FRISCO, Tex. — FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez recorded his first MLS career win as his team saw off an LA Galaxy side missing stars Romain Alessandrini and Zlatan Ibrahimovic by a 2-0 scoreline on Saturday at Toyota Stadium.
"I have to be happy as a coach," said Gonzalez after his first win. "As one of their coaches, because they grew from the last game. In terms of what we worked on in the week to improve with the ball, and in our shape, and the transitions. That led to us getting a win. I have to be really proud of the boys and their openness for us to be critical and take steps about how we want to play, and what the idea is going into this game against LA."
Diego Polenta's high kick on Matt Hedges gave Reto Ziegler the chance to open the scoring from the spot in the second half. The highlight of the game was undoubtedly new Designated PlayerBryan Acosta's swerving half-volley just after the hour.
One sour point for Dallas was losing Reggie Cannon at halftime after he appeared to turn his ankle.
"I don't know too much," said Gonzalez about the right back's status. "It's good that he's moving and not in the hospital, so that's positive. The [walking] boot is there to keep the swelling down. It seemed like some kind of ankle sprain. I'm really proud of him for trying to push through it at the half. He tried to activate but it was already swollen and sore."
Gonzalez stuck to his guns after a tough opening week draw, making a single change as Jacori Hayes was sidelined with a tight hamstring. The midfielder is set to return to training next week, but it did give an opportunity for 19-year-old Paxton Pomykal to state his case for a larger role moving forward with a man of the match performance.
"It's huge," said Pomykal of the result. "It's momentum. It's our first win as a team this season as well as Luchi's first win as a professional coach. It's a big confidence boost, as well as showing the league that we have our concepts and our new style of play."
While Gonzalez has had an effect on a number of FC Dallas' 25 Homegrown signings as both a coach and his previous role at the club as academy director, his first signing as head coach was Edwin Cerrillo. Cerrillo made his MLS debut off the bench on Saturday, and touted his training in the academy to bring him to the landmark day.
"A lot of things are similar from our U-16 year but this is a whole new level," said Cerrillo. "It's professional. I think [Gonzalez has] evolved in his style of play and all of the characteristics that make him a coach."