It has been nearly a full month since the last time that FC Dallas was victorious, a streak that ended on July 23 with a 1-0 triumph over Real Salt Lake. The win ends a streak of draws that was only broken by a loss on the road against conference-leading LAFC during a three-game, seven-day gauntlet.
“Well, we got the three points and ended the winless streak,” said head coach Nico Estevez following the game. “We won on a field that hadn’t lost once this season and it wasn’t easy. But at the end, we leave with three points. This is what the sport brings.”
The game’s lone score came off the foot of Jesus Ferriera, who is in the midst of a career-best season. He is currently second in the running for the Golden Boot award given to the player with the most goals scored each season. Ferreira sits at 12, tied with Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar and one goal behind Atlanta’s Sebastian Driussi and New York City FC’s Valentin Castellanos.
Saturday’s goal places Ferreira in rarified company. He is only the second player in Major League Soccer history to score 30 goals before his 22nd birthday and one of only four FC Dallas players to accumulate at least 30 goals and 20 assists for the team.
“I think [Ferreira] is doing a good job, but I expect more from him,” Estevez said. “I think he can give even more. His ceiling is very high and we are here to push him to the highest level. What he is doing is something that I already expected. It is nothing that surprises me and I want him to surprise me more. I have a lot of confidence in him.”
The goal came early in the match around the 14-minute mark. FC Dallas nearly lost the ball on a throw-in from the far side, but Real Salt Lake was unable to hold onto the turnover. Instead, Ferreira passed the ball back to Paxton Pomykal who was able to slice a pass back to Ferriera who came streaking on a slant across the top of the box. The shot beat Real Salt Lake goaltender Zac MacMath.
The win is particularly impressive when looking at the game stats. Real Salt Lake dominated in nearly every category, but didn’t get the breaks when they were available. Real Salt Lake owned a 25-7 shot difference, possessed the ball for nearly 70-minutes, and had a near-90% passing accuracy score.
Unlike in weeks past, FC Dallas fought hard through the end of the match, refusing to let another early lead slip away in the closing minutes.
“We know that in the past few games we’ve deserved to win,” Ferriera said. “We played good games, but, you know, our last 10 minutes or last 15 minutes have been poor that we need to work on. And we know that this game was an important game, we had a goal in mind that it was to beat this team. They haven’t lost in 10 games at home. We wanted to be the first team to beat them.
“And so the whole team was focused, the whole team had that in their minds. And we know that it wasn’t pretty, and we had to suffer, but the job got done.”
FC Dallas moves up from sixth to fifth in the overall standings after the victory. They trail Real Salt Lake in the standings by one point, but are 13 points behind conference-leading LAFC, who they will face for the second time in September.