Hoops outgun Southern Methodist 5-1

FC Dallas capped off a fantastic first month of its preseason with a comprehensive 5-1 victory over SMU on Tuesday evening at Pizza Hut Park. Arturo Alvarez, who has consistently been one of the Hoops' most dangerous attacking options so far in the month of February, led the way with a pair of well taken goals while Kenny Cooper, Roberto Mina and Simo Valakari each added tallies as FCD improved to a perfect 5-0-0 preseason mark.

Despite finishing with the large advantage, Colin Clarke's side nearly saw itself fall behind to the Mustangs 20 minutes into the match. Paulo da Silva got free in the Dallas box and was knocked over from behind by Bobby Rhine leaving the referee no choice but to point to the penalty spot. Mynor Gonzalez stepped up to take penalty, but Jeff Cassar was equal to the challenge, making the save with his feet before Mark Wilson cleared the ball away from danger.

Less than 10 minutes later FC Dallas was in front as Simo Valakari scored his first goal of the preseason. Alvarez played the ball down the left wing for the overlapping Chris Gbandi, and the FCD left back cut into the box and past a defender before firing a low cross across the face of goal. Valakari met the cross and redirected it into the goal to give Dallas a 1-0 advantage.

The score would stay that way until halftime, though the Hoops would waste little time doubling their advantage after the break. Following a SMU foul right near the midfield stripe, Greg Vanney floated the ensuing freekick over the top of the Mustang backline and into the box where Kenny Cooper beat the onrushing SMU 'keeper to the ball, and flicked it over him, into the net to make the score 2-0 FCD.

SMU pulled a goal back as Paulo da Silva beat Cassar to halve the Dallas lead to 2-1, but the Hoops would strike right back with Alvarez getting his first of the preseason. The 20-year old midfielder collected a poor clearance 20 yards from goal and dribbled into the box, slashing past a pair of Mustang defender before slotting the ball past SMU 'keeper Matt Wideman to restore his team's two-goal advantage at 3-1.

Soon after it was 4-1 as Roberto Mina placed a PK just inside the left post. The Ecuadorian forward was played into the box by Cooper and his quick move got him past Wideman, leaving the SMU junior no choice but to pull him down. Mina dusted himself off and calmly stroked his spot kick home to put the game out of reach at 4-1 with less than 20 minutes remaining.

Alvarez completed the rout when he raced onto a deft Ronnie O'Brien flick and placed a low shot under the 'keeper and into the net to give the match its final 5-1 scoreline.

Bruno Guarda went close for the visitors late on as his long range blast beat Cassar but not the crossbar and rebound out of play for a goal kick with the last true chance of the match for either side.

The Hoops will be off on Wednesday before departing for Europe on Thursday where they will train for the next two weeks.

Following its matches in Spain against Norwegian sides Molde, Sandejford and Stabäk, FC Dallas has also announced that it will play English Premier League side Portsmouth on Monday, March 13 during its week long stay in Southampton, England.

Scoring Summary:
FCD: Valakari (Gbandi, Alvarez)
FCD: Cooper (Vanney)
SMU: da Silva
FCD: Alvarez
FCD: Mina (Penalty Kick)
FCD: Alvarez (O'Brien, Moore)

FCD Lineup: Jeff Cassar, Bobby Rhine (Justin Moore 68'), Drew Moor (Michael Dello-Russo 80'), Greg Vanney (Alex Yi 60'), Chris Gbandi (Blake Wagner 80'), Simo Valakari (Miguel Guante 68'), Mark Wilson (Aaron Pitchkolan 60'), Ronnie O'Brien, Arturo Alvarez (Mario Torres 84'), Roberto Mina (Dominic Oduro 75'), Kenny Cooper (Abe Thompson 75')

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