The CONCACAF Champions League hangover for Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy continues as they suffered their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to FC Dallas at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Tex. Fatigue was a major factor in this contest, but the hosts also were culpable of not being in form on their end. Without further ado, here are six things we learned from Saturday night’s affair in East Texas.
1. Dallas and Los Angeles stumble out of the gates
Early on in the first half, a chance for Dallas on the left side in the fifth minute was collected by Galaxy netminder Carlo Cudicini. Jackson nearly found David Ferreira in the 12th minute but he was offsides. In the 15th minute, the young Brazilian whiffed on a big opportunity to break open the match thanks to Leonardo playing out of position.
FC Dallas’s height on set pieces is imposing, but Ferreira could not find anyone with height on a set piece in the 20th minute of play. Michel’s set piece for Matt Hedges in the 22nd minute was called back due to offsides. The first corner for the Galaxy in the 25th minute of play was cleared. In the 28th minutes, two more corners for LA in as many minutes were cleared and collected in successive fashion. Jackson nearly responded at the half-hour mark but his cross was collected by Cudicini. Kenny Cooper also had a chance to make it happen in the 31st but missed the mark.
Colin Clark had a chance to capitalize on the quick restart but his tap-in was collected in the 39th minute. That was the best chance of the day for the Galaxy up to that point. In the 44th minute, a corner for Dallas found Michel but headed his volley high and out to conclude a scoreless first half.
2. Dallas dominating the stats in the first half
At the end of the first half, FC Dallas dominated a number of statistics, including attempts on goals (three to two), duels won (29 to 20), duels won percentage (59 percent to 40 percent), open play crosses (11 to seven), passing accuracy (75 percent to 74 percent and possession (53.8 percent to 46.2 percent).
3. More missed chances for both teams in the second half
In the second half, Hedges had an opportunity to break open the match in the 51st minute but Cooper was offsides for Dallas. Mike Magee had a chance in the 56th minute, but he was denied by Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez. Cooper was again offsides in the 58th minute. As for the Galaxy, Sarvas had a long-distance bomb in the 65th minute that was collected by Fernandez.
4. And these two teams can’t convert their penalties either
FC Dallas had their first big break when Leonardo was sent off in the 60th minute as per the DOGSO rule for fouling Blas Perez. But Cooper’s spot kick was saved by Cudicini, forcing a corner that was cleared.
In the 68th minute, Jose Villareal, who came off the bench, won a penalty after David Ferreira caught him off guard. And Donovan’s penalty was saved.
5. Smash-and-grab time for FC Dallas
After a few close calls that went offsides in the second half (FC Dallas committed seven offsides the entire game), George John took advantage of a corner in the 87th minute that gave the Hoops the 1-0 lead they needed. Interestingly, this trend of letting matches slip away late is nothing new to LA, as they have had a history of surrendering late goals in the last 15 minutes of matches and stoppage time this season.
6. Dallas win key statistical battles
At the end of the match, FC Dallas won a number of key match statistics, incliding attempts on goal (11 to six), open play crosses (14 to 13), duels won (52 to 41), duels won percentage (56 percent to 43 percent), total passes (367 to 322) and possession (52.5 percent to 47.5 percent). The scoreline may suggest that this was a close game, but it reality it’s a sign that FC Dallas are on the up this season in the West.