FRISCO, Texas — Welcome to Keeping Score: Your complete FC Dallas match day experience.
With "Keeping Score," throughout the 2023 season, we're striving to bring you complete FC Dallas match day coverage, covering everything from the game itself, to the food, to the fans that make the game so great, our "Becky G forecast" (yes, really) and everything in between in a fun, digestible way.
Last week, FC Dallas couldn't get the metaphorical monkey off their backs in Vancouver, letting up a 1-0 lead with an own goal to allow a draw.
After a newfound rivalry match to a renewed one, FC Dallas welcomed one of its fellow MLS original 10 clubs, Sporting Kansas City. Sporting KC had yet to score a goal through three matches despite leading the league in both shots and shots on goal. Furthermore, Sporting KC had only conceded one goal all year prior to Saturday: a sixth-minute goal in the season opener against Portland Timbers.
The goal drought didn't last long in Frisco. Sporting KC's Daniel Salloi scored the club's first goal of the 2023 season in the 11th minute. FC Dallas has allowed a goal in 10 straight matches dating to last season and including the playoffs, the longest active streak in the league.
FC Dallas finished the first half with arguably much more promising looks than Sporting KC had.
In the 55th minute, Alan Velasco leveled the match by sniping the top right corner of the goal from the top of the 18-yard box.
Sporting KC was awarded a penalty kick for a foul on Paes in the 18-yard box in the 61st minute. The penalty kick was taken by Willy Agada and saved by Paes. Referees reviewed the penalty kick and ruled Paes left his spot early and awarded Sporting KC another penalty kick. On the second attempt, this time taken by Erik Thommy, Paes saved it again and rose to a monstrous roar from the crowd.
The match got a little more Jesus from the 82nd minute on. Jesus Jiménez made his FC Dallas debut, and minutes later, Jesus Ferreira gave FC Dallas a 2-1 lead in the 84th.
FC Dallas won possession (51%-47%), corners (7-4) and shots (12-11). With the win, FC Dallas improves to 2-1-1.
FC fit check
Can you tell it was chilly in DFW on Saturday?
Aside from Jesus Ferreira, basically the whole club rocked long sleeves or some warmer jackets. Maybe he wasn't cold because of the fire radiating from his super cool sunglasses.
Per usual, Paul Arriola, Nkosi Tafari and Sebastien Ibeagha came with their stylish fits.
And welcome to the club, Jesús Jiménez! Who doesn't love a comfy Ralph Lauren Polo Bear pullover. You win, sir.
Frisco Foodie Fun
We've returned with some Toyota Stadium food reviews! Since last week was a road game, I tried a questionable viral food craze from McDonald's. But with a return to Frisco means another concession review. The options for this match in the poll on my Twitter (@IamLivengood) were: Monster Taco, elote on a stick, funnel sticks with cherry sauce or hot chicken mac n cheese.
The people spoke and the winner was the hot chicken mac n cheese! Before I give the review, here's the description, where to get it and how much it costs.
- Hot Chicken Mac N Cheese: Creamy white cheddar mac and cheese, topped with Nashville hot sauce and BBQ spice, finished with fresh green onions and CASA M Chain Reaction spice. Location: Stand 5 - Burgers and More, Stand 8- Heineken Corner. It was just over $12.
OK, this was so good ... if you like spicy food. I have a pretty high spice tolerance and it was the perfect amount of spice and flavor for me. It was nice and warm (which really hit the spot with the 50 degree weather on matchday). You've got to mix everything together though before taking a bite, obviously. The cheese was melty, the chicken was tender.
Well done. Bravo.
This was a major step up from the Birria Grilled Cheese in my opinion.
Toyota Stadium new concession rankings:
- Hot Chicken Mac N Cheese
- Birria Grilled Cheese
FCD Fan of the Match
In the last home match, I introduced you to Nathan Scoggins, a member of El Matador. You can read more about his #DTID story here.
This match, we've got Retired United States Air Force Sergeant Leslie H Meier Jr. on deck. FC Dallas honored Meier on Saturday, who is a veteran of the Vietnam War.
Fun fact: He also led the personal protective service details for Nancy Sinatra, daughter of Frank Sinatra. Very cool!
#DTID Man of the Match
Paes came up huge in the big moment. His back-to-back saves kept FC Dallas in the game and changed the entire momentum of the second half. Who knows what happens if FC Dallas is down 2-1 instead of tied in the second half?
He made his mark and deserves to be the man of the match.
What they said
FC DALLAS POSTGAME QUOTES
Head Coach Nico Estévez
General thoughts on the match…
“We are happy with the win, winning at home is important. The boys know that and in the second half they turned it on and showed we were hungry for the win. We were a bit unlucky with the deflected goal we conceded, and some things were not going our way. Even though we had some brilliant moments in the first half. The opponent plays well, and the results do not reflect the numbers they put up and how they perform on the field. Things like this show us how difficult and close these games can be.”
On Maarten Paes’ penalty kick save…
“I always say that soccer is about momentum. You could have a lead with the opponents not playing at their best, but scoring one goal can change the momentum of the game. This psychological part of the game is difficult to control. We have seen big teams winning and have ended up falling short at the end because the opponent’s caught momentum with one goal that they scored. In our instance, the penalty kick save was massive for us. The message Maarten (Paes) sent to his teammates was ‘Hey I am here; do your job and I will do mine. Let’s go’. We know how competitive he is and how good of a goalkeeper he is. We are grateful to have him here.”
On the momentum shift leading to the comeback…
“We are not at the level we would like to be consistently. We have good moments throughout the match but consistently we are not where we want to be. We disconnect for a second, but we go back to what we are supposed to be doing. We need to continue to work on that. There are final sequences that we need to perfect. Whether it’s the final pass, the final action, and the previous pass before the final pass are things we need to adjust and correct. At the half time break, I told them that I do not care how we ended the first half, we needed to come out playing our way. I did not care if we would win, lose or tie. All I cared about was us being ourselves. The other item we talked about was to focus on completing the action the right way. It does not matter how it ends, as long as you do the action you know you are supposed to. We score one and then we focus on getting the second one. The guys might have had a boring second half, but we got the job done and that is all that matters.”
Winger Alan Velasco
Thoughts on his two goals this season
“Compared to last season, this year I am here from the beginning of the season. This is really good for me and boosts up my confidence.”
On the two consecutive wins at home…
“A win is always important for our team and that is our job. We train for this every day, and it helps us be more confident to go out and win the game.”
Thoughts on Jesús Jiménez’s debut…
“I am very happy, a new player to the team means we will have more potential. Jesus came in and was great. We will continue working throughout the week to have more results like todays.”
Goalkeeper Maarten Paes
On the penalty saves…
“We always do our homework. Agada came first and had six stutter steps, so it’s almost impossible to time as a goalkeeper with these rules now. You have to time really well, so I think it was a little harsh. The second one, like I said, we did our homework. I just went full out and I didn’t think he hit it that well, because I had to adjust with my left hand. Luckily, I was able to push it out first. Crazy rollercoaster game, but we managed to get three points. At the end of the season, no one talks about how we did it. Most important thing is we got three points.”
What’s going through your mind during the video review where you might’ve been sent off…
“I was ready for Agada to head the ball, then he headed to Nkosi (Tafari), then it dropped in the middle, and I went to get the ball. I think I barely touched the guy. There was some slim contact maybe, but I barely touched him, so I thought they were going to review it for the fall. Then on the bench I heard it might’ve been offside, so with both incidents I thought there was a big chance it would get canceled. It’s weird because you have to re-focus, but luckily, we were able to keep the door closed with our great defensive work.”
What goes through your mind after a game like this…
“Welcome to the MLS. I think the way they played was really dangerous because Agada and Salloi had a lot of speed. I don’t know if you remember but in the first half, I had a collision with Agada. I had to be really far off my line and help them with through balls and sometimes you collide. Sometimes they’re first and sometimes I’m first. I think with the first penalty, I was a bit too eager to get the ball, but it was a great learning lesson. I know I had to redeem myself and I think I’ve got an okay penalty record.”
SPORTING KANSAS CITY POSTGAME QUOTES
Head Coach Peter Vermes
On scoring the first goal of the season…
“That wasn’t our goal. We’ve been very good going forward in all our games. It’s a problem when you don’t create chances. We knew that it was going to eventually fall at some point. I wasn't worried about that at all, more focused on making sure that we don’t provide easy opportunities for other teams which we did on the second goal, so more of a focus there than anywhere else.”
On FC Dallas scoring…
“I think their first goal was a good goal. Good build up by them, they kind of turned the ball over in the middle of the midfield. They had a foul, I don’t know whether it was or wasn’t, but it doesn't really matter, we had a chance to defend the ball. They moved the ball pretty well on the left-hand side and it was a good finish, that’s going to happen. Second goal can’t really speak about it. We have two opportunities to score on penalties, we don’t unfortunately. You’re supposed to score those at least 80% in your favor especially if you get two. Goalkeeper made two great saves, but we got to score.
On Willy Agada’s start and if he would change anything…
“No, not really. He had chances tonight; he’s had chances in every game. When you say slow start if you mean he hasn’t scored, I guess I would agree because he hasn’t scored, but he’s had chances. He’s just gotta keep getting himself in front of the net and have the courage to stick it in.”
Forward Daniel Salloi
Thoughts on scoring the first goal of the season…
“I am happy about scoring but not about the result. We are hoping the first win of the season comes soon because we cannot keep dropping points like this.”
What are the frustrations on the second half tonight…
“We gave them too much space and we dropped down too much. This is a good team; they are going to create chances and score. They scored two good goals, and we missed our chances and that is not good enough.”
Estevez said Paxton Pomykal was substituted as a precaution with a sore hamstring.
Becky G forecast match score
Each week, I'll rate the entire match day with one cumulative score of 1 through 5 "Becky Gs."
Matchday Four gets 4 Becky G's. FC Dallas grinded out a win at home. The food was phenomenal.
Great matchday. Could have been a bit warmer, but nothing all in all, very good day.
What's next/8 ball prediction
FC Dallas goes to the city of angels to take on the defending MLS champ, LAFC on Saturday, March 25. TV information: Apple TV+ – MLS Season Pass – 9:30 p.m. CST.
"8 ball" bold prediction tracker:
FC Dallas will have three players score 12-plus goals this season: Jesus Ferreira, Paul Arriola and Alan Velasco.
- Ferreira: 3/12
- Arriola: 0/12
- Velasco: 2/12
More FC Dallas coverage: