Playoff Picture Fading; FC Dallas Draw Colorado Rapids

Saturday night was another chance for FC Dallas to prove themselves as a playoff contender.  Instead, FC Dallas drew Colorado Rapids and will head back to Dallas with a single point.  This was seen as a crucial three-point match for Dallas, but Colorado played well at home to share the points.

Points Lost for FC Dallas; Draw with Colorado Rapids

It didn’t take long to see how this match was going to be played out.  Waves of attacking force on both ends saw tons of goal opportunity.  Both sides were strong attacking down their respective right flanks.  Both goalkeepers were up to the task, facing a combined 11 shots on goal.

Colorado were quick to take their chances, nearly capitalizing inside the first quarter hour.  A well-driven in corner found the towering Axel Sjoberg, whose header found the post instead of the net.  It wasn’t long after that the Rapids did find their goal.  Attacking down the right side (as both teams did all night), Stefan Aigner started the move from midfield.  He played a beautiful delayed one-two with Joshua Gatt, who found Aigner back inside the box and finished past Jesse Gonzalez.

Goalkeeper Heroics and Unproductive Possession

Despite going down early, Dallas would dominate the game in possession and total shots.  Michael Barrios looked fresh and dangerous down the right side every time he got the ball.  Colorado did well to absorb pressure, and Dallas failed to capitalize on controlling the match.

Just five minutes into the second half, Colorado should have had their second goal.  Stefan Aigner lofted a back post cross just over Matt Hegdes to a streaking Alan Gordon.  Gordon lined up a beautiful header going back across goal, but somehow Jesse Gonzalez fully stretched out and made a fantastic fingertip save.

Just three minutes later, Dallas would bring one back.  Javier Morales whipped in a corner to the top of the six, and found the head of Atiba Harris.  Rapids’ keeper Zac MacMath was stuck to his line and could only watch it fly past him.

Colorado would look to break several times in the second half, but Dallas were all over the Rapids.  Having over 65% possession in the match, Dallas moved the ball well around the field but to no avail.  Colorado sat back defensively, daring the Dallas midfield to find a way through them.  And they more unsuccessful than not.  There were a few glimmers of hope for Dallas but either a well-timed tackle or a good save from MacMath shut it down.

Outlook and Final Thoughts

Dallas head back to Frisco, TX with more questions than answers.  They will train during the week before heading to the great Northwest, with a daunting match up against the Seattle Sounders.  As if it couldn’t get any harder, Dallas must find a way to get 3 points against a strong Sounders side.

Dallas will be keeping an eye on the midweek match, where Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City will go head-to-head.  Those two sides will also meet on the weekend, and both matches will be watched heavily by the likes of San Jose and Real Salt Lake as well.  Dallas with Seattle away and then the season finale at home against LA Galaxy, their playoff hopes are in their hands.  Win out and hope for the best, and they might find a way to sneak into the 2017 MLS Playoffs.  Otherwise it could be a long and uncomfortable off-season.