FC Dallas vs LA Galaxy is quickly becoming one of my favorite fixtures in MLS. This could be because the only two MLS games I’ve ever had the chance to go to were both Dallas versus Galaxy, but it’s always one helluva ride to watch. Saturday night was no exception.
Yet another late home winner to keep FC Dallas unbeaten at home this season
The first half was relatively calm with both teams only having one shot on goal by the halftime whistle. FCD controlled most of the play thanks to Andrew Jacobson and Michel, but LA’s defense led by Omar Gonzalez held firm.
All the excitement came in the second half. Both teams picked up the pace and really started going for each other. Raúl Fernández and Carlo Cudicini had fantastic performances and kept the scoreline 0-0 for a better part of the game. I totally thought Kenny Cooper had scored at one point, but eventually I realized he had been offside when the cheers of the crowd turned into boos. Then, at the hour mark, everything changed.
Leonardo pulled Blás Perez down inside the box and the ref saw fit to show his a straight red card. Granted Perez may have exaggerated the foul a bit, but it went in his favor as the LA went down to 10 men and Dallas were awarded a penalty kick. Kenny Cooper stepped up to take the shot…and Cudicini saved!!! 10 minutes of chaos ensued. The Galaxy seemed to start playing better down one man. And suddenly George John tripped Jose Villarreal and LA Galaxy were awarded a penalty kick too! Landon Donovan stepped up. And Raúl Fernández saved it!!! Crazy crazy crazy! Two penalty kicks and two saves in a matter of 10 minutes. Wild!
The game swung in FC Dallas’s favor when George John headed in a goal from a corner kick. Another goal from another set piece. The Galaxy were desperate and fought incredibly hard during the last few minutes of the game, but you could tell their legs were still tired from Wednesday’s game in Mexico. The game ended 1-0 to the home side, but it wasn’t as pleasant of a win as it should’ve been.
After George John scored he almost immediately collapsed on the field. I was sitting at the other end of the field when this happened so it was hard to tell what exactly had happened. Once we figure out who was injured, we started speculating that maybe he had hit the post with his head scoring or possible clashed heads with another player. Either way he obviously wasn’t celebrating. It took Twitter to tell us what had actually happened.
George John downed by projectile thrown from supporter’s section
Some idiot had thrown an aluminum beer bottle at the players on the field. This bottle hit George John hard enough in the back of the head that he required 5 staples to close the wound for him to continue playing. Who the hell throws beer bottles at players in the middle of a game?! Supposedly he was aiming for AJ DeLaGarza but still it was completely, absolutely unacceptable. And he hit George John of all people. Poor guy was fighting concussion symptoms last weekend! Rumor has it that this game was this person’s first game at FC Dallas Stadium. I hope it was his last. He was immediately taken into custody and will answer to FC Dallas and the Frisco PD.
The culprit had been sitting in the Dallas Beer Gardens in the north end of the stadium. I actually had been sitting with the supporter’s groups for a bit during the second half but I’d already returned to my seat by the time the incident occurred. Truly, it was a blast sitting with everyone there. The drums, the constant chanting and cheering, and how close you are to the field make the Gardens a fantastic place to watch the game.
Unfortunately, a lot of generalization’s have been made about the FC Dallas fan base thanks to this guy. It really makes me sad and angry because the fan base is growing slowing but surely, and an incident like this is a bitter setback. The FC Dallas fans are NOT hooligans and we’re incredibly proud of our players and we love to support them. At least I know I am. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next, but hopefully we can all move on.
Next weekend, FC Dallas host the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET.