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FC Dallas Clinches Playoff Berth with 2-1 Win over LA Galaxy

October 12, 2014 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - FC Dallas News Release

FRISCO, Texas (Sunday, Oct. 12) - FC Dallas (15-11-6, 51 points) secured its first playoff berth since 2011 with a 2-1 victory over the LA Galaxy in front of 19,039 fans at Toyota Stadium tonight.

Dallas claimed the win in spectacular fashion, coming back from a 1-0 deficit on goals scored by David Texeira and Fabian Castillo in the second half.

In the first half, FC Dallas threatened early with a ball over the top of the Galaxy defense from defender Walker Zimmerman, who was making his first MLS start since Aug. 9. Rookie of the Year candidate Tesho Akindele outworked a defender to win a corner for Dallas and Michel put a dangerous ball into the area off the set piece opportunity that nearly caromed into the back of the net after coming off an LA defender.

The Galaxy took a 1-0 lead 12 minutes later when Gyasi Zardes crossed a ball in from the left flank. The ball was partially cleared away by FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges, but it fell to the feet of Stefan Ishizaki at the top right corner of the area. The Swedish midfielder feinted left, went right towards the end line and chipped a ball perfectly into the far side netting behind goalkeeper Chris Seitz to give the visitors the early lead.

Dallas' fourth corner of the night tested Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo. Michel lined a left-footed cross into the area that was perfectly redirected by Zimmerman. Unfortunately for Dallas, Penedo was in perfect position to punch away the sharp header.

Seitz made a solid save on a set piece opportunity shot from Juninho in the 51st minute and FC Dallas countered through central midfield. Victor Ulloa slipped a pass inside to Andres Escobar and the midfielder did the rest. Running at the heart of the Galaxy defense, Escobar sent a well-timed through ball to the top of the six-yard box and Texeira finished with his first touch to knot the match, 1-1, in the 52nd minute.

FC Dallas stole the win on a throw-in from Zach Loyd in the 87th minute. The defender tossed a long, looping cross into the area, where it was contested by Texeira and several Galaxy defenders. The ball emerged from the pack of players at the feet of Escobar and the Colombian cut towards the end line before firing a hard shot at Penedo. The goalkeeper made the initial save, but the deflection fell to Castillo, who headed home the most important goal of the season from eight yards out to give Dallas the three points and a spot in MLS Cup playoffs.

Scoring Summary:

LA - Stefan Ishizaki 22

DAL - David Texeira (Andres Escobar) 52

DAL - Fabian Castillo 87

FC Dallas - Chris Seitz, Moises Hernandez, Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, Zach Loyd, Fabian Castillo, Victor Ulloa, Michel (Adam Moffat 69), Andres Escobar (Ryan Hollingshead 90+1), David Texeira, Tesho Akindele (Je-Vaughn Watson 80).

Substitutes Not Used: Raul Fernandez, Coy Craft, Jair Benitez, Kellyn Acosta.

Total Shots: 10 (Fabian Castillo 3) Shots on Goal: 3 (David Texeira, Walker Zimmerman, Fabian Castillo 1); Fouls: 13 (Moises Hernandez 3); Offsides: 5 (David Texeira, Fabian Castillo 2); Corners: 8 (Michel 6); Saves: 4 (Chris Seitz 4).

LA Galaxy - Jamie Penedo, Omar Gonzalez, AJ DeLaGarza, Leonardo, James Riley (Dan Gargan 57), Baggio Husidic ( Kenney Walker 84 ), Landon Donovan, Juninho, Stefan Ishizaki ( Jose Villareal 88 ), Alan Gordon, Gyasi Zardes.

Substitutes Not Used: Brian Rowe, Tom Meyer, Rafael Garcia, Bradford Jameson.

Total Shots: 11 (Stefan Ishizaki, Juninho 3); Shots on Goal: 5 (Stefan Ishizaki 3); Fouls: 13 (James Riley 4); Offsides: 2 (Alan Gordon, Jose Villarreal 1); Corners: 3 (Landon Donovan 3); Saves: 1 (Jamie Penedo 2).

Misconduct Summary:

LA - AJ DeLaGarza (caution) 17

LA - James Riley (caution) 44

DAL - Moises Hernandez (ejection) 89

Referee: Alan Kelly

Referee's Assistants: Jonathan Johnson, Eric Weisbrod

Fourth Official: Christopher Penso

Attendance: 19,039

Time of Game: 1:54

Weather: Cloudy, 70 degrees

FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja

Overall thoughts on the game...

The tactical intelligence and the tactical commitment during the game was outstanding, and I want to remark on that because it requires a lot of faith and compromise to get what we want from them and they did it. The first half we found some challenges with LA; they have a very good counterattack. I didn't want to put our line of confrontation too high in the first half knowing that they can exploit those spaces very effectively. They found a way to do this and they put themselves up 1-0.

In the second half, I thought we kept it calm even though we could have easily scored in the first half and tied it up. The boys kept their composure, which shows a lot of maturity and character. In the second half it was all heart with what I mentioned about the tactical intelligence that they had to block LA's attack. We had a great second half - it was well deserved. I thought we deserved the points; I thought we deserved the playoffs, and it's great to bring the playoffs back to Frisco. It's well deserved for the whole community.

Dreaming to coach a team like this...

It feels great. This is home. It is one of the commitments that I have with the community and with all the people who were working here before. My community is still here and this year we've brought the playoffs back and we're here. I feel great but the job is not done yet. I still have a lot of things to work on to keep moving. I really think that we can qualify third, fight for that spot and have a long run in the playoffs.

Feeling upon returning to Colorado next week...

I can't hide it so much, because I was there two years and the club there treated me very well. I have a lot of friends and especially the players who shared those two years with me. Coming back to Colorado and sharing that game that is very important to us will be great and knowing that we're in the playoffs already makes it even better.

Unfinished business...

I do really think that we can qualify third and the boys deserve it. I'm happy, obviously, and relieved with the fact that we've made it in the playoffs and that we can play the next two games without that much pressure knowing that we can get out. We're learning great things, including learning how to beat some of the best teams in the league. Seattle, LA, Salt Lake - that just gives us a different joy. Tonight we're going to enjoy the fact that we're back, but tomorrow I will come out eager to fight for the third spot because that's my responsibility.

On Fabian Castillo's goal...

It's a reward for him. He's had a tremendous season so far and we have to make everyone understand that it's not just his speed, but his commitment to work for the team. Fabian is gaining respect from his teammates in that regard. He's a team player now, more than before, and the game is rewarding him. I'm happy for him, but he knows that every day I raise the bar.

What lesson did you learn from your last trip to the playoffs...

Playoffs can be short if you don't put everything in. If you have seen this group, they have been in playoff mode for the last three or four games. Playing against Vancouver, playing against Seattle here, playing today with the possibility to jeopardize our qualification - all of that is in playoff mode.

FC Dallas forward David Texeira

On beating the best teams in MLS at Toyota Stadium recently...

It's all about confidence. We're getting confident here at home. It's difficult to play away. We know that when we go on the road, but here we can focus. We knew that if we were going to go to playoffs, we were going to have to win matches here at home. Winning here and getting into playoffs tonight was our goal.

On his goal...

It happened quickly. Andres [Escobar] turned very fast with the ball and dribbled towards me. I expected that he would give me the ball so I made the run and waited for the ball to leave his foot. We timed it well. He gave it to me and I saw that the keeper was coming to take the ball off my foot so I shot quickly and finished at the near post.

On scoring three goals late in the season...

It is good. I feel good to be able to score for me, for the team, for everyone here at FC Dallas. I am happy to be here. Everyone supports me a lot, even in the low moments. When I first got here, I did not play a lot, but now I am gaining confidence at the most important time, when playoffs get here.

On playing with Andres Escobar...

Everyone knows that he is a skilled player, right? With his skill, when he has the ball one-on-one with a defender, I expect that he will beat them. I focus on that. He will get the ball. He will send in the cross. He will assist me.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz

When asked about playing their next match and the playoffs...

You have seen the playoffs before... You know a fourth and fifth seed have made it to the final a decent amount of times in the last five years. For us we have our goal to make it to third place. That is what our mind set is going to Colorado, to get three points and to put pressure on Real Salt Lake. It is big, and it is something we are looking to add.

When asked if being in fourth would still be good for the team...

You want to play at home, third and fourth will play at home either way, so our first game will be at home. It is big for us. We have the mindset that we are a very good team. Now we have a chance to go on the road to Colorado and put our foot on the game and make a statement at the end. This league is about streaks, if we can get hot at the right time and put pressure on the guys then people are going to be scared of us.

When asked about the LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas being the loudest game at home this season...

It was huge. All the fans in the last three and four years that came out make this place a hard place to play... It is huge for us. They have our backs. They are loud and are very knowledgeable of when to cheer. We love them. This is for them. Getting into the playoffs and extending games and adding a playoff game at home is huge for them. We are going to push for this and keep going.

When asked about the one goal scored by Stefan Ishizaki ...

He had just shot three or four minutes earlier. It was a decent strike from distance and he hit it with power. We had two guys in the right spot to do it and he made a great move to get by them. I tried to take an aggressive angle and it was an amazing goal. I tried to take it away by being in an aggressive spot, but at the end of the day he looked up and found the space to put it there. I had the rest of the space covered.

FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman

When asked about playoffs and being down at half time...

It was a huge game and we knew that coming into this game. We talked about clinching this game and not worrying about the next two games. We focused on this one and getting a playoff spot. Even with that mentality, we were down at half time, but none of the guys thought for a second that we could not come back.

When asked about being in the starting lineup...

I found out on Thursday. I was at practice and they were messing with the lineups and I found myself with what I pictured would be the starting group in the second half of practice.

When asked about his first playoff appearance...

It is going to be great, that is the big picture goal for every team in the MLS at the start of the season. To find ourselves in the playoffs with two games left in the season is a great feeling.

LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena

On tonight's game...

We didn't lose control of the game, we lost the game. We had a lot of control in the second half at times. It's the sloppy play at the end of the game that makes the difference. We didn't execute over a simple throw-in play. We had some chances. Didn't get it done.

LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan

On tonight's game...

We didn't play great, but we weren't terrible. That game sort of had a winner written all over it after their goal. We just had a series of mistakes, and that one play lead to a goal so it's frustrating, but I think we all knew it would come down to these last two games so that's the way it goes. It's better to have a wake-up call now than to lose in the playoffs.

LA Galaxy midfielder Stefan Ishizaki

On tonight's game...

It was tough. We tried to keep the ball, up 1-0 in the second half. It's kind of their (FC Dallas) thing, they like to counter and have fast players like (Andres) Escobar and (Fabian) Castillo. That's why they're so dangerous. We feel asleep on the first goal. They just took a short free kick, got in behind our midfield and got a through ball to I don't know who scored it, but it was an easy goal. Too easy to let in. Then it's an even game and anything can happen and it did. We needed the points. If we get two draws, we win the Supporter's Shield. So obviously, we're very disappointed not getting the point.

On his goal...

It was a cross that they headed out to me and I took a good first touch, but I had two guys rushing me so I couldn't shoot it. I took a touch pass those two guys and I saw the goal was open so I chipped it and it went in.

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