Petar Musa steps up for FC Dallas in massive Texas Derby win


Quiet. Can you hear that? That's the sound of FC Dallas taking a deep breath.

On Saturday, FCD grabbed a 2-0 Texas Derby win over 10-man Houston Dynamo FC, ending a seven-match winless streak dating back to their opening-day victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Feb. 25. They needed this one badly.

As did Petar Musa, the club-record signing who opened the score with just his third goal of the season. It also set Dallas on the path to victory that Sebastien Ibeagha sealed in the 80th minute.

Acclimation process

"Like everything in life, things take time," head coach Nico Estévez said of Musa, who tallied for the second-straight game to reach 3g/1a in eight matches. "Petar's problem is that the team hasn't been doing well. That's not Petar's fault or any other player's fault... If the team's not doing well, not functioning, it's hard for any player to do well."

Musa's finish from a tight angle in the 55th minute was a crucial moment for a player on whom so many expectations have been placed. It was also a reminder of the quality that has earned him six caps with the Croatian national team, appearing on the biggest stages in Europe.

"When he receives those kinds of balls, he can score," Estévez said of the reported $9.7 million signing from Portuguese powerhouse Benfica. "I'm really happy for him for the team. Now we have to keep working hard. We haven't done anything. We have just done the first step."

Establishing momentum

With their slide stopped, Dallas have something to build on. A derby win against a Texas rival can go a long way towards putting hard times behind them and righting the ship.

"I don't want to reset anything. I think that big teams are built through bad times," Estévez said. "The mentality of these teams are built through bad times and I want to have that pain here the whole season so that when we get to the end of the season we can take that pain away and feel proud about what we've done this season."

And for coach, at least, the last two months have shown him the type of players he has.

"I want to carry this pain that we've suffered through these last weeks or month of not winning, I want to keep it inside of me," Estévez said. "I want a fire. I want my players with fire."