A Defining Moment For FC Dallas


How FC Dallas saw two penalty kicks, but only one goal.

Tesho Akindele and FC Dallas capitalized on their chances Saturday night to notch a clutch 2-0 win at home over Real Salt Lake.

The Canadian-born winger, on his return to the starting lineup for FCD, earned the game-deciding penalty kick after beautifully collecting a Victor Ulloa pass and drawing the foul. In a confident move, Akindele then stepped up and converted the penalty straight down the heart of the goal to put FCD up on the night.

What happened next, in my opinion, is a moment that might go on to define FC Dallas’ season. Like Roy McAvoy said in Tin Cup, when a defining moment comes along, you define the moment or the moment defines you (I know it’s a golf reference about a soccer game, but bear with me).

1-0 is a score line that FC Dallas would have been happy with. 2-0 would have been great, but 1-1 surely would have been a disappointment. When you consider the upcoming schedule for FC Dallas, and the tightly contested Western Conference standings in which FCD sit, this was a game that FCD needed to win.

However, that win looked in jeopardy after Kellyn Acosta took down Juan Manuel Martinez in the RSL box, conceding a penalty to the visitors. FCD fans collectively groaned, as it seemed our boys that were once destined for a clutch win, now may lose it in the same way that they earned it…from the penalty spot.

Just to add to the moment, it wasn’t not a seasoned veteran standing in goal for FC Dallas. Jesse Gonzalez, the young 20 year-old shot stopper for FCD, had never recorded a shutout. This was not Chris Seitz; this was not Dan Kennedy. It was an untested youngster, just like many other players for FC Dallas.

In what could have been a catastrophic moment, the upright came up big for FC Dallas. A little bit of luck went a long way as Morales’ shot caromed off the post, leaving FCD’s 1-0 lead intact.

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  • Just moments later, Fabian Castillo pounced on a defensive miscue from RSL and raced onto the end of the misplayed ball. His cannon of a shot left no chance for Nick Rimando and left no doubt as to who would be taking home the three points on offer for this game.

    Castillo – who it should be noted has been called onto the Colombian National Team – was Johnny-on-the-spot when FC Dallas needed it the most on Saturday night. It was a moment when FC Dallas’ season could have been sent into a tailspin, if not for the goalkeeper’s skinny friend, and a little Colombian magic.

    A loss at home to RSL would have put a major damper on this team’s impetus to push for a playoff spot in the West. It wouldn’t have been impossible, but it certainly would not have been ideal.

    It looked certain to happen when the whistle blew for a penalty to RSL. Sometimes, however, you get a little luck from the soccer gods and a bounce falls your way. And when your best player capitalizes on such a break from the powers that be, you know you’re in for something special.

    Here’s to hoping for more lucky bounces and Castillo goals. We’re going to need them.

    Next: Cold August for FCD

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