By Clay Massey
FRISCO, Texas – Mauro Diaz made a freezing cold and rainy opening night well worth it for the 18,011 fans and for Oscar Pareja’s homecoming to Frisco. Pareja opened his reign as FC Dallas manager with a 3-2 win over the visiting Montreal Impact. Both teams came out in a 4-2-3-1, and FC Dallas with Blas Perez up-top, and Montreal had Andrew Wenger alone up-top.
In a game where FC Dallas had more more possession (54.6), but less shots on target (4-9), FC Dallas’ Mauro Diaz provided the spark of brilliance that wins matches. However Montreal opened the scoring in the 10’ minute after Chris Seitz and Jair Benitez stoned them at the goal line twice earlier. A run down the right side by Justin Mapp was followed by a cross into the box. An unmarked Sanna Nyassi tapped past Seitz to make it 1-0 to the visiting Impact. Dallas got right back in it in the 16’ minute when a ball deflected around the Montreal back line, and Fabian Castillo made the finish look easy on the loose ball to tie it at one. In the 23’ minute Mauro Diaz made the most of contact by Jeb Brovsky in the box. The referee pointed to the spot with no hesitation. Blas Perez smashed the PK top shelf to make it 2-1 FC Dallas.
Mauro Diaz would seal the deal two minutes into the second half. A free-kick given away after a hand-ball about three yards outside the box. Diaz stood over the free-kick and very calmly just lifted the ball over the wall and placed it perfectly into the top left corner. It was 3-1 FC Dallas in the 47’ minute. The Impact would get on back in the 65’ minute by way of an Andrew Wenger header, but the FC Dallas defense and Chris Seitz put on their A game to close out the match.
The match would end at 3-2, and FC Dallas and their fans went home cold, but happy. When asked about coaching his first game for FC Dallas, “You know what I feel for this team. I was here for 14 years. My kids were born here. I started playing soccer in the states here. I am very proud to be able to contribute to the development of this team.” said Pareja. FC Dallas fans should be excited for the coming year with Pareja at the helm, and young players like Fabian Castillo and Mauro Diaz taking the field. FC Dallas return to action against Chivas, and Montreal return to action after a straight shot down I-45 in Houston.