Talk about having the worst luck and playing with just about all the odds against you. That was FC Dallas’s game against the Portland Timbers. In the end, Dallas just could not overcome all the obstacles and fell 1-0 to their Western Conference rivals.
To start off the list of our bad luck, Blás Perez is still away on international duty. The team traveled with only two strikers: Kenny Cooper and Eric hassle. This afternoon, Kenny Cooper flew home for a family emergency and did not play. So Eric Hassli got the start and a chance to shine. And he went off injured in the first seven minutes of the game. Are you effing kidding me?! So Schellas had to put on Je-Vaughn Watson in place of the injured Frenchman. FC Dallas played almost 90 minutes without a real striker on the field.
Then there was this lovely incident with Jair Benitez and Piquionne where Benitez decided it was a brilliant decision to head-butt the Portland attacker. I don’t know what the referee was thinking, but Jair wasn’t shown a card. Whew! I don’t think FCD would’ve handled that very well.
But FC Dallas have Raúl Fernandez. Raúl “Brick Wall” Fernandez. He is the reason the scoreline stayed as low as 1-0 at the end. Raúl pulled off some phenomenal saves. In fact, if he doesn’t win MLS Save of the Week, I’m gonna have some words to share. I know I was pretty darn iffy about having him in the net at the beginning of the season, but Raúl has made me eat my words. He still occasionally has moments when he falls asleep and spills an easy save. Thankfully he’s seemed to work out most of that.
Raúl’s performance was so magical that it took a bit of magic from Darlington Nagbe to get past the goalkeeper. In a genius move, Nagbe spun around George John and put a ridiculous ball into the far upper corner. Everyone on defense for Dallas was doing their job and there was nothing anyone could’ve done to stop Nagbe’s shot.
It’s a tough loss, but the Dallas guys shouldn’t hang their heads about it. They put on an impressive display with the odds stacked against them. Whoever angered the soccer gods…make your peace because I can’t deal with another game like!
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kenny Cooper and his family. Hope they come through whatever the emergency was without any pain.
Next Saturday, FC Dallas are back home in Frisco where Sporting Kansas City will pay them a visit. And I’ll be at the game!! Until next time…DTID!