FC Dallas is still winless since losing Mauro Díáz in Washington, D.C., but the team managed to slow its slide slightly on Saturday night. Ending its four-match losing streak, FCD also ran its winless run to five, using a late Fabian Castillo goal to pull back Marky Delgado’s opener, salvaging a 1-1 in Frisco, Tex.
Playing to type, Chivas receded into a shell in the first half, ending the period without a shot on target. Early in the second, however, midfielder Mauro Rosales, back in the starting lineup, broke down Dallas’s left to create a chance near the edge of the six-yard box. Delgado’s finish gave Chivas the prospect of two road wins in a row.
Dallas managed to defy that in the 83rd minute when Jair Benítez, getting a rare start in midfield, drove a ball into a cluster of players in front of Dan Kennedy’s goal. Castillo found a route to the ball between defenders and redirected the equalizer home, saving his team from a potentially demoralizing result.
Like D.C. United’s draw earlier in the day, however, the context of Dallas’s draw is more telling than the comeback. FCD was at home against an inferior team, and while that doesn’t always lead to victory, it’s difficult to find moral victories in the times it doesn’t. Óscar Pareja’s team may have gotten its first point since losing Díaz to injury, but this game should have been three. That is wasn’t only underscores Dallas’s need for a post-Díaz solution.
For Chivas, as they initially showed last week against Colorado, this is a formula that can work. There are a handful of Major League Soccer teams that need your help to inflict damage. With the loss of its best player, Dallas fits squarely into the group.
It may not be romantic, and, at times, it can be flat-out uninspiring, but if there are some teams who can’t beat you when forced to do so, these types of approaches have merit. Montréal benefitted from one such team today. Chivas USA benefitted from another.