FC Dallas' new boys made their mark with a goal each from Andres Ricaurte and Franco Jara giving their new team a 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo in Saturday's Texas Derby at Toyota Stadium in Frisco.
With the scores tied just past the hour mark, Jara struck his second goal for Dallas since his summer transfer from Pachuca with a delightful lofted finish from Michael Barrios' equally exquisite through ball to ensure it was the home side that took all three points from an engrossing encounter.
It was a game of exceptional goals all round. After a slow start to proceedings, the game burst into life in the 28th minute courtesy of one of the goals of the season from Ricaurte. Marking his first start for Dallas in style, the club's new No. 10 struck a stunning left-footed volley from all of 30 yards to leave Houston goalkeeper Marko Maric with no chance.
But just 13 minutes later, Houston responded with a golazo of their own. This time it was Memo Rodriguez, who continued his fine season for Houston by blasting an unstoppable free-kick into the top corner of the net.
Dallas were left frustrated with close calls that failed to go their way, when the officials first ruled that a Santiago Mosquera shot had not crossed the line before being scrambled away by Maric and then when the again impressive Bryan Reynolds saw his vociferous appeals for a penalty go unheeded after a challenge from Adam Lundkvist. But despite being unable to add to their lead, Dallas held on to secure a welcome first win in three games.
- 28' - DAL - Andres Ricaurte | WATCH
- 41' - HOU - Memo Rodriguez | WATCH
- 61' - DAL - Franco Jara | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: This was a big win for Dallas, one that lifts them back above the playoff line in the Western Conference and put a halt to a fine run of form for Tab Ramos' Dynamo side. The manner of the victory will also delight head coach Luchi Gonzalez, with a new-look attack looking hugely promising. On another night they could have had more goals to show for it.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: With apologies to Memo Rodriguez and Franco Jara, Andres Ricaurte's stunning volley to break the deadlock gets the nod. What a way to introduce yourself to the Dallas supporters.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Andres Ricaurte. Even ignoring his wonder goal – something you certainly shouldn't do – Ricaurte was the standout performer for Dallas. It is easy to see why the club was so high on the Colombian playmaker as he lit up the game with silky turns and touches and incisive through balls. Dallas looked a different team with him in the lineup.
- DAL: Wednesday, Sept. 16 vs. Colorado Rapids (8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US' MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)
- HOU: Saturday, Sept. 19 vs. Minnesota United (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US' MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)