They call forward Marvin Chávez “El Hijo del Viento,” or “Son of the Wind,” and Saturday night against the New York Red Bulls, the Honduran international nearly put enough wind in FC Dallas’ sails in a 2-2 draw at Red Bull Arena.
Chávez notched a second-half brace with goals in the 51st and 78th minute before RBNY star Thierry Henry scored a wondrous goal of his own with five minutes remaining to level the highly anticipated matchup.
“This game was about attitude,” Chávez told MLSsoccer.com over the phone after the match. “I think that the team showed a great attitude in the second half. We are very happy and thankful.”
“He’s got tremendous pace and intensity, quickness, and I thought that he was giving that defense a lot of fits,” FCD manager Schellas Hyndman said. “It’s kind of justice for him to get two goals in this game. I thought he had a very good performance.”
Chávez, for his part, was not completely satisfied after the match. He claimed the team wanted to win the match even after struggling through the first 45 minutes against the Red Bulls.
“I think the team improved enough but the fact of the matter is we wanted to get the three points,” Chávez said. “I think it was a first half for them and a second half for us.”
It was a tale of two halves for the visiting side as they failed to register a shot on goal in the first half and largely looked bewildered in their quest to gain possession and work the ball into New York’s defensive third.
In the second half the team sprang to life, testing Red Bulls goalkeeper Frank Rost with four shots on goal and putting New York back on their heels.
But even with the team’s improvement in the second 45 minutes, Hyndman was reminded of another game in May, in which FC Dallas had a late lead in Houston, were playing a man up, but still conceded a late equalizer.
“After that first half we could have settled for a tie, not that we ever want a tie,” Hyndman said. “But it’s just disappointing because it kind of reminded us about Houston once we were up a man and up a goal, but it gives us something to continue to work on.”
The key of the FC Dallas second-half turnaround came with the insertion of midfielder Bruno Guarda at halftime, and the Brazilian instantly made an impact moving the ball forward and impressing his coach.
“Bruno came in and he had a couple great touches, some forward runs and before you know it [Ricardo] Villar, Chávez and Bruno were all in the box and came away with a couple of scoring chances,” Hyndman said.
But Guarda, Chávez & Co. were left pondering what could have been when Henry scored his league-leading 11th goal with five minutes remaining, employing some quick footwork and a precise left-footed shot from outside the box.
“It was a great strike,” Hyndman said of the Frenchman's goal. “There were a lot of people in between Kevin [Hartman] and it was just very difficult for the ‘keeper to make the save because he couldn’t see it.”
Added Chávez, “For us, before the game we wanted to get the three points but the team couldn’t. Those are things that happen in football.”
Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @FCDallasBeatGuy