A dominant performance from all sides had spirits high within FC Dallas, yet cautious not to get too high too early in the season after their 3-0 victory against Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.
While every Dallas player was strong, Ronnie O'Brien stood out once again as he nearly scored on several occasions -- which could make the scoreline look tamer than the game actually played.
"I thought Ronnie was great tonight again," said FC Dallas head coach Colin Clarke of the crafty winger who's been given real freedom as part of the three-pronged attack. "He's been unbelievable in training all week and he carried it into the game tonight."
The attack for FC Dallas was strong but the play of the midfield was also critical early as they doled out physical challenges to Jason Kreis and Clint Mathis early and often.
"We knew if we played physical against him, [Mathis] wouldn't fancy that," said FC Dallas midfielder Simo Valakari. "In the first half he didn't do much and in the second half the game was more or less over, but if you give him space and time he will punish you so with him you have to try and play physical. When he's in that type of form he's very hard to contain."
Eddie Johnson put up another All-Star caliber performance, scoring in the 35th minute after spinning Marlon Rojas off the touchline to set up his lone goal of the night.
"Another great goal tonight, great finish," said Clarke on his young striker. "He's probably disappointed he didn't get a couple more.
"The kid's got so much talent I think we're only tapping into 75 percent of it. He's going to get better and he's still scoring goals, he's very hard to contain when he's running at people."
The Dallas frontline of Carlos Ruiz, Johnson and O'Brien has really started to click with the three midfielders.
"Game in, game out we're getting to know each other," said O'Brien. "All in all we've just got a strong, talented team. Everybody is good on the ball, comfortable on the ball.
"We've gotten to know where each other wants to be and wants the ball now, so it was a good game."
Scott Joiner is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.