FRISCO, TX. (September 13, 2016) – Head Coach Oscar Pareja and his FC Dallas team are well on their way to a double and possibly the first treble in MLS history. They defeated the New England Revolution in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final on Tuesday night 4-2. Mauro Diaz had three assists and Maximiliano Urruti had a brace to lead their team to the trophy.
FC Dallas Wins U.S. Open Cup 4-2, Ends 18 Year Trophy Drought
Both teams had some fresh legs in this match, despite playing on Saturday in league play. Dallas lost their first home game of the season with No. 10 Mauro Diaz coming off the bench in the second half. Michael Barrios was also left out of the lineup.
The New England Revolution are on their best runs of the year. They defeated New York City FC over the weekend. They did so without Kei Kamara. Kamara’s availability for the match was in doubt however.
Pareja put out a full first team for this final. Maximiliano Urruti started up top with Diaz and Barrios behind him. Kellyn Acosta started in the midfield. Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, and Ryan Hollingshead anchored the back line.
New England Head Coach Jay Heaps recently switched things up with his team, playing a 4-4-2 diamond. This change has contributed to their turn around. José Gonçalves and London Woodberry started at center back with Andrew Farrell on their right. Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe highlighted the diamond midfield. Lee Nguyen and Juan Agudelo started up top. Kamara was available on the bench.
The visitors got thing started on the right foot. Just minutes into the match, Gershon Koffie got a turn over just inside the final third. He found Agudelo at the top of the box with a great pass. The forward took a turn around Hedges to get some space, then fired the ball in the top corner of the box to score.
It was all Dallas after that however. Dallas had 63% possession in the first half and out shot the Revs 12-1 in the first half (that lone shot being the goal).
From there, Dallas was off to the races. Matt Hedges got a rare goal in the 40th minute after Dallas created several scoring chances. Diaz delivered a free kick into the box. Hedges was able to ghost past his mark to get an open header. He directed the ball just under the bar past goalkeeper Brad Knighton.
Hedges became a thorn in New England’s side at the end of the half. Hedges won a penalty when he was taken down by Goncalves. While similar plays aren’t always called in MLS, Goncalves clearly got a hand to Hedges and pulled his jersey as his opponent went to ground.
Diaz stepped up and fired the ball past Knighton. The half ended 3-1.
The Revs were in trouble with the scoreline and two first half substitutions. Koffie came out for Kamara with an injury in the 42nd minute after trying to stay in the match. Veteran outside back Chris Tiereny came in at the end of the half as well.
Dallas picked up right where they left off. The home side continued to create chances with Diaz and Urruti regularly linking up. New England tried to come out of their shell, but hand trouble sustaining pressure and getting the ball to Kamara in the box.
Urruti scored in the 61st minute on a quick counter. Diaz got the ball in the midfield and sent a through pass towards his striker. Urruti ghosted between the center backs to get a breakaway. He finished the play, beating the keeper easily and putting Dallas up 4-1.
Dallas took their foot off the gas pedal as the half went on. The Revs cut the defect in the 73rd minute when Agudelo as able to clean up a second chance in front of the net.
Both teams continued to trade chances, but nothing came of it. The match ended 4-2.
The Revs go home having lost yet another final on the road. They still have a chance to make the playoffs, but questions could be asked about if this team has just gotten stale with little roster turnover and not much improvement since their 2014 MLS Cup Final appearance.
With that FC Dallas ended an 18 year trophy drought. They were still called the Dallas Burn when winning the 1997 U.S. Open Cup. Dallas now looks forward to a double and possibly the first treble in MLS history. They are still top of the Supporter’s Shield standings and could be a favorite for MLS Cup.