It was a rough turn of events for FC Dallas on Saturday night, as our boys fell at home to the streaking LA Galaxy by a final score of 2-1. Two Robbie Keane headers in quick succession served as a sucker punch to FC Dallas hopes of snatching a signature win.
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Like many games in any sport, this one truly was a tale of two halves.
In the first half, FC Dallas was dominant, impressively so. You expect the attacking trio of dos Santos, Gerrard, and Keane to wreak havoc (which we’ll get to), but FCD bottled up their attacking impetus impressively.
The whole of LA failed to register a shot on target in a first half that found FC Dallas leading via a Michael Barrios opener. The goal came via the flanks, where FCD torched LA the entire first half. Cutting inside, Barrios rounded both the sliding Omar Gonzalez and the LA keeper to slot home coolly.
You couldn’t help but get excited after a display of that caliber. We were holding one of the hottest teams in MLS at bay and putting on an attacking display against their defense to boot. It was rather encouraging, especially considering the up and down season FCD has already had.
The second half, however, was a completely different story.
Within ten minutes of the restart, a 1-0 lead quickly turned into a 2-1 deficit courtesy of the big, Irish forehead of Robbie Keane. LA’s designated player found himself at the end of a Robbie Rogers cross and a dos Santos center to easily put the visitors ahead for good.
“Where was this game lost?”, I hear you asking. Everything looked so good in the first half; what caused such a collapse in such a short span.
This one can’t quite be chalked up to the offense. The likes of Fabian Castillo and Blas Perez created many chances and could have easily put this game to bed for FCD at some point in the match. The main culprit, in my eyes, was the placement of Je-Vaughn Watson at center back.
This one was out of necessity, as Zach Loyd was celebrating the birth of his first child (congrats to you, Zach). Still, just because something is necessary doesn’t necessarily make it preferable. The Jamaican looked lost in the center of defense, which was clearly evident in both of Robbie Keane’s goals.
This is no slight against the Jamaican. As a matter of fact, I’m quite a fan of his. His leadership for Jamaica in the Gold Cup and his bullying presence made me fall in the love with the man even more. However, with all that said, he’s not a central defender. He does just fine out wide as a fullback, but he’s not a defensively solid center back.
Walker Zimmerman seemed to show flashes of great play earlier in the season. He did make an appearance in this game as he was subbed on late in the second half (still don’t understand that substitution, Pareja), but I wonder why he didn’t feature from the start.
I’ll leave the back line up to Oscar and the boys to figure out. On to Vancouver next week as we take on another Western Conference foe high up in the standings. This could quickly become a crucial game, especially if the teams around us keep up the form they are in.