FC Dallas was looking to get back into form while the Colorado Rapids were in dire need of road points tonight. Colorado had beaten Dallas in their last two MLS match-ups in Frisco, and while they didn’t get all three points tonight, they did get one.
In the first 10 minutes of the game, Dallas had three shots with one on goal, a corner kick, and two free kicks. Even though they weren’t dominating possession, Dallas came out strong.
Dominique Badji had a great chance in the 13th minute with a nice through ball from Shkelzen Gashi, but FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez got just enough on it to clear it wide. Throughout the half, Dallas continued to put pressure on the Rapids, who sat back and absorbed it, but did manage to get a couple runs. It didn’t seem like the offense was on the same page, though, as Kevin Doyle sent in a couple through balls to no one.
Gashi went down around the 27th minute, and we thought maybe Luis Gil was going to make his Rapids debut, but he ended up finishing the half. Besides a nice pass out to Mohammed Saeid, he didn’t really do much (and could have been the missing run to Doyle’s pass). Maybe he should have been subbed out...?
In stoppage time, Cristian Colman passed the ball to Max Urruti at the top of the 18, who smoked a shot past the back line and Tim Howard to score a goal. VAR triggered the review and not only was the goal called back due to a foul on Badji at the other end, but the ball was given to the Rapids for a free kick. (It was Attiba Harris’ third goal on Badji in the half, but he didn’t get a yellow card.) Unfortunately, Gashi rocketed the ball way over the goal. The Rapids struggled with taking advantage of set pieces in the first half.
The second half started with an unexpected substitute - Kort Ford came in for Axel Sjoberg. Richard Fleming and Jordan Angeli (who subbed in on Altitude for Marcelo Balboa, who is with the youth team this weekend) weren’t sure what was going on other than it appeared to be an injury-related sub. Ford made an impact immediately, clearing a ball off the line within the first five minutes of the half.
Richard Fleming later announced that Sjoberg has a “lower body injury.”
There wasn’t much of note in the first 30 minutes or so of the half, except Mike da Fonte got a yellow card (is anyone surprised?) and will miss the next game due to yellow card accumulation, and Kort Ford had another big save in the 61st minute. Dallas had a four to two man advantage, and Ford made the right decision by going down and clearing the ball. Gashi took a shot around the 77th minute that blasted Matt Hedges in the head. After the MLS “concussion protocol” was or wasn’t followed, Hedges went to the sideline and quickly returned to the game.
Tim Howard came up with a big save, but gave up possession at least three times by booting a goal kick out of bounds. I’ve been noticing it happen almost every game, and the Rapids can’t afford to give the ball up that easily. He also made a couple questionable decisions about coming off his line. Besides the big saves (which are important), Howard seemed to have an off night.
With just a little more than eight minutes left in the match, there was a lightning delay. When the action started back up again, Alan Gordon subbed in for Marlon Hairston, and Nana Adjei-Boateng came in for Gashi with just a couple minutes to go. I’m pretty hard on Mike da Fonte, but those last 14 minutes (including the six minutes of stoppage time obviously) were some of the best we’ve seen from him so far. If we could see that guy for 90 minutes, I’d be okay with it.
Dallas held the Rapids to just one shot on goal and two corner kicks, while the Frisco side sent six shots in on goal and had 11 corners. Despite the stats, the Rapids managed to hold off the intense pressure and got away with 0-0 draw.