Is there a more dangerous scorer in CONCACAF today than Panamanian bruiser Blas Perez?
Perez scored again last week as Panama topped Honduras, 2-0, to move atop the CONCACAF “Hexagonal,” the six-team group of final round World Cup qualifying contestants.
And now FC Dallas has that guy to bring off the bench?
Schellas Hyndman did just that Saturday in New England. Now blessed with a trio of top striker choices, Hyndman didn’t need to press Perez into duty for the club’s trip to Gillette Stadium. Rather, the FCD boss went with Kenny Cooper at striker, biding his time as playmaker David Ferreira and a midfield that has found its balance lately more than held their own against the home team.
What Hyndman said about the ability to bring in such an outstanding striker – one that replaced an 18-goal scorer from last year (Cooper) after 64 minutes Saturday:
He played two games last week with Panama and he came back a little bit banged up. We wanted to rest him the best we could. But what a great substitute to be making, a player of that quality.”
“What we felt like, we just needed someone fresh up there that could hold the ball a little bit different [than Cooper]. When you bring in a Blas Perez, it does affect the opposition quite a bit. Mentally, [they] go, wow, OK good. Kenny’s out now here come Blas. Are you kidding? He adds something a little bit different. We found him a couple times and he could have had another [goal besides the one he did score].”
Cooper scored one that was called back. Perez’s late strike, one that helps position Dallas atop the West after five MLS rounds – And how about that! – off Ferreira’s pretty pass was perfectly placed, and it counted in Dallas’ 1-0 in outside Boston.
Note, by the way, who does some good hold-up work and rescues the ball from trouble in midfield on the telling sequence that led to Saturday’s only goal. It’s Perez, naturally.
Here’s the Panamanian international’s goal Saturday: