By Phil Stephens, FC Dallas Editor
GALAXY QUIETS FCD CROWD
L.A. throttles Dallas 1-0 before 22,565
Coming into a national prime time opportunity to make a huge step forward, FC Dallas, instead, pooped out to match its profile for most of the season—on the downside looking up as L.A. turned a second-half goal into a 1-0 road victory.
|Scott Sealey tried to generate some offense for Dallas Saturday night, but the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy put the quietus on FCD, winning 1-0.
Photo by Michael Stephens
Everything was set up Saturday for Dallas to make a dramatic turnaround statement. A record stadium-breaking sell-out crowd of 22,565, in sizzling 101-degree North Texas heat cheered on a home team with a chance to make an dramatic impact in the MLS Western Conference race against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Dallas squandered a decent first half. The team clearly wanted to bring the game to the visitors but just couldn't execute its wants. Instead, Dallas wound up chasing after the ball, giving up space in the back half and was very inefficient offensively. The Galaxy's Robbie Keane cut up FCD's back line, but could not finish. Both teams took eight shots before intermission, but Galaxy had three on target to none for Dallas.
FCD Head Coach Schellas Hyndman amped up the speed after intermission, bringing on Fabian Castillo and springing Jackson wide. George John also came into the game after months of injury absence to bolster the Dallas back line. There were some improvements, but it all went south after Mike Magee cleanly finished off a progressive combination from the left side to give the Galaxy the lead in the 61st minute.
The game's only scoring play started just outside the box, when the Galaxy's Marcelo Sarvas stepped through an attempt by FCD's Daniel Hernandez to push the ball upfield. Robbie Keane took it from there, dribbling a few steps and slipping it across the top of the box to Mike Magee, inside the arc.
Magee had missed four games to injury, but he had not forgotten what to do, He received the ball, turned right to face the goal and cranked a left-footed shot that was out of reach for FCD goalie Kevin Hartman, into the far corner left corner.
The Galaxy was just punishing Dallas' defenders that held back and would not step up to the persistent Los Angeles pressure. The game plan was to keep the pushing FCD back into its own half and eventually take advantage and it worked.
Dallas, playing with solo striker Scott Sealey on top, could not generate cohesive play in front of the Los Angeles pressure. The visitors smothered Dallas catalyst David Ferreira and Jackson, who has been effective since returning from a visit back to his native Brazil, never was able to bring his speed and athleticism into meaningful play.
The second half started well enough for the Red and White, but even with some pizazz to its attack, the home team could not fend off the continued Galaxy assault, especially after Magee hit his marker. The added leverage for L.A. was just what the team needed to secure three points on the road.
It remains to be seen what such an underwhelming performance will do to the team from Frisco, going forward, but it was a wasted opportunity in front of the team's biggest-ever FC Dallas Stadium crowd. Dallas has just four home games remaining in its last 11 matches and most likely none of them will offer the kind of atmosphere that was on hand Saturday in the sultry Texas night.