FRISCO, Texas—For the first time in more than a month, FC Dallas managed to pick up three points in league play – and find the back of the net more than once.
They did it with a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake at Toyota Stadium on Saturday, fueled largely by their dynamic South American trio of Fabian Castillo, Michael Barrios and Mauro Diaz. Castillo finished the game with a goal – almost two – as Barrios and Diaz both earned assists.
“We’re sticking to our strengths,” said head coach Oscar Pareja. “We know who we are. We know what the identity of this team is. And we know as well what has brought [us] to this point the last two years.”
Diaz particularly showed form throughout the match, recording assists on both FC Dallas goals. The first one was a product of quick thinking, with a fast restart on a midfield free kick, setting up Barrios, who in turn set up Kellyn Acosta.
“It was great,” Pareja said. “We asked them tonight especially to get behind, and Mikey [Barrios] did an excellent job drawing that path for Mauro and getting behind their defense a few times. Mauro can do that job. Mauro can filter the ball and make those cut passes between lines, and the way Mikey combined with Kellyn is great to see.”
The second came with pizazz, as Diaz hit a bicycle-kick pass to a streaking Castillo on the left flank, where he aimed a shot directly into the right corner of the net, out of RSL goalkeeper Jeff Attinella’s reach.
Castillo nearly had another goal in the half – one which Pareja said FC Dallas “dominated” – and the star didn’t mince words after the match in regards to how dangerous FCD are when they’re all on the same page.
“We feel we’re one of the strongest teams in the league when we’re all clicking and playing at that level,” Castillo said, via translator. “We still have a lot of work, and I still feel we have a lot to improve. But once all three of us, and the whole team are clicking and playing on a high level, we’re probably the most dangerous team in the league.”
The win will be FC Dallas’ only league victory in three tries during June - a month in which they struggled last season as well.
“[It was] a very professional performance by the boys,” Pareja said. “I can’t say it a better way.”