Tuesday has been avenged. Goals that seemed so difficult to find in the USOC semifinal were plucked effortlessly from Buck Shaw as FCD throttled San Jose. With two wins already against Pareja in 2014, San Jose could be painted as 2014’s bogey team. But five goals, three coming from Tesho Akindele and two from Fabian Castillo, were the difference between the good guys and San Jose Saturday evening.
In fact, San Jose was the last team to beat Dallas in MLS action at the end of May. The match ended a four match unbeaten run for San Jose, who are desperately looking to pick up points and make a wild run for a playoff spot. Dallas’ unbeaten run extends to nine matches, and leaves FCD third in the West with 39 points after 24 games played.
The offensive output by FCD was the best of the season. A 4-1 drubbing of Houston early in 2014 is the closest they have come to five goals. For an offense that hasn’t been shut out in six games and produced fifteen goals in that same time frame, it would be reasonable to believe a threshold would be reached. Ten goals in five games prior is nothing to scoff at, either. But the offensive production by Castillo, Akindele, Escobar, and Perez in this time has been unexpected.
Castillo’s form has been otherworldly of late. His goal in the 30th minute heralded the origins of a drubbing for San Jose. A second goal from Tesho that was well placed to the right post provided a second goal for FCD just before the half.
All could have changed, however. Chris Wondolowski was given the opportunity to notch his ninth goal of the season from the penalty spot in first half stoppage, only to sky it out of Buck Shaw stadium. San Jose very visibly relented at that point: Tesho’s goal just before half was a kick in the teeth, but Wondo’s miss added insult to injury.
From that point forward San Jose very visibly relented, unlike the Dallas attack. Akindele found the back of Jon Busch’s net twice more, Castillo doing the same once, before 90 minutes ended.
What, if anything, can FCD take away from the match?
First, the streak has been wonderful. It harkens back to 2010’s midseason unbeaten run when the offense operated like a well-oiled machine and results simply would fall into place. But it all has to come to an end.
Unfortunately that end may be near. RSL (2x), Seattle, Vancouver, and LA all stand in the way over the course of the next six games. Three matches are away, three are at home. These are indomitable circumstances, but given the fact that these are all sides hovering around FCD in the Western conference table, some results will have to drop favorably for Pareja. A sound base for the six games might be to simply win at home and aim for a couple of draws away. It’s not an impossible ask given Dallas’ home form.
Finally, it is amazing to see the difference in Fabian under Schellas versus the Fabian under Pareja. Usually a goal would pop in every 10 or so chances, which were infrequent, for the Columbian. Now he seems to conjure magic any time he can put his head down along the line and get into the penalty area. His confidence has to be sky high, which can be the biggest asset for a young striker. The same can be said for Akindele.
(image courtesy of soccerbyives.com)