With US Open Cup Final looming, FC Dallas' home undefeated streak ends

FRISCO—Three hundred and 92 days straight without losing at home. After Saturday, it's time for FC Dallas to start a streak anew.

Dallas suffered a 1-0 loss to the visiting Colorado Rapids Saturday night – seemingly a trade-off they were willing to take, benching offensive cogs Mauro Diaz and Michael Barrios with the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final just three days away.

“We’re playing the Open Cup, CONCACAF, the league, and the national team qualifications. I think we needed to be smart with [our starters],” said head coach Oscar Pareja, adding it was something they planned on doing all week. “There’s not too much that they can’t do [other than] face every competition. Tonight we wanted to give the opportunity to a couple of other guys.”

Both Diaz and Barrios eventually came back into the game, which ignited the FC Dallas attack in the final third, particularly when Diaz came in after the lone Colorado goal.

Pareja went as far as to say his team “dominated” the game, forcing Tim Howard to make seven saves; five in the second half. But for the first time since May 15, 2015 – 484 days – FC Dallas failed to score a goal in front of their home fans.

“That wasn’t enough,” Pareja said. “At the end, we ended up just giving away the result.”

The stats lend credence to Pareja’s claim, with Dallas possessing the ball 63.8 percent of the match and outshooting Colorado 7-1 on goal and 17-6 in total.

The difference in the scoreboard, according to Pareja, was a mental lapse toward midfield in the 52nd minute.

“It was a ball that was in our control, and we just ended up losing the ball on the sidelines,” Pareja said. “We just gave it up, Colorado did it quick. Then we were chasing a man there in the middle, which created the gap.”

Despite sitting key players and losing some crucial breathing room in the Supporters’ Shield standings, FC Dallas did not believe they were looking ahead to Tuesday’s& match.

“We were taking this game like a final. We approached it that way,” said midfielder Victor Ulloa. “We weren’t overlooking them at all.”

Said goalkeeper Chris Seitz: “We could probably take it as a humbling experience. We’re going to have to grind out the rest of these results, and we know that. We knew this was going to be a tough game, and we knew they were going to be hungry.”

With a quick turn-around, the club isn’t worried about any negative momentum carrying over into the next time they take the Toyota Stadium pitch.

In fact, Seitz said having the game sooner rather than later after a loss is a good thing, and a way for them to right the wrongs that led to their first home loss in over a year.

“Glass half-empty or glass half-full, right?” Seitz said. “I look at it as a great opportunity. Not every often do you get to play at home for a Cup. We’ll get past this. No one’s going to hang their head on this. We talked after the game – we’re OK. We’re still in a good spot. The Supporters' Shield still means a lot to us, and we’re still going to be pushing for it.”