FC Dallas came into the game against D.C. United with the best record in MLS, and showed in the 13th minute of the match that they could be as dangerous on the road as at home with an impressive series of passes, ending with a textured, patient goal from Mauro Diaz.
But the ejection of right back Zach Loyd late in the first half started a series of issues that led to a variety of problems, and resulted in a 4-1 loss for FC Dallas on Saturday night at RFK Stadium. The match also included additional challenges beyond the immediate result for Dallas to grapple with.
After two challenges from the UNC product in the 10th and 39th minutes resulted in two separate cautions, Loyd was ejected from the match and FC Dallas were left down a player for the remainder of the game. Adding possible injury to insult, Diaz had to be subbed before the end of the first half. Then, deep into stoppage time of the first half, the home side erased the deficit, as Fabian Espindola finished a cross from Eddie Johnson.
With the team down a player, the strategy turned to trying to hold on for a result, with no success.
“We’re obviously going to play defense first, and then try and get one or chances to win the game, and that was our mindset going into it,” goalkeeper Chris Seitz told reporters after the game. “Obviously things changed decently quick and we had to adjust from there.”
In the second half, constant pressure from D.C. led to three goals in a ten minute stretch, and Dallas were left wondering what might have stopped the onslaught. Their coach thought the timing of the eventual winner was crucial.
“That didn’t work because we … conceded the second one very early,” said head coach Oscar Pareja. “It was too early and it gave them confidence.”
As if all that wasn’t enough, Michel was ejected for a challenge in the 89th minute on Chris Rolfe.
FC Dallas come off Saturday night’s game with their worst loss of the season. They also begin preparation for their next game, against New York next Sunday, knowing that two regular starters will be suspended, not to mention the unknown status of the apparent injury to Diaz.