Petar Musa hat trick gives FC Dallas hope: "We are making progress"


Have Petar Musa and FC Dallas found their groove?

Musa was the star man for Dallas on Wednesday night in a 5-3 win over Minnesota United FC during Matchday 21, delivering Dallas' first hat trick since 2022. The Croatian international scored in the 17th and 38th minutes and broke a 2-2 tie with the eventual match-winner in the 62nd minute to complete his hat trick.

Dallas won a second straight match under interim head coach Peter Luccin following the departure of Nico Estévez, while scoring five goals in an MLS match for the first time since August 2021 against Austin FC.

Patience pays off

Before Wednesday, Musa's stat line through 17 matches was 5g/2a, with five straight games without a goal.

His effort against the Loons, though, mirrored the expectations Dallas had for him when they signed him in February from Portuguese power Benfica for a reported club-record transfer fee. It was easily his best performance in a Dallas kit.

As far as Musa's goalless streak, it was a matter of encouraging him to remain patient, Luccin said.

"This is what we want from Petar, to be closer to the box, and to have that energy, to be happy. He needs to be happy," he said. "So now we just talk with him and saying, 'Petar, don't worry, it's just a matter of time. Just make sure that you are close to the box. We need you close to the box' because inside the box we know that he's a very effective player."

"It's just for him to read the moments ... and just for him to understand a little bit what we are looking for for him. But he has been fantastic today."

Three in a row?

FC Dallas will look for their first three-match winning streak of the season when they face Seattle Sounders FC at Lumen Field on Saturday during Matchday 22 (10:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).

As far as Wednesday's triumph, Luccin's pride in his team was evident, while noting the product is far from finished.

"The effort has been fantastic," Luccin said. "We are making progress. It's going to be step-by-step. But you can see that the attitude from the players is excellent."

"They want to play," he added. "They understand. So now it's just, again, to find that balance."