FC Dallas Brings it Home
FRISCO—There is a sign hanging outside of Toyota Stadium featuring FC Dallas fans holding a banner reading “Thank You Uncle Lamar.”
That sign is of course a reference to legendary Dallas sports figure Lamar Hunt, the founding owner of FCD back in its days known as the Dallas Burn. Well, on Tuesday night, FCD honored Hunt’s memory in a huge way by winning the tournament which bears his name, the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, with a 4-2 victory against the New England Revolution at Toyota Stadium.
Dallas won the Open Cup for just the second time in franchise history. The 1997 Dallas Burn captured the trophy in the franchise’s second year of existence. In 2005, the Burn rebranded to become FC Dallas, a paradigm shift which coincided with the club’s relocation to Frisco. Twice FCD has appeared in the Open Cup Final, in 2005 and in 2007, but lost on both occasions, including a 3-2 defeat to the same Revolution in Frisco back in 2007.
But on Tuesday night, the Oscar Pareja-coached club finished the job, overcoming an early deficit to score four unanswered goals before prevailing by two.
Early on, it looked like it might not be FCD’s night as New England striker Juan Agudelo netted the first of two goals in the game six minutes in. Agudelo gave the visitors an early 1-0 lead by sending a low right-footed shot just inside the far post from the middle of the Dallas area.
However, that would be New England’s only shot on goal of the entire first half.
Dallas responded, tying the game in the 15th minute when Maxi Urruti scored the first of his two goals, knocking in a cross from Mauro Diaz which was misplayed at the top of the New England area by former FCD defender Je-Vaughn Watson.
FCD nearly pulled ahead in the 32nd minute when Ryan Hollingshead had a great opportunity on the right side of the area, but Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton got his right foot on Hollingshead’s shot to preserve the 1-1 deadlock. That tie was broken for good in the 40th minute when FCD captain Matt Hedges scored off a header. Diaz deftly chipped a ball over the Dallas backline and Hedges connected for the go-ahead goal.
But, Dallas wasn’t quite done in the first half. During stoppage time, Hedges drew a penalty kick when a New England player grabbed and held his jersey as everyone was jockeying for position during a free kick. Diaz stepped up to the penalty spot and buried a right-footed shot into the left side of the net to make it a 3-1 contest.
Urruti added a second tally in the 62nd while Agudelo’s second goal 11 minutes later made it 4-2, but the Revolution would get no closer and FCD had its first trophy of 2016. And after this win, no one was happier than Hunt’s sons, Clark, Chairman of Hunt Sports Group, and Dan, the FCD President, both of whom were in attendance.