FRISCO, Texas – After Saturday night’s win over the New England Revolution, FC Dallas and their re-tooled 4-4-2 carved another notch in their belt, bringing their current run of form to eight games unbeaten and 6-0-2 over all competitions in June and July.
“I thought we showed up and played really well from the first whistle to the last,” said veteran fullback Zach Loyd. “I thought we came out strong – really happy with the result.”
With tonight’s win, Dallas left no doubt that they are significant players in the Western Conference playoff race. The team finished the match with their third clean sheet of the season, but maybe as importantly, without any disciplinary marks.
“I thought tonight we raised the bar, and the team feels for real and competing for the highest spot in the league,” said head coach Oscar Pareja. “It was great to see the discipline and composure that the team showed.”
It has been a welcome return to success for the Texas club. The team started off 2014 well but an injury to Mauro Diaz, mixed with a challenging schedule, other injuries and a record number of red cards all contributed to an eight-game winless skid. This new eight-game streak is one the team has worked hard for, and FCD credit focus and work ethic for their ability to turn things around.
“We were playing well even when we were losing. Now things are just clicking a little more,” said rookie forward Tesho Akindele, who added a late insurance goal. “There is not much difference in the way we play, just the little details, finishing our chances, not losing concentration on defense.”
FC Dallas paid particular attention to the Revolution’s style of play and found a way to take advantage.
“We knew how New England like to play. They like to come inside, which leaves the flanks open,” Loyd said. “I thought our game plan worked well. We came in and got a good result.”
Dallas’ first goal was scored by Colombian winger Andres Escobar, who, like his younger countryman Fabian Castillo, has been coming along over the past few months. The veteran put FC Dallas up in the 29th minute with a strong individual effort, beating two defenders off the dribble and getting off a shot that goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was unable to handle.
“I saw the team creating opportunities while playing very well defensively and creating the best soccer in the field,” said Escobar afterwards.