FC Dallas has not lost a game on July 4 since 2006, going 13 consecutive years without a loss after drawing against Inter Miami FC 1-1 on Monday. The match was Dallas’ to lose as Miami had scored only three goals on the road this season, but a late surge by Miami resulted in a late-game goal to force the draw.
Alan Velasco scored the lone goal for FC Dallas on a penalty kick at the 27-minute mark. His hooking shot snuck around the wall of defenders and past the outstretched fingers of a diving Drake Callender at goalkeeper for Miami. It would be one of only five shots on goal that FC Dallas would have all night.
“Alan is making progress and is developing the way we wanted to,” said head coach Nico Estevez of Velasco after the game. “We knew he was coming to a new league, and he would need time to adapt, but the way he is progressing is great. We see him adapting to the playstyle and physicality of the league and even adapting to the Texan heat is impressive.
“We have seen players come into the league and take the first year in the league as a time for adaptation to the league. He is a kid who works hard and who wants to learn every day. His teammates always push him to his best and want to see him do better every day.”
Despite defending the unbeaten July 4th record, players for FC Dallas looked exhausted and dejected following the final whistle, with several players dropping to the ground. Dallas last won a game on May 28 and has dropped from second in the Western Conference to fifth.
“We are frustrated with the fact we haven’t gotten the points we have desired,” said Estevez. “We know summertime is a difficult time of the year, especially for the Texas teams. We analyzed the stats, and the heat does make an impact.”
Paul Arriola has been one of the leading stars for FC Dallas this season. He has eight goals and two assists on the season but failed to score on two attempts against Miami. His best opportunity came on a chance that saw the ball sail over the crossbar.
“From my end, I need to put one of my two chances I had away,” Arriola said. “The game ends differently, and that’s tough, obviously. At the beginning of the year, I think one of those goes in for me. [But] right now, not just myself, but I think the team, we’re struggling for a win, obviously.
“I still think we’re playing really good soccer; I still think we’re doing the right things. We’re executing our game plan but just letting ourselves down in the little details. It’s just unfortunate bounces tonight for their goal but, yeah, definitely a tough one.”
Miami’s goal was started with nifty footwork that caught Dallas defenders flat-footed. A pass through the legs of Marco Farfan, who inadvertently pitched the ball up where it was headered into the net by Leonardo Campana at the 88-minute mark. The match ended at 95 minutes with five minutes added time.
FC Dallas goes on the road to face in-state rival Houston Dynamo FC for the second Texas Derby of the season on Saturday. Dallas won the first match between the two teams 2-1 on April 23.