One down, four to go. FC Dallas coach Luchi Gonzalez challenged his players ahead of their Decision Day presented by AT&T matchup with Sporting Kansas City to win five matches in order to deliver the club its first-ever MLS Cup. On Sunday, Dallas emphatically took the first step, easing past Sporting KC 6-0 at Toyota Stadium to clinch a place in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Having ended the regular season in seventh place in the West, Dallas will take on the Seattle Sounders in Round One of the playoffs.
After four matches without a win going into the game, Dallas needed to conjure up a victory to be sure of extending its 2019 into the postseason. And the scorching afternoon in Frisco, Texas, could have hardly gone any smoother for first-year coach Gonzalez. Just nine minutes in, the home side further deflated an already eliminated Sporting, when a fine ball over the top completely broke up the visitors' defense allowing Zdenek Ondrasek to run through and slide the ball past Eric Dick.
The lead was doubled only three minutes later when Santiago Mosquera skillfully gained a yard of space down the left of the box following a corner before laying the ball on a plate for defender Matt Hedges to tap home.
Already in cruise control, FCD were seemingly able to pick off Sporting at will. It remained 2-0 going into halftime but any nerves that still lingered about missing out on a playoffs berth were extinguished six minutes into the second half. Mosquera again beat his man with a step-over and fully deserved the slice of good fortune that arrived when his side-footed shot deflected into the net off SKC defender Botond Barath.
- THE BIG PICTURE: FC Dallas had the pressure on going into Decision Day but they brushed off the tension with aplomb, dominating Sporting Kansas City from start to finish. It helped that they were going up against a side already looking ahead to better times in 2020 but it was still a mightily impressive performance from Luchi Gonzalez's men. There is no better way to enter the playoffs than with an emphatic win and they will go to Seattle in the first round of the playoffs with confidence aplenty.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Acosta's defense splitting pass and Ondrasek's cool finish less than 10 minutes in calmed any Dallas nerves and set them on their way to an emphatic win.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Santiago Mosquera lit up the game with two moments of skill, one that set up Dallas' second goal for Matt Hedges and the other that created the space to seal the victory with his side's third.
- Dallas: Oct. 19 at Seattle, 3:30 pm ET (FS1, FOX Deportes) | Round One, Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs
- Sporting KC: End of season