Frisco, TX (July 14, 2018) – FC Dallas looked to gain ground on the MLS West as they hosted the Chicago Fire. Dallas would also look to win back the Brimstone Cup, while Chicago would look to retain it another year. All to play for in the blistering Texas heat Saturday evening.
FC Dallas Secures Brimstone Cup, Defeat Chicago Fire 3-1
The Brimstone Cup is something most people may not know about. Before getting into the match details, I want to try to give a quick lesson on what it is, and the importance of it between these two sides and MLS.
A Bit of History:
As charter members of MLS, Chicago and Dallas have played their fare share of matches. Especially in the early days of MLS, the two sides met quite often in regular season play. As a result, this early rivalry took on new meaning when supporters groups from each team came together to create the Brimstone Cup. This trophy would be awarded to the team with most points in games played between Dallas and Chicago. If the season series was tied, the team that won it the prior year would retain it.
Being the second recognized fan-based trophy in MLS (after the Supporters’ Shield), the Brimstone Cup was created in 2001. FC Dallas would hoist the Brimstone Cup for ten straight years upon inception (the first three of those still being the Dallas Burn). Chicago would then take the reigns and retain the trophy from 2012-2015, but the trophy has gone back and forth since.
With big-market rivalries in New York and LA, the Brimstone Cup has taken a backseat in the league. But the pioneers and die-hard fans of these two franchises know and embrace the significance of this cup, and ensure that history and camaraderie will not be forgotten.
Brimstone Cup 2018:
As the current Brimstone Cup holders, Chicago knew they would have to dig deep Saturday night. With a laundry list of injuries and a busy schedule ahead, they had a tall task ahead of them to retain the cup.
FC Dallas looked to keep their unbeaten streak at home alive. Coming off a tough loss in Utah last weekend, Oscar Pareja made several changes to his lineup.
Reverting back to the 4-2-3-1 formation, Pareja would push Santiago Mosquera into the #10 role to lead the attack. With Michael Barrios and Roland Lamah to his sides, Mosquera would look to push things quickly through the middle. This would draw Chicago in defensively, allowing Dallas to find ample space on the wings.
FC Dallas came out strong and dominated the game from start to finish. Chicago really sat back and waited for their opportunities to counter, but they were few and far between.
Dallas struck early with great work out wide from Reggie Cannon, who whipped in a low cross that was cleanly tucked into the corner by Carlos Gruezo. The match grew stale as Dallas struggled to get shots on target, but a second yellow and sending off for Chicago’s Drew Conner late on sealed their fate.
Kellyn Acosta would double Dallas’ lead just four minutes after Conner’s exit. Chicago allowed Kellyn time and space outside the box, and he sent a rocket low to the opposite corner for the winning goal.
Reto Ziegler would convert a penalty to put the home side up 3-0 late on. Second half sub Brandt Bronico would pull one back for Chicago, but the 3-1 final score would ensure that the Brimstone Cup would be coming back to Dallas.
Dallas will rest up before the Texas Derby next Saturday. They will head south on I-45 to take on the Houston Dynamo for El Capitán, another historical piece of MLS rivalry history. They will then need another big week of preparation before heading north to face Sporting Kansas City, who recently knocked them out of the U.S. Open Cup. Lots to play for in the coming weeks, as teams prepare for the final sprint of the MLS season.