Because of MLS’s bewildering decision to continue with a limited run of fixtures over the international ‘break’, Dallas were without seven first team players, but they coped admirably.
You can learn a lot about a team from the way they respond to catastrophic results
and in the two games since Óscar Pareja’s side had their pants pulled down by Owen Coyle’s Houston Dynamo, Dallas have played two, won two, scored five and have conceded none. Now that’s a positive response.
DC could only wish for that sort of bouncebackability. They looked as though they would open their MLS season with a surprise win in Los Angeles, taking a 1-0 lead into half-time on that opening night. It all went downhill from there. The Galaxy came back with four unanswered second half goals. Then draws with New England and Colorado soon followed. And now this. A crushing 0-3 home defeat that leaves them ninth from ten in the Eastern Conference, having played a game more than bottom side Columbus. And the first goal was not an isolated incident. Fourteen minutes later, Dallas doubled their lead.
DC centre-back Bobby Boswell wellied the ball onto the left flank and Kemp, who really wasn’t having a good day, clattered forward to support the attack. But there was no attack. Dallas’ Ryan Hollingshead headed the ball forward to Barrios, who in turn headed it forward to Mauro Diaz, leaving Kemp stranded some distance in front of the ball. He skidded to a halt and sprinted back to base, but not as fast as Barrios, who continued his run, accepted the ball back from Diaz and ran into the Kemp-shaped hole in DC’s backline. Once again, his finish was deft and calm.