FRISCO, Texas — It’s amazing what some consistency can do to help a defense.
Playing with the same backline for the third straight game — something that has not happened yet this season — FC Dallas forced San Jose into their first road shutout with a 0-0 draw on Saturday night thanks to a combination of last-ditch defending and the budding center back partnership of Matt Hedges and Hernán Pertúz.
“I think we need to get a little bit more disciplined in the back … but I think Hernán and Matt continue to get better and better,” Schellas Hyndman told reporters after the game. “Now I can say those two guys you could [be] put on any team in the league and they would be successful.”
Full Highlights: DAL 0, SJ 0
In their fourth straight game paired at center back, Hedges (pictured above, right) and Pertúz kept MLS leading scorer Chris Wondolowski and his strike partner Alan Gordon off the board for just the fourth time this season while displaying much more cohesion than in past games.
“It’s obviously way better communication,” Pertúz said of his partnership with Hedges. “Even though it’s not easy because of the language and it’s always hard to communicate clearly, we’ve been working on it and understanding more and coordinating a little bit better at covering the spaces better as a team.”
While the offense is still sputtering, it’s safe to say the FC Dallas defense is in a better spot than they’ve been at any point this season. Allowing just one goal in their three-game homestand has kept FCD in games while they work David Ferreira back into the mix and wait for Panamanian forward Blas Pérez to return from injury.
“I think it’s coming together,” Andrew Jacobson said about his Dallas defense. “We’re pressing well, knowing when to drop off. … It’s really starting to click and that starts to open up for our attacking players because they don’t feel the pressure to get back as much.”
With a two-game road trip coming up — FCD will take on Colorado next weekend before heading to San Jose on July 18 — and the club in the midst of a 13-game winless streak, FCD can only hope the back line holds strong.