ve shown that given our quality we can score. We stay patient and get bury our chances when we get them.”

Pareja and Dallas have opened up the season with the league’s best record at 5-1-1 with four of those wins coming at Toyota Stadium. Now the team will play four out of its next seven games away from North Texas. Pareja hopes to draw on the club’s two previous road games this season as inspiration.

“It will be challenging but playing at home is not easy,” he said. “ Playing away is a different challenge but we’ve already gone to Kansas City, a very hard atmosphere in a difficult game against the champions of MLS. Then we won against Houston, a club that is very strong in their own building. We got good results there and that is the mentality that we have.”