Prior to Saturday night's match, Michael Barrios hadn't scored in a 2018 MLS match — but he turned that around in style, scoring a hat trick to lead FC Dallas to a 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City at Children's Mercy Park.
Barrios opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with his first goal in MLS action since last October. Though Victor Ulloa earned the assist for his brilliant long ball into Barrios, Ike Opara inadvertently helped out on the goal by heading Ulloa's pass into Barrios' path.
Sporting did have chances to equalize, but the Dallas defense weathered multiple threats — Matt Hedges, in particular, had two sliding tackles within two minutes to snuff out potential shots on goal.
SKC couldn't be held off the scoresheet forever. Less than five minutes into the second half, Gerso Fernandes worked one-on-one against recently-signed defender Marquinhos Pedroso and was able to beat him for the equalizer. But Barrios wasn't through, either — in the 62nd minute, Roland Lamah sent Barrios down the left flank with a pass, allowing him to catch a charging Tim Melia in no-man's land to score a nutmeg goal. Barrios completed the hat trick in the 74th minute to close out Dallas's scoring, though Daniel Salloi scored deep into a lengthy stoppage time to give SKC some hope at salvaging a result.
- 23' – DAL – Michael Barrios | WATCH
- 50' – SKC – Gerso Fernandes | WATCH
- 62' – DAL – Michael Barrios | WATCH
- 74' – DAL – Michael Barrios | WATCH
- 90+6' – SKC – Daniel Salloi | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Dallas extended their Western Conference lead to six points over LAFC and nine over SKC — showing no immediate signs of missing Mauro Diaz. Meanwhile, just ten days after SKC coach Peter Vermes voiced displeasure in his team's lackluster U.S. Open Cup ouster, they returned to home action without being able to secure a result, raising additional questions about whether this recent run is a hiccup or a summer swoon in the making.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The second Barrios goal was notable for several reasons: It was the pivotal go-ahead goal, it showcased Dallas' success in playing Barrios as a second striker to pressure SKC's backline with speed, and it was a rare Tim Melia mistake illustrating just how much this wasn't Sporting's night.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Though Hedges should get a nod of appreciation for his defensive work, particularly near halftime, it was clearly Barrios' night.