FC Dallas 1, Rapids 0
Listening to the coaches after the game, one might think the
result was reversed.
Jackson scored the only goal in the 11th minute off a fortunate
bounce and FC Dallas held on to beat the Colorado Rapids 1-0 in the
teams’ season-opener Saturday night.
Colorado, which went 3-13-1 on the road last season en route to
missing the playoffs, just two years after defeating Dallas in the
2010 MLS Cup Final, started five newcomers – including four who
were making their MLS debuts.
”I thought it was good,” Rapids coach Oscar Pareja said of his
squad’s performance. ”I saw a team that was dictating the pace and
it was good.”
Dallas, also looking to return to the postseason after finishing
sixth in the Western Conference last year, improved its all-time
home record against the Rapids to 20-6-4.
”As I said to the guys, we didn’t have a real good
performance,” Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. ”We’ve had
better training sessions than what we showed. At the same time,
they showed a lot of character, a lot of discipline and commitment
to come away with the three points. We wish we could have played
Jackson, who had four goals last season, struck after David
Ferreira launched a lead ball from beyond midfield. Jackson tried
to chase it down and as goalkeeper Steward Ceus charged out of the
penalty area, it bounced over him, allowing Jackson an easy shot
into an open net.
”Me and David, we work a lot on him giving me the pass, and I
saw the defender and just took off,” said Jackson of the play.
”And then when I saw that the ball was bouncing, I didn’t expect
the mistake by the goalkeeper, but I was ready for it.”
Ceus, starting in place of veteran Matt Pickens, who sat out due
to a leg injury, settled down after that and made five saves.
”Just the skip on the ball, I didn’t expect it, I came out to
play the ball too early,” said Ceus, who surrendered just his
second MLS goal in his four appearances. ”It was a bad skip for
me. It happens and what you have to do is bounce back and play the
80 other minutes.”
Colorado nearly tied it just three minutes later, but Dallas
goalkeeper Raul Fernandez, in his first MLS contest, made a nice
save on rookie Deshorn Brown’s point-blank shot.
Jackson almost got his second goal in the 18th minute, but his
30-yard blast curled just wide of the right post.
Dallas had another prime opportunity to build on its lead in the
64th minute but Ceus made a diving save on Ferreira’s low shot from
the edge of the penalty box.
As time wound down, the Rapids applied considerable pressure,
buzzing around the Dallas goal for much of the final 10 minutes,
but were unable to get the tying goal.
”Great way to start the season. For the defense, getting a
shutout was a positive,” Dallas defender Matt Hedges said. ”I
thought we handled the pressure well and taking advantage of the
opportunity they gave us for the goal. A good result for us.”
With the season just starting, Colorado has already been hobbled
by injuries. In addition to Pickens, second-year midfielder Martin
Rivero (broken foot, expected to be out 2-3 months), last year’s
leading scorer, forward Jaime Castrillon (knee, out until June),
and former Los Angeles forward Edson Buddle, who was acquired in an
off-season trade but injured his knee training with the U.S.
Dallas was also without forward Blas Perez, who was serving the
first of a two-game suspension assessed in the 2012 season