Ten-man FCD makes it three on the bounce

The historically unhappy hunting grounds of Kansas City have become one of FC Dallas’ favored away trips as the Hoops made it three wins from the last four league visits in a chippy contest.

“We just talked to the boys. I’m very proud of the group to defend each other and protect each other. You saw the emotions and the passion there. It was heated but that’s part of football sometimes, and you can have all the tactics you want, but the energy that you put out there and the response to protecting each other and sacrificing for each others is just as important. I felt that from the group and I’m really proud of them”

Luchi Gonzalez on the win

Dallas boss, Luchi Gonzalez, had talked about the need for rotation and it came with Michael Barrios and Ryan Hollingshead dropping to the bench for Fafa Picault and Johnny Nelson. Johnny Nelson got the start at left back. Jimmy Maurer returned from injury after Kyle Zobeck tweaked his groin at the end of Wednesday’s win over Colorado. Phelipe has to settle for a place on the bench.

The hosts should have had the lead in the first ten minutes through the bane of FCD’s earlier game in KC – Gerso Fernandes.

Johnny Russell and Graham Zusi combine down the right, with the latter playing a cross from the end line. The ball finds Gerso, who gets a shot off that clips the post before Reto Ziegler can clear the danger with a pass to Santiago Mosquera.

Dallas also missed a golden opportunity inside the opening 15 minutes as Bryan Reynolds plays a cross from deep on the right. Franco Jara has a free header but can only find the hands of Tim Melia.

If Gerso and Jara were vying for worst miss, Gerso took the win around the half hour mark as Khiry Shelton headed a cross back across the box to find Ferndandes wide open with the goal at his mercy. Fortunately for Luchi Gonzalez’s side, Gerso’s blazed the shot over.

Much like the win in midweek, Dallas ruined a coach’s half time team talk as Tanner Tessmann spread the ball out to Johnny Nelson on the left in the 42nd minute. Nelson cut inside to lose a defender and crossed right-footed for Franco Jara to meet with a diving header to give Dallas the lead.

Dallas came out of the break against Colorado with momentum and repeated that at Children’s Mercy Park. Reto Ziegler delivered a corner from the right after Fafa Picault forced a save off Tim Melia. A defensive header hits Johnny Russell’s knee and Franco Jara is first to the rebound to shoot between Melia’s legs and make it five goals in the former Pachuca striker’s last five games.

As an awkward bounce giveth, an awkward bounce taketh away just a few minutes later. A Gianluca Busio corner took another deflection for Johnny Russell to slam home off the post.

Jimmy Maurer making his comeback in the stadium he was hurt in surely called for a big moment, and immediately after to help quash Sporting’s momentum. A cross from Amadou Dia sweeps across the box for the Scot, but Jimmy Maurer gets down to make a huge stop.

As Sporting Kansas City began to press higher, Dallas reverted to a defensive shape with Luchi Gonzalez making use of the bench with Bryan Acosta, Michael Barrios, Bressan, and Ryan Hollingshead entering through the second half to help shut up shop for the final 25 minutes.

“We felt that there was some overloads wide that we need to handle and take care of and look at the end of the day they didn’t score on the run a play they scored in two set pieces. So so I thought tactically We made some good adjustments.”

Luchi Gonzalez on the defensive shift.

FC Dallas had developed a bad habit of giving away needless fouls in its attempt to break down Kansas City and that came back to bite them as Bryan Reynolds shoved Dia at the right side of the box. Johnny Russell lost his marker once again and headed home Busio’s free kick to draw things level.

Ryan Hollingshead mentioned in the press conference after the game that he wasn’t supposed to play, but the Dallas changes forced him into action in support of the breakaway effort.

Off a punt up field in the 86th minute from Bryan Acosta, Graham Zusi fluffs a back pass into the path of Michael Barrios. Barrios’ shot is rebounded only as far as Ryan Hollingshead who takes full advantage of the open goal.

“It was just a giveaway from them. Mikey was in on goal and I was just trying to stay ready for any sort of rebound. Then as I saw Mikey cut to try to go around the goalie, I saw the ball pop out to me and classic Hollingshead goal right there. I was in the right place at the right time, but it feels good to get the first one for sure.”

Ryan Hollingshead on first goal of the season.

Needless fouls had one last part to play as Bryan Acosta – who had already been booked for persistent infringement inside 19 minutes – picked up a second booking for charging in late on Matt Besler.

Much to the chagrin of SKC head coach Peter Vermes, his side weren’t able take advantage of six minutes of injury time with a man advantage as Dallas closed the gap between the sides to just one point in the Western Conference standings.

“There’s not a better place to get three points than here in Kansas City. There’s no better feeling. I love taking three points from Children’s Mercy Park. So glad to do that.”

Ryan Hollingshead

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