Quick update on the piece I did earlier on evaluating Dallas and the playoffs. Tonight, Dallas beat Chivas USA on the road for their first road win in almost four months.
It puts Dallas three points back of RSL and even on games. Catch-able.
It puts Dallas even on points with the Galaxy, although they have three games in hand. Not as catch-able, but not impossible.
But the other thing that it key here - Dallas hosts Colorado on the weekend. Currently Dallas is three points up on the Rapids and even on games. A win in that match, and that puts another three points between Dallas and Colorado. Big. Not "bring out the closing music" big, but big.
The other think to take away from tonight's game is this - Dallas once again was leading in the second half of a road game. Win or draw, that is good stuff. Shoot, add in the Open Cup matches and now you are looking at six road games in a row where Dallas has every reason to think they could have and maybe should have won.
ALL WITHOUT MAURO DIAZ AS A KEY STARTER.
Let that sink in, fellas. (The ladies have already figured this out. Trust me on this.)
Without Mauro Diaz.
And key in this is the development of three players - Akindele, Escobar and Castillo. Each had their own developing that needed to happen, and each of them have. Now, once Diaz can go 90 minutes, you will likely see a switch back to a 4-2-3-1 with Escobar and Castillo on the wings. You will probably also see Blas Perez stay as the 1, which should not be a surprise. BUT. if Perez should falter, you have the rookie to bring in and he has shown he can contribute. Can he be The Starter, and all the pressure that implies? Maybe. Maybe not. But absolutely he can contribute. Which, in my eye, is why Perez won't falter. Love competition for starting spots.
But now that Castillo has matured some, and Escobar has worked his way into fitness and knowing the league, both are very dangerous. The speed and skill in Dallas' attacking four is borderline sick.
At least in terms of potential.