Often times in sports, a stroke of good fortune will push one side to victory. FC Dallas went looking for some of that luck, but did not receive any in their first trip to PPL Park in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with the Philadelphia Union.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
The match featured two successful penalty kicks from Philadelphia's Sebastien Le Toux and FC Dallas felt fortunate to leave with one point despite taking the lead twice.
“My words for the players was you did everything you humanly could and we would like to have three points,” head coach Schellas Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com, “but also understand that sometimes in the game of soccer things don’t go your way and I’m happy to get a point.”
It’s a measured approach that’s echoed by the Dallas veterans.
“Any time you’re not getting the benefit of the doubt on the ones where the guys are drawing contact in the box and they get two PKs, it’s always going to be tough to walk away with anything,” said goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who credited Le Toux for the well placed spot kick conversions.
A week after scoring the opening goal and failing to hold the lead in LA, FC Dallas conceded two penalty kicks and nullified Maicon Santos’ first goal with FC Dallas and Brek Shea’s team-leading 10th goal of the campaign.
“That’s a lot of luck out there when you play Philadelphia because they play so direct and they try to win the second balls,” admitted Hyndman. “They were just dumping balls into our box at all angles.”
Things got that much tougher for Dallas when George John received his second yellow card of the game on a tackle just outside the box, providing the Union with a man advantage for the game's last 10 minutes. Moments later Le Toux stepped back up to the penalty spot after FC Dallas failed to clear the ball.
“It did seem like there were a lot of things working against us in the game certainly,” Hartman said. “We weren’t getting the benefit of the doubt a lot and it’s tough to get results when that many things are going against you.”
Hartman once again came up with late game heroics, saving a close-range blast from Danny Mwanga and making a reflex save off a Keon Daniel deflection in stoppage time.
Saturday’s game marked the 373rd start of Hartman’s career, passing New England Revolution legend Steve Ralston for the most in MLS history.
“The Old Man record,” laughed Hartman. “It’s something that I’m obviously very, very proud of. I always wanted to be a goalkeeper when I was a kid and to have a record like that is something that I’m certainly proud of.”
Added Hyndman: “I think it just continues to show his value, his importance to all the teams he’s played on but more importantly for MLS soccer.”
Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached on Twitter: @robertmcasner