FC Dallas happy with rebound ahead of busy stretch

FC Dallas' Mauro Rosales (pictured) celebrates after scoring against the visiting Chicago Fire in an MLS game on July 16, 2016, in Frisco, Texas. (Photo: FC Dallas via Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports Images)

FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas offered the perfect response to a 5-0 loss at the Seattle Sounders in the midweek with a comprehensive 3-0 win over the visiting Chicago Fire at Toyota Stadium on Saturday.

The victory was Dallas’ fourth in its last five league encounters, getting the team back on track ahead of another busy period that will include matches in three competitions -- U.S. Open Cup, MLS and the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. Starting on July 20, four games will be contested in 16 days.

Goals by the Argentinean trio of Maximiliano Urruti (23’), Mauro Diaz (41’) and Mauro Rosales (90’) helped to extend FCD’s team-record home unbeaten streak to 16 matches. Fabian Castillo added two assists.

“We needed a result, something positive after what happened on Wednesday,” said FC Dallas captain and defender Matt Hedges after the match. “I think this was a good start to the long stretch of games that we have.”

After two straight West Coast outings, which opened with a 1-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes prior to the Seattle setback, FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja was happy to be home.

“We're coming off a long trip, just getting the three points today was obviously most important, but also there were parts of the game where we were seeing good soccer,” said the 47-year-old. “Today the boys performed very well, and that's a great achievement for them. We keep adding points, being strong at home and bouncing back.”

Dallas returns to action on Wednesday with a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal at the host Houston Dynamo and will then play two MLS matches, before opening its SCCL campaign against visiting Real Esteli.

“It's very important, especially when we are doing the planning for the last two weeks and traveling to San Jose and Seattle, playing on turf and knowing that two days after we needed to be on the pitch playing a very important game,” said Pareja, when asked about the balancing act between personnel and a crowded schedule. “Also, knowing this week is going to be very hectic so it is important when we can rest some of the guys. We tried to do it, and sometimes it differs in the chemistry, but on the other side the opportunity for these guys to get into the team and feel important and part of this.”

One of those was goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez, who was tabbed for his first start since May 7. The 21-year-old made a key in the seventh minute, when he thwarted Chicago’s Kennedy Igboananike.

“It’s always good to be back on the field,” Gonzalez finished. “Thanks to the team for going out there and preforming well. It’s always good to be able to bounce back quickly like we did and leave that game behind us. We have a lot of matches coming up. As long as we keep doing what we have been this season, we will get the results we need.”

FCD remained first in the Western Conference, improving its league-best record to 12W-4D-6L.