Mauro Diaz (pictured) and FC Dallas will meet host Real Esteli in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on August 24, 2016, in Esteli, Nicaragua. (Photo: Mexsport)
SANDY, Utah – FC Dallas’ four-match Major League Soccer unbeaten streak came to an end on Saturday night with a 1-0 defeat at Real Salt Lake.
Jamison Olave netted the winner in a match, despite the result, saw the visitor stay atop the Western Conference table with a 13W-6D-7L record – two points ahead of the Colorado Rapids.
“I thought it was a pretty level game in terms of the opportunities - Salt Lake had theirs and we had ours,” said FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja. “I felt that at any point whoever scored the [first] goal was going to get the points. We ended up giving away [a goal] in a play that is controlled, on a set piece, and gave them the space to score.”
Dallas’ fixture list has been heavy as it battles for top honors in three competitions – MLS, U.S. Open Cup and the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
In fact, FCD returns to SCCL play Wednesday with an encounter at Nicaragua’s Real Esteli, the team it defeated 2-1 on August 4 to open the Group H schedule.
“It could be,” Pareja commented on the role a packed schedule could have played in the loss to Salt Lake. “I have said numerous times that this group is generous. This group is fit. This group is ready to absorb the competition.
“It’s not going to be easy. We knew it. It’s not going to get any easier, but we’re prepared. We will try, as I said to bounce back in terms of results, but the boys are fine.”
Neither Pareja nor his team have any plans of relenting now, especially with a historic season as the prize.
“Disappointed tonight, but with this group, they have been great so far and we’re in a long run here with the competitions that we have,” he finished. “We have to turn around quick and try to bounce back.”