There is a rumor going around that we are going to top this week’s MLS power rankings. Obviously that’s not the kind of thing in which sensible people put a great deal of stock, but it is at the very least a sign that we are steadily building up cred around the league. Before we get to the adulation, of which there will be plenty, let’s just get the caveat out of the way. Although the Dallas side which we beat on Saturday afternoon is very good and sitting atop the division, it must be said that we caught them at a good time. With Blas Pérez away on international duty and Kenny Cooper having to fly home to deal with a family emergency, they were left with only one real striker in the person of Eric Hassli. And when he did his back during warm ups they were left with none. Of all those absences the one that really hurt them was Perez. Both Cooper and Hassli are the kind of bigger, less mobile guys with whom our central defenders tend to cope pretty well. Pérez, smaller and quicker, functions well with their other pacey, technical players like Ferreira, Castillo, Michel, and Watson. Without him as the point man, and lacking a serious option toward whom to lump the ball up the pitch, Dallas was always going to struggle to get anything going forward.
Still they are not on top of the league for nothing and even without the aforementioned forwards they are still a very good team. We’ve given them all they could handle and then some in both of our meetings so far this season. But for a bit of gamesmanship on the part of Pérez (and some corresponding naivety from AJB) we would have taken three points out of them down in Cisco. On a sunny Saturday afternoon in the Rose City we get what we deserved. Now down to the grades.
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