Óscar Pareja’s debut sees FC Dallas hold off Montréal, 3-2
Houston sent notice in their season opener -- posting a four-goal win over a New England team that finished above them in last year’s Eastern Conference -- but don’t sleep on the Dynamo’s MLS cousins to the north. After a preseason in which most prognosticators picked Óscar Pareja’s new team to finish near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, FC Dallas got off to a winning start, with Fabian Castillo, Blas Pérez, and Mario Díaz getting on the scoresheet in a 3-2 win over Montréal.
The goals came in succession after Sanna Nyassi had put the visitors up in the 10th minute, with Castillo (16') and Pérez (24') giving Dallas a halftime lead. Beating Troy Perkins to the upper-left hand corner with a direct kick from just outside the box, Díaz curled home the winner two minutes into the second half, providing an early hint the Designated Player will be able to replace David Ferreira’s influence in the middle for Dallas.
Andrew Wenger pulled one back just after the hour, leaving the Impact to chase an equalizer over the match’s find 25 minutes. Despite playing without the suspended Marco Di Vaio, Montréal ultimately forced seven saves from Chris Seitz, even if they never built on Wenger’s 65th minute goal.
In that context, perhaps a one-goal win at home isn’t that impressive, even if a 3-1 lead after 47 minutes reflects a quality that didn’t necessarily translate onto the final score. But only 90 minutes into Pareja’s tenure, Dallas has time to work on the details. And for the second year in a row, they’ve opened with a win at home.