The Philadelphia Union had never won at Toyota Stadium, and FC Dallas had won its last 11 home openers. As easy as that sounds, Dallas had a tough time connecting in the Union’s final third relying on two moments of individual brilliance to help them to a 2-0 win.
“It wasn’t that wasn’t a great game from us. It was the first game. Basically, we were a second half we were just defending so we can’t be happy with where we played but of course we were so happy that three points that we wanted. Now, we just have to sit down and look at the mistakes, look at the good things and learn from this game because if you want to be the best we have to play better.”Zdenek “Kobra” Ondrasek
It was a new look with a dominant left side as Ryan Hollingshead and Fafa Picault dictated play in the first half, but all the same issues as Jesus Ferreira struggled to provide a reliable link from a brand new midfield to the attack.
Michael Barrios provide the best chance for either side in the first half. The Colombian met a low Picault cross at the back post only for Andre Blake to produce an outstanding reaction save.
Thiago Santos almost capped off his FC Dallas debut with a goal early in the second half. The defensive midfielder took a pass from Reggie Cannon just outside the Union box, but his shot was just outside Blake’s near post. The Brazilian put in a fantastic performance, worthy of the Man of the Match award.
Finally on the hour mark, Zdenek Ondrasek broke the deadlock. With his back to goal, the Kobra received a pass from Ferreira which popped up on his first touch before he turned and slammed a low drive home from 20 yards.
“You can’t score if you don’t try. It bounced perfectly so I just closed my eyes probably and kicked it. I hit it well I guess.”Zdenek “Kobra” Ondrasek
Philadelphia hadn’t threatened FC Dallas through the first hour, but just four minutes later the visitors put Jesse Gonzalez to work, sliding out to clear a loose ball with several Union attackers in pursuit.
Paxton Pomykal was left out of the starting lineup having only returned to full training this week, while Tanner Tessmann went through a rapid ascent over the past two weeks from academy player with a college commitment to Homegrown signing starting his first professional game. The pair were involved in the game’s second goal with Pomykal replacing Ferreira after Dallas shifted to a 3-5-2.
Tessmann played a short ball to Pomykal at the half way line. Taking full advantage of the additional attacker pulling defensive resources away, the 20-year-old made a mazy run from the half way line into the Union area – with a second give and go with Tessmann – before shooting across Blake for his third career goal.
“It’s nice! Being out three and a half months it’s not easy, especially when going into the surgery you expect to be back a little bit sooner than that. So I had a lot of ups and downs with my recovery, but it’s really sweet to get a goal tonight on my, you know, comeback game.”Paxton Pomykal