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Dallas Soccer News - Matt Hedges header earns FC Dallas draw Sporting Kansas City, Fabian Castillo, Michel

Late goal earns FC Dallas solid draw at Sporting KC

Published 3/16/2014 8:35:49 AM by staff from dallas
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Welcome to week two of the MLS season!  Week one was quite entertaining and week two saw FC Dallas travel to Sporting Kansas City to take on the defending MLS champions. Sporting KC were looking to bounce back from a tough last minute loss on opening weekend in Seattle.  Midweek they did claw out a solid 1-0 win over Cruz Azulejo in a CONCACAF Champions League match.  A Very busy early season schedule that resulted in Graham Zusi starting on the bench.

FC Dallas, on the other hand, were staring at an opportunity for an early season defining win.  Last weekend the team earned new boss Oscar Pareja his first win in charge as FCD took out the Montreal Impact 3-2.  In he match the offense was flying, but the defense was highly questionable.  Pareja made two changes to the defense inserting Stephen Keel at center back and Adam Moffat at defensive mid.

It only took a couple of minutes for that questionable defense to rear its ugly head as Sporting got in behind the Dallas defense.  Goalkeeper Chris Seitz came out and watched helplessly as the ball was chipped over his head and towards goal.  Luckily for the visitors the ball went just wide of the post and was put out for a corner kick.

Goodness Jair Benitez is a shaky and unpredictable defender.  Fine at home when Dallas is mostly on the front foot attacking, but maybe not the best choice on the road where you have to bunker for periods.  It would be nice to see a bit more of a stand-your-ground defender for games like this.

And it certainly was one way traffic for the opening twenty minutes.  Dallas weren't able to get Mauro Diaz or Fabian Castillo on the ball, much less any touches for Blas Perez.  Dallas adapted though turning the match turned a foul-fest as the sides traded a series of hard fouls. It actually worked to the FC Dallas advantage as it slowed the game to a crawl greatly slowing down the KC attack.  The yellow cards were flying though as Keel and Moffat went into the book within a couple minutes of each other.

From there Dallas really worked themselves into the game and got some attack time before the end of the first half.  In fact, Blas Perez almost put the visitors ahead right at the whistle but his shot whizzed just inches wide.  Halftime 0-0.

The second half opened much like the final fifteen minutes of the first.  Dallas were clearly in the match and the center back pairing of Keel and Hedges were looking solid.  Could they keep a clean sheet for thirty more minutes though?

Seitz was forced into action on the hour mark as he saved a low shot from Benny Feilhaber.  Pareja responded by bringing on more counter attacking pace with Andres Escobar.  Kansas City would need to be careful with all the flank speed on the field for Dallas, but would the visitors pay on the defensive side?

With twenty minutes to play the game had fallen into your classic attack and counter match.  Sporting would get some sustained attack and then Dallas would hit them with a dangerous counter.  Both sides looked like they potentially had a game winner in them. Five minutes later Sporting Kansas City replaced Dom Dwyer a forward with Claudio Bieler in an attempt to jump start their attack. Dallas responded by replacing Mauro Diaz with David Texeira.  Diaz was clearly tiring.

Just after Fabian Castillo produced a gasp from the Kansas City crowd as he blasted a long range full volley that narrowly missed.  Ten minutes to go and all square.  KC went straight to the other end and forced a diving save from Seitz who pushed it wide. From the ensuing corner kick the home side finally broke through.  The curling ball found Aurellian Collin who got in between Jacobson and Hedges to head home.  A very poor time to lose focus on a set piece for FCD.

Just when things looked darkest, FC Dallas struck back.  A perfect free kick from substitute Michel found Matt Hedges at the back post where he rose and blasted a header into the net.  1-1 with three minutes of stoppage time to go.

An eventful final ten minutes that saw both teams score on a set piece.  Dallas almost lost it on another set piece in the final minute as a quick restart caught Dallas sleeping.  Luckily Hedges was there to clear the ball of the line. A very solid point on the road for FC Dallas and four points to start the season from two matches.  The defending MLS champions only have a single point to show from their opening two matches.  Spirits have to be low after yielding very late goals in both games.

Label: Matt Hedges header earns FC Dallas draw Sporting Kansas City, Fabian Castillo, Michel
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