Dallas Soccer DFW

FC Dallas Give up Another Late Goal in Loss

Published 6/1/2008 8:45:01 PM by staff from dallas

FC Dallas once again gave up a late goal that cost them valuable points as Colorado escaped with a 2-1 win on Saturday afternoon. So much for the streaks. Riding a two-game unbeaten streak under interim coach Marco Ferruzzi, FC Dallas had a great chance to continue reversing a rough early season and push themselves to the top of the crowded Western Conference table. Their opponent, the Colorado Rapids, had not beaten them in their last 10 matchups, going back all the way to September 2004.   But the trends did not hold true for FC Dallas, as the Hoops found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 result. The loss, the first of Ferruzzi's tenure, was a result of a second-half goal from Rapids forward Tom McManus that snapped a 1-1 tie.

"McManus managed to slip one through," said Ferruzzi. "He had a very good finish at the end of the play. He was able to slip around our defender and made a very good shot and just poked it away on the near post."

The Dallas defense played well all afternoon dealing with a steady onslaught of attacks from the Rapids offense. Just as many teams have found this season, the key to disrupting the Rapids' attack starts with stopping playmaker Christian Gomez, and FC Dallas were able to clog the midfield and take away possession from Colorado's dangerous players in the middle of the field.

"We were looking to be very solid in the center of the park, which I felt we did," said Ferruzzi. "Christian is a great player in this league and he certainly had some moments today but I felt that we kept him in check. Our midfield was very organized and very strong. We could use some more production and service from the outside."

The defensive stoutness was necessary, as Dallas was forced into a surprising change in goal. With normal starter Dario Sala out with a hamstring injury, the team recalled Ray Burse, who had been loaned out for the season to the Portland Timbers of the USL First Division.   After recording seven saves in the Timbers' win at Montreal on Friday, Burse emerged from an 8 hr bus ride to Rochester, N.Y. to learn he needed to get on a plane to Denver. Under the circumstances, he played very well, recording six saves, several of which were amazing.

"He made some spectacular saves," said Ferruzzi. "He had a game on Friday. You have to give him respect for that and he came up big a couple of times today."

At least Burse had the advantage of facing a familiar opponent. He made his MLS debut last year in the Hoops' win against Colorado. Burse recorded a shutout win in that game.   "It was good playing a team I had already faced, but I don't think it matters who the opponent is," said Burse. "I just want to produce like I did last year. It's been hectic. They had me fly from Rochester to Denver last night. Given the conditions I think we did well."

After giving up a very early goal to Conor Casey, Dallas looked to have put themselves in a great position to at least come away with a point after Dominic Oduro's goal right before halftime.   "The goal did come at a good time so it was good motivation," said Oduro. "We were hoping to come out and continuing playing that way. But it is unfortunate that things didn't work out for us and we will just have to move on from this game."

The goal was Oduro's fourth on the season, all of which have come in the last three games.   "We got back into the game with the goal in the first half," said Ferruzzi. "The talk at halftime was to stay positive, keep doing what we were doing, take advantage of good areas on the field, and keep pressure on their box. We let one slip away; there was a quick transition, they got over our back line and we paid for it."

FC Dallas tried to get back into the game late with several offensive substitutions, but could not crack Colorado's defense.   "It was cluttered in the box," said Brek Shea, one of those attacking subs. "We were throwing everyone forward and we didn't have any space to pass or shoot. We need to keep the ball more. Sometimes we played the long ball too much in the first half rather than playing the ball through the middle to find the forwards."

Fatigue, from playing three games in little more than a week, might have played a role for Dallas as well.

"We had three games in 10 days and the midfield has have been putting a lot of effort into it and there's been a lot of output from those guys," said Ferruzzi. "We have stayed with the same guys consistently and they have put in a lot of minutes. We're also playing at altitude, but those guys had a great effort."

Looking ahead, Dallas travels to New England, who currently sit in first place in the Eastern Conference. Sunday's loss sees Dallas fall to fifth place in the Western Conference, but they are well within striking distance of the leaders, only one point out of second place and only two points behind the first place Rapids.   "We were definitely looking for three points out of this match," said Ferruzzi. "We need to stay positive, continue doing what we're doing and we'll be fine."

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