First Reactions to the 2015 FC Dallas Season

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What a punch to the gut. Finally, going into a playoff series with a sense of momentum after beating the “favored” Sounders, a lot of the FC Dallas faithful rightfully felt like a chance to host and win MLS Cup was in the offing.

But with a late goal in Portland, the Timbers made it 3-1 after the first leg and Dallas could only muster a 2-2 tie in Texas, and it is Portland on their way to play Columbus in the Final. Ironically, had Dallas found a way to not give up that late goal in Portland, and somehow find a way to not give up a second goal in Dallas, the Texas fans could have been privy to another thrilling finale in either extra time or kicks from the mark, and it would have been Oscar Pareja’s side hosting the Crew in the Final.

Alas, it was not to be. But as disappointing as things feel – and certainly, to get so close after having the best record in the Western Conference – there are bags of reasons to feel good about this team going forward. To be sure, there are some improvements that need to be made, and we will touch on them here too, but the list of positives is much longer. So let’s grab a few quick surface-level comments about this year in FC Dallas.

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FC Dallas’ late comeback falls short, bow out of MLS Cup Playoffs. Portland Timbers advance to first MLS Cup Final in club history

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FC Dallas would come just a goal short of producing yet another classic in this year’s MLS Cup Playoffs, but after a valiant effort, their 2015 campaign came to an end.

Ryan Hollingshead and Blas Perez would put their best efforts forward for Dallas, but Dairon Asprilla and Lucas Melano had other ideas, putting the Portland Timbers into their first MLS Cup in club history.

Dallas would have the first chance of the match coming in the 6th minute. Fabian Castillo was lurking on the left-side of the box unmarked and homegrown Kellyn Acosta found him with a great cross. Castillo crossed the ball across the face of goal but no-one could connect. Portland would immediately counter, but Acosta tracked back to prevent the one-on-one chance with a tackle of Fanendo Adi.

The teams would then trade open chances, neither would find the back of the net. Portland would get the first of those chances as Darion Asprilla would use a deft touch with his chest to produce a shot inside the box in the 14th minute. Homegrown keeper Jesse Gonzalez would come up with a nice save from point-blank.

Portland’s keeper, Adam Larsen Kwarasey, would commit grand larceny, robbing David Texeira of his second goal in this year’s playoffs. Texeira would have an open header crashing down towards goal. His effort was stonewalled by Kwarasey who flailed his body at it to make the stop in the 32nd minute.

The Timbers would have one final chance in the first half at the 36 minute mark after an Asprilla cross, but Adi would send his effort 20 rows into the stands.

Adi would have the last laugh in the 51st minute. After a Mauro Diaz turnover the ball found its way to the feet of Adi who had just Gonzalez in front of him as Walker Zimmerman had slipped to the ground. Adi dribbled and ripped a shot past the fingertips of Gonzalez to make the score 1-0 in the match, 4-1 on aggregate in favor of the Timbers.

Diaz would refuse to be remembered as the guy who helped end his clubs season, so he took over the match. The Argentine would provide two assists for FC Dallas’ last gasp at MLS Cup.

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The Argentine lifted a perfectly weighted ball towards the former UCLA Bruin, Hollingshead. Hollingshead’s finish was crisp and clean into the bottom right corner making the score 1-1 in the match and 4-2 on aggregate in the 69th minute. The life was just what FC Dallas needed, as they used the momentum to grab another.

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The Panamanian big man Perez, who checked into the match in the 66th minute, grabbed a header to pull Dallas within one on aggregate. His first goal since May. Diaz lifted a cross a cross in off a set-piece, and Perez was there for the goal making it 4-3 on aggregate in favor of the Timbers in the 73rd minute. Toyota Stadium would not sit down for the rest of the match.

Perez would have another chance in stoppage time, but his shot was blocked out of play by an outstanding effort from Nat Borchers. Portland would pick up the dagger just minutes later. Stoppage time sub Lucas Melano would round Gonzalez, tapping the ball into the net for the series.

FC Dallas’ gutsy effort would fall short, as they could not muster the goals they needed. Portland would tie the match 2-2, and win on aggregate by a score of 5-3, advancing to MLS Cup. Now begins a long off-season for FC Dallas.

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Western Conference Finals Leg Two – Three Pregame Thoughts.

As the clock ticks down to seeing FC Dallas and the Portland Timbers take the pitch at Toyota Stadium in leg two of the Western Conference Finals, there are a lot of different thoughts flying […]

Western Conference finals leg two – Match preview

A 3-1 result in leg one of the Western Conference finals left FC Dallas fans reeling, wondering if we had all just witnessed the end of a great 2015 season. The match certainly felt as […]

Poor set-piece defending has Dallas leave Portland with a 3-1 defect in leg one of the Western Conference Finals

A poor night defending set-pieces left FC Dallas with a 3-1 loss in Portland, and looking at an uphill battle returning home. Liam Ridgewell, Darion Asprilla and Nat Borchers got on the score sheet for […]

Dallas Sidekicks Play Strong But Fall In Home Opener, 8-6

The following appears courtesy of Dallas Sidekicks Media. ALLEN, Texas  _ Despite immense improvement, for the second season in a row the Dallas Sidekicks (0-1) dropped their season opener to the Missouri Comets (2-0). Dallas […]

San Antonio Moves Into Serious Contention for MLS

Due to two recent major milestones, San Antonio is on the fast track to Major League Soccer. At the very least, the large Texas metropolitan area is going to thrust itself into the fray. Recent […]

After The Smoke Clears – Western Conference Semifinals

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What a fantastic night for FC Dallas and its fans. The crowd – including its makeup as well as its size – the opponent, the game situation. Clearly, it was the biggest moment in franchise history, and it will likely be even bigger for the next home game barring a complete collapse by FCD in Portland. Soak it in, folks. This is a game changer, even moreso than what the team went through in 2010.

There is so much to digest and discuss from this one. Ultimately, it was FC Dallas prevailing in kicks from the mark in dramatic fashion, after absolute belam in the last ten minutes of regulation. The range of emotions that everyone went through was as wide as you will see in professional sports.

And the list of heroes for Dallas is long. Very long. Yes, Jesse Gonzalez tops the list with Walker Zimmerman right behind him, but it took hard work over 120 minutes from the entire team to wear Seattle down to where the goals came when Dallas needed them. Continue reading

FC Dallas v Seattle Sounders Semifinal Leg 2 Photo Gallery

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What a night it was in Frisco! Relive FC Dallas’ emotional roller coaster with this stellar photo gallery from our own photographer David Chaffin. Click on any photo to bring it full screen, and use right or left arrow keys to advance through the gallery.

North London Darby Recap

In the morning hours this past Sunday saw an opportunity for Arsenal to take over the top of the table as Manchester City had just only managed to gain 1 point against last place Aston […]