Just two days after starting for Honduras, Figueroa steps up in Dallas' win

MONTREAL – Montreal sightseeing was not on the agenda for Maynor Figueroa when he made a cross-continent flight from Arizona to rejoin FC Dallas for Saturday’s game at the Impact.

The veteran defender started and went the full 90 minutes in FCD’s 2-1 win over the Impact on Saturday, less than 48 hours after playing Honduras’ entire Gold Cup quarterfinal loss to Mexico in Phoenix on Thursday night.

The 34-year-old wanted to get right back on the pitch with his Dallas teammates after Los Catrachos were eliminated in their difficult 1-0 loss to El Tri.

"I made the trip," Figueroa said through an interpreter. "It was an eight-hour flight, and if I came all the way here, it was not to sit. I wanted to help the team, and I'll rest now."

Dallas coach Oscar Pareja had confidence in Figueroa's assessment that he was ready to start. The versatile defender will be forced into a game off next week against the Vancouver Whitecaps after picking up a yellow card in Montreal triggered a one-game suspension for card accumulation.

"The responsibility always as a coach tells you that you've got to take care of your players," Pareja said. "But when you see this energy and this commitment, and then you have to put that aside and say, you know what, we will take the risk, we will go. Maynor's strong, he's a very experienced player, he understands the game, he understands how he can manage his body, so I trust him that part, and I thought the things came well."

Despite falling behind 1-0 in the first-half, Dallas battled back to win behind two second-half goals by Cristian Colman

"We fight hard and we always have the confidence that we can win any game, even if we're down," Figueroa said. "So it's very important and we know that we can fight and come back in any game."

Figueroa's contributions against Montreal were appreciated by his FC Dallas teammates, who are still missing US defender Matt Hedges, midfielder Kellyn Acosta, and goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez due to Gold Cup duty.

"Figueroa is an important player," Dallas midfielder Roland Lamah said. "He has experience, and we know that he played Thursday night, but he's a professional player and he's capable of playing every second day. So him coming back tonight was important for us. It's clear that we didn't start well, but we created a lot of chances in the first half and we didn't give up. In the second half, we came back with a different mentality and we turned the game around."

And while the come-from-behind win was a big achievement, Figueroa felt Colman's goals – the Young Designated Player's first in 14 MLS regular season games – were a particularly encouraging outcome of his all-business trip to Montreal.

"It's very important to get the three points, but yeah, it's a player who's been working hard and fighting, and the goals were just not happening for him," Figueroa said. "So we're very happy that he got the two goals and we hope that there are many more coming."