After a dream start in Frisco, Texas, our ‘Caps were undone by three quality strikes to lose a tough game to FC Dallas by a score of 3-1.
So what did we learn?
Highlights: FC Dallas 3-1 Whitecaps FC
Playing a full 90
It’s a cliché in soccer, but one that has merit.
Our ‘Caps got off to the start they wanted early in the match on a goal by Daigo Kobayashi. Unfortunately, the lead lasted less than five minutes as Dallas midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson hit a screamer from the top of the box for a great goal, which would be the theme of the night.
We struggled to get a grip for the rest of the first half, but we managed to see it out and came out stronger and more composed after the break. I remember sitting in the Manchester Pub with many fans at the official Whitecaps FC Viewing Party thinking we were going to see this game out comfortably.
We all know what happened after that, as Dallas scored twice in the final three minutes to win the game. For 85 minutes, we looked to be in decent shape. We’re not going to dominate every game, especially on the road, but we played well enough for much of the game – just as we had done in our previous three outings.
If we’re going to get back into the playoff picture, playing a full 90 minutes is going to be key for our ‘Caps.
Kobayashi scores his second MLS goal of the season
This is what we have been waiting for from Kobayashi.
The Japanese midfielder started the game by scoring an early goal for our ‘Caps. Not only did he finish the play with a nifty side-footed volley, Kobayashi also played a part in the build-up with strikers Kenny Miller and Camilo.
He looked sharp and confident on the ball and with his movements. Perhaps the best example was early in the second half when he calmly beat two defenders before having a crack at goal. He also held his own defensively, which may have gone unnoticed.
If Kobayashi can build on this performance, he could be the key to getting Miller and Camilo back on the scoresheet. We saw flashes of Kobayashi’s talent in this game and he could be an important player down the stretch.
Mauro Diaz scores the late winner through a superb volley
No place to hide
In games of this magnitude, the pressure is on. Every move you make is scrutinized and you get punished for every little mistake.
At this point, the bottom line is getting results and this loss was a heartbreaker. Our players will be looking back on this game thinking about what more they could have done or what they could have done differently.
At the end of the day, the biggest thing we can learn from this is to try and take things into our own hands. As Martin Rennie said after the match, this wasn’t a bad performance. We should give credit where credit is due. Three world-class goals from FC Dallas were the difference.
He’s right, but moving forward we need to create some magic of our own. We’ve shown that we have the players to do it. We’re going to need them to rise to the occasion in the next few matches, because there is no place to hide now.