Pareja extols "remarkable" FC Dallas performance despite adversity vs. RBNY

FRISCO, Texas – Saturday marked FC Dallas’ seventh straight game without a victory.

But it sure didn’t feel like it.

Dallas played most of the match – 53 minutes – with 10 men after Jacori Hayes picked up two quick yellow cards, but still managed to rally twice to draw the visiting New York Red Bulls 2-2.

“What I saw on the field today was remarkable against a very good team, and they overcame the situations the game brought to them,” said FCD head coach Oscar Pareja. “It was a great performance. Collectively, I thought they pushed themselves to the limit, and they deserved to win that game – more than ever before.”

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Pareja was referring to what has been a beating of a month for FCD, where they’ve struggled to get much of anything going. Not counting Saturday night, Dallas had been outscored 14-5 in six straight matches, all either draws or losses.

But thanks to a relentless effort from Michael Barrios and a return to the starting lineup for playmaker Mauro Diaz, FCD generated a steady attack throughout – even while playing a man down.

“Mikey, since the first minute, he was getting behind with such energy and speed and working the flank,” Pareja said. “He was available the whole time to stretch the field. The connection he made with [Maxi] Urruti and Mauro was very good, so the effort from Mikey was fantastic.”

Added midfielder Victor Ulloa: “We were doing great until that red card changed the game completely. But we came in at half, coach came up with a really good game plan, put Mikey up top, and it worked out for us. We outworked them in the second half.”

Entering Saturday night, FCD sat just below the playoff line in the Western Conference – a quite unfamiliar place for a team that’s been atop or near the top of the league for three seasons.

While still earning them just a single point, like many of their matches over the last month, they’re hoping Saturday’s result can provide a spark as the playoff push intensifies.

“This season has been incredibly frustrating, because we can’t get the three points at the time we need it,” Pareja said, admitting Saturday’s draw at least felt different because of the positive momentum generated. “But we’ll keep pushing and build on this performance. It was very good.”

Added Ulloa: “It’s a little bittersweet. We wanted the three points. We worked all week trying to get the three points, and we come away with one. Given the situation, we have to take the point we got tonight.”