|photo by Matt Kremkau
HARRISON, NJ - Two different teams with similar styles looked to gain three points, but thanks to missed opportunities by both teams and some last minute saves by goalkeepers Carlos Cornell and Maarten Paes, the New York Red Bulls and FC Dallas settled for a point apiece as the match ended in a draw in a rainy Saturday night at Red Bull Arena.
The Red Bulls were looking to finally win a match in front of their home supporters, after suffering a 2-1 loss to CF Montréal last weekend. Head coach Gerhard Struber lamented his team's lack of clinical finishing in the final third afterward, calling for his team to step things up offensively.
To that end, forward Patryk Klimala, who's name hasn't been seen on the scoresheet since his goal against San Jose in week one, was benched for Ashley Fletcher, a forward who was on loan from English Premier side Watford FC to shake things up a little.
Meanwhile, FC Dallas and their head coach, Nico Estevez has everyone in the league and elsewhere standing up and taking notice. Led by forward Jesus Ferreira, they have been putting the likes of Nashville, Portland and Colorado in recent week with their attractive, free-flowing style of soccer, and now they have the Red Bulls firmly in their sights as their next victim.
Only one little problem. While the Red Bulls have been perfect (3-0-0) on the road, FC Dallas have been dreadful on the road. In fact, they've yet to score a single goal away from the friendly confines of Toyota Stadium.
While the match itself will be best remembered by the two team's fruitless efforts to score a goal by wasting every opportunity given to them, including Omir Fernandez's point blank shot that was masterfully saved Dallas' goalkeeper Maarten Paes in the first half, one of six he made that evening.
On the other side of the field, New York goalkeeper Carlos Coronel was not to be undone, made two key saves, one of them in the 83rd minute as Franco Jara's one time effort nearly stole the match but Carlos was up to the task, moving into an excellent low diving save to his left.
FC Dallas winger Jader Obrian nearly curled home the game winner deep in stoppage time, however his shot harmlessly dirfied wide to his right to the relief of the home supporters. When the final whistle blew, cementing the deadlock, the Red Bulls would earn their second point at home, while FC Dallas' road woes continued, their scoreless run continued for a third straight match.
While some fans will look at this with frustration, there is a silver lining in that dark cloud the team's defense is now beginning to solidify with Carlos Coronel earning his second shutout of the season, and his sixteenth of his career. Only time will tell when the offense will catch up with the defense to put this team on a run that both the supporters and the organization can be proud of.