I'm in the midst of another five-day stay in north Texas calling two games for FC Dallas, the first of which was last night, a 2-0 Colorado Rapids win. Here are some thoughts on the broadcast and the game:
May 6 – FS Southwest – FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids
This proved to be a tough game to handle because of what happened on the field: FC Dallas had two players sent off in the first half, leaving them with nine for the rest of the game, and Colorado cruised to a 2-0 win. I’m not making excuses, but it can be tough to keep a broadcast exciting when the shot margin is 23-1, the go-ahead goal comes early in the second half, and the home team is on the losing end.
Oddly enough, of the now seven regular-season games I’ve called on TV, this was the second one I’ve called in which the home team saw two red cards. Last July, Houston (already with a 1-0 lead) got two red cards early in the second half, eventually holding on for a tie against Kansas City. While the tactics (4-4-0 formation, dump-and-don’t-chase strategy) were similar, Dallas really didn’t have much of a chance to match that result.
One storyline we didn’t address in the open and perhaps should have was the status of Brek Shea. We had heard informally from local media that Shea had not trained fully and was dealing with turf toe, but the secret was jealously guarded – we met with Schellas Hyndman 15 minutes before lineups were due and still were not told – so we planned the show without knowing. In retrospect, that maybe should have been our second point after Pareja. On the other hand, Brian’s focus on the versatility of Jackson turned out to be a perfect set-up for later in the night, since Jackson played several spots to help Dallas cope with its disadvantage. The uncertainty of the situation showed in our lineup, which listed FCD in a 4-4-2, even though they eventually came out in a 4-2-3-1. Predicting the Dallas lineup this year has not been easy.
Another thing we were still trying to square away less than an hour before kickoff was the pronunciation of new Dallas midfielder James Marcelin. When he played in Portland, it was listed as ‘mar-suh-leen,” but I thought as a French word (Marcelin is Haitian), it should be ‘mar-suh-lan.’ I asked FC Dallas communications staffer Jason Minnick to double-check when he asked, and he came back with a pronunciation of “mar-SEE-lin,” so that’s what we went with.
As for the game itself, it is difficult to read much into it due to the red cards. I thought both were justified. I know Blas Pérez had no malice in his challenge on Drew Moor, but his studs were up, above the knee, and he came nowhere near the ball, so I thought Mark Geiger made the right call. Game highlights are embedded below - I thought they came out pretty well. We also did a short recap for the FOX Sports Southwest website, and you can find that via this link.
The crucial thing about the result, however, is that Dallas dropped home points against a conference team. With a 3-4-3 record, Dallas is 3-2 against the Eastern Conference and 0-2-3 against the Western Conference, which does not bode well for the rest of the year. At home, Dallas is 3-0 against Eastern teams and 0-1-2 against Western foes.
They get another chance at home against a conference opponent on Wednesday, but it’s a much tougher team – Seattle is unbeaten in its last five games – and Dallas will be without Pérez and Daniel Hernandez. It’s going to need big games from Shea, Fabian Castillo, and one more offensive threat to get three points Wednesday night.
Ian Joy and I will call the game on FOX Sports Southwest Plus, so we hope you’ll watch or set your DVR if you’re going to the game!
5/6 Game Highlights: