Series history: A look at the all-time matchups between the Union and FC Dallas
FC Dallas is one of those Western Conference teams that dropped off the radar a bit when MLS switched to the unbalanced schedule in 2012.
They’re one of just three remaining teams that the Union has yet to defeat since joining Major League Soccer.
The Union is 0-2-3 against Schellas Hyndman’s team.
And while they haven’t been frequent, the matches have been pretty entertaining.
There were gritty contests in 2011 and 2012, with some defining moments and pieces of trivia thrown into the mix in 2010.
This time around, the two clubs will meet as playoff contenders in their respective conferences.
1. May 15, 2010: Philadelphia 1, Dallas 1 (Lincoln Financial Field)
Goals: Shea 13’, Mwanga 90+’
A couple of notable things about this game:
- It would be the second and final Union game played at Lincoln Financial Field
- Danny Mwanga and Brek Shea scored their first professional goals
- Philadelphia earned a draw for the first time in franchise history
The Union were coming off a brutal, four game road losing streak and conceded early to then-21-year-old Shea.
Roger Torres was well-denied by Kevin Hartman in the 21st minute before Sebastien Le Toux pushed the ball wide on a 1v1 opportunity in the 25th minute.
Mwanga’s goal salvaged the point and ended that skid, the equalizer coming in stoppage time. It was a hopeful ball into the box that somehow fell to the rookie for a right footed blast into the net.
2. August 8, 2010: Dallas 3, Philadelphia 1 (Pizza Hut Park)
Goals: Moreno 9’, Ferreira 24’ (PK), Cunningham 75’, 81’
Chris Seitz was benched for this game, allowing Brad Knighton to start his first game for the Philadelphia Union.
It began well enough, with former Union striker-turned-analyst Alejandro Moreno putting the visitors ahead just nine minutes into the game. Moreno’s goal can only be described as “opportunistic” – a loose ball bundled home after a blocked shot, a stuffed follow-up, and a failed clearance by George John.
But it fell apart in the 22nd minute, when Knighton was sent-off after bobbling the ball, lashing out, and bringing down Shea inside the box.
David Ferreira converted the resulting penalty, and the 10-man Union went on to a 3-1 road loss.
FC Dallas went on to the MLS Cup final.
3. May 14, 2011: Dallas 2, Philadelphia 0 (Pizza Hut Park)
Goals: Shea 18’, Castillo 43’
This was a poor game by the standards of the 2011 Union.
It was the third time in just nine total games that Philadelphia had been shutout by a Western Conference team. It was also the first time that the Union defense had conceded multiple goals that season.
Fabian Castillo’s speed proved to be difficult to handle for the bigger and more physical Union. The 19-year-old Colombian bagged a goal and assist, powering Dallas to a 2-0 win.
4. August 13, 2011: Philadelphia 2, Dallas 2 (PPL Park)
Goals: Santos 16’, Le Toux 33’ (PK), 84’ (PK), Shea 45’
It wasn’t pretty, but this was the game where Sebastien Le Toux finally came out of his 2011 scoring slump.
Sure, the goals were penalties, but they served as a stepping stone to get the French forward out of his funk and back on the score sheet.
The Union again conceded first, this time Maicon Santos taking advantage of a rare mistake from Carlos Valdes in the back.
Le Toux bagged his first penalty kick in the 33rd minute, converting from the spot after Justin Mapp was brought down in the box by Ugo Ihemelu.
Dallas took a 2-1 lead into halftime, but lost George John to his second yellow card in the 81st minute. Playing with 10 men, Jair Benitez caused the second penalty with a tackle on Michael Farfan just barely inside the 18-yard-box. Le Toux converted the second spot kick and both sides settled for a 2-2 draw.
5. May 19, 2012: Philadelphia 1, Dallas 1 (FC Dallas Stadium)
Goals: Perez 7’, Gomez 56’
A gritty game, you’d have to say it ended with a well-deserved point for the Union.
Chase Harrison, starting in place of the injured Zac MacMath, was especially bright in this one, putting his body on the line to make a few difficult stops.
Blas Perez’ goal in just the seventh minute was a microcosm of the contest. The Panamanian international forward put home a diving header inside the box, but collided with Harrison at close range.
Gabriel Gomez scored the equalizer for the Union in similar fashion, heading home a Lionard Pajoy flick inside the box and taking a hit from Kevin Hartman on the follow through.
Harrison did well to deny Perez at the near post in the 82nd minute, and the Union held on for a franchise-first road point in Dallas.
Have your own memories from these matches? Leave a message in the comments portion below.
Contact Union writer Kevin Kinkead at firstname.lastname@example.org