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FC Dallas draws with Colorado, 1-1

Posted on 01 August 2010 by pwoodruff

FC Dallas went up a Mile High to play a MLS regular season game and came down with a point. The boys from north Texas remained unbeaten for the eighth straight game, leaving Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO with a 1-1 tie versus the Colorado Rapids Saturday afternoon. The eight straight results are 4 wins and 4 draws. Dallas maintained its three point lead over Colorado for third place in the Western Conference. The draw extended the Rapids recent run of not so good form as they are now winless in seven straight with 5 of those being draws and 2 losses. On the road for the year, FCD is now a very nice 2-1-6, while Colorado’s home record moves to 3-1-4.

FCD started the game without one of their playmakers, Dax McCarty, but the Rapids weren’t feeling sorry for them as they were playing without leading scorer Conor Casey who had 7 of the teams 18 goals entering the game. The 18 goals were tied for worst in the West with Chivas USA. I am not sure why a big deal was made about the Rapids having scored only 18 goals in the first 16 games as FCD has only scored 20 in the first 16 games coming into this tilt. I know 6 of Colorado’s were penalty kicks but 5 for Dallas’ were penalty kicks too. I don’t care if the team I play gives me 9 own goals each game. I will take it every single game until the final whistle blows at MLS Cup in Toronto in November.

FCD scored first but had some help. Dallas defender Jair Benitez swung a ball towards goal intended for FCD midfielder Atiba Harris that Colorado defender Julien Baudet tried to clear but ended up with an own goal in the 22nd minute. FCD midfielder David Ferreira started the play with a nice ball that caught Colorado defender Marvell Wynne a little bit asleep it seemed. But, just 3 minutes later the Rapids were back in the game as Atiba Harris was called for a handball in the box. Not sure why but for some reason when Harris jumped up to send the corner kick away form danger he got his left hand way over his head and made obvious contact. It had to be the easiest decision the referee had all day. Colorado midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy stepped up in minute 26 and scored the tying goal on the ensuing penalty kick beating FCD keeper Kevin Hartman who guessed that Ballouchy was going to Hartman’s left but he went the wrong way.

FC Dallas’ team MVP in my eyes Kevin Hartman kept them in the game when he denied Colorado a go-ahead goal in the 43rd minute, swatting away a free kick by that appeared destined for the upper corner.

The second half saw no goals scored but a few good chances. Ferreira had a nice shot blocked away by Colorado keeper Matt Pickens in the 62nd minute and second half FCD substitute forward Jeff Cunningham had a shot just outside the crease blocked in the 82nd minute. Hartman stopped Colorado’s best second half chance in minute 78 when Colorado midfielder Colin Clark found Colorado defender and ex-FC Dallas fan favorite Drew Moor who headed the ball from close range but the FCD keeper managed to tip the ball over the crossbar.

The result now leaves FC Dallas with a 6-2-9 overall record, good for 27 points in 17 games which is just a little ahead of my projected playoff formula of needing 1.5 points on average for every game played to ensure a spot in the 2010 MLS Playoffs. The draw leaves Colorado at 6-5-6 and 24 points in 17 games, just below where they need to be. And the stat of the day goes to the announcers who informed us that Colorado, when giving up the first goal, is now 0-48-17. Yikes.

Game Grades:

Hartman – 8 team MVP in my eyes
Benitez – 5 I got a bad feeling he is the most likely on the team to get a bad red card come playoff time, continuing a FCD tradition
Ihemelu – 7 better than the last couple of games for him
John – 8 was very good again today
Pearce – 7 no real dangerous crosses today
Hernandez – 7 helped the rookie out and played his usual game
Alexander – 6 kept things simple and didn’t do bad at all out there
Shea 6 – most of this score was earned in the first 45
Harris – 5 not sure what he was thinking on handball and Coach must have agreed as he was pulled early in second half
Ferreira – 7 not his best game but possessed the ball pretty well
Rodriguez – 6 no real impact today

Chavez – 3 got a yellow card but I otherwise almost forgot he came on
Cunningham – 6 actually looked a little dangerous for first time in awhile
Guarda – 4 I may stay at a Holiday Inn sometimes but he went to SMU (I really don’t know what this means I am just going for a laugh here)

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