FC Dallas Observations: Red Cards, Red Flags, And One Golden Performance


Sunday night’s game between FC Dallas and the San Jose Earthquakes had to be the most eventful 0-0 draw in the history of 0-0 draws.

Between three red cards, 20 shots, penalty appeals, and a flurry of other half-chances and opportunities, this game had no shortage of drama, except maybe in the goal department.

Here are just a few observations from what truly was a wild, roller coaster of a game.

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Ulloa, the rock

Victor Ulloa is making a pretty legitimate case to be considered FC Dallas’ best player so far this season. Sunday night’s performance was arguably his strongest in what has already been an impressive year.

In a box-to-box display, Ulloa looked a man among boys in the center of the pitch. Although not particularly big, his positioning and tackling made his presence seem that much more imposing for Quake attackers.

There was one particular play that, for me, summed up Ulloa’s performance in this one. Early in the second half, he stepped in to make an intervention on a counter then quickly spun away and back into the attacking third. In a 2 second span, he epitomized the perfect box-to-box midfielder, the kind that defends intelligently and increases the attacking threat by providing another viable option.

His second half display was pretty much perfect. He passed the ball around brilliantly and never seemed out of place defensively. He’s stepping up for FC Dallas when it seems others are hiding in the shadows.

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  • Michel has lost a step this season

    Sunday was another sad chapter in the 2015 season for Michel. An automatic selection it seemed at points last season, Michel has found it difficult to string together a solid performance this season.

    His first few appearances of the season gave FCD fans hope that his set-piece deliveries and distribution of the ball were up to par with what he had offered set last season.

    Unfortunately, his last several performances have left much to be desired. The free kicks aren’t as majestic, the set piece passes aren’t as pinpoint, and his defensive positioning has been poor.

    When Pareja substituted Michel out for Castillo, it had to be the best substitution of the season, especially with FC Dallas going up a man.

    Another game, another lack of offense

    Offense seemed to be the least of FC Dallas’ problems at the beginning of the season. Now, as the never-ending stretch of road games continues, we can’t seem to buy a goal.

    In FC Dallas’ four game winless streak (you read that correctly, winless streak), they have only scored 1 goal, which came from the head of Matt Hedges, not the most common goal scoring avenue for FCD.

    They’ve been shut out three of those four games, which only happened once in their previous ten. But even that shutout, a 0-0 draw at home to Seattle, came when FC Dallas was down to 10 men for the majority of the game. It felt like an important point, unlike the subsequent scoreless draws.

    It hasn’t been for the lack of trying. The opportunities are still there; the finishing isn’t. Take Michael Barrios’ first half curler as a perfect example. The pass from Texeira was perfect, even if it was his only meaningful contribution in the entire 90 minutes. The chance was there. The finish, however, fell flat.

    I said before this game that FC Dallas needed to right the ship on this unfortunate road trip. With an offensive output of one goal in four games and a total of two points over that span, the ship is still taking on water. It’s still salvageable; at least I think it is.

    Next: Zach Loyd's Nightmare Return