North Texas Daily

Column: Daily Does FC Dallas

Column: Daily Does FC Dallas

June 24
15:53 2013

By William A. Darnell / Senior Staff Writer

Two humongous masses of more than 200 people each clashed Saturday afternoon, both clad from head to toe in red and blue, respectively. The awe-inspiring display of tribalism did not end in battle, but instead the two groups of soccer supporters marched to FC Dallas stadium to cheer their teams on — singing, chanting colorfully and drinking the whole way.

FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer played Saturday night in Frisco before a raucous crowd of more than 16,000 fans, including the supporters groups, the most passionate season ticket holders, who sit in designated areas while leading the crowd in songs, chants and enthusiasm.

What started as a dour, listless match filled with lead-footed passes and sloppy possession, finished with a stunning, frenzied comeback in the final five minutes.

After sustained pressure by FC Dallas ended with two shots off the post but no goals, Sporting KC took advantage of referee Mark Geiger’s controversial decision to award a penalty kick after Dallas midfielder Andrew Jacobson fouled Sporting KC defender Aurélien Collin in the penalty area in the 43rd minute. Midfielder Kei Kamara coolly slotted the penalty past Dallas goalkeeper Raúl Fernández.

FC Dallas’ dismay was compounded after the halftime break when midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson chested the ball into his own net after the corner kick by Sporting KC midfielder Graham Zusi.

All seemed lost until the 68th minute when with perhaps a rush of blood to the head, Sporting KC midfielder C.J. Sapong dribbled the ball into the head of downed FC Dallas midfielder Andrew Jacobson. The ensuing red card re-opened the game as a contest, and led to a wild final twenty minutes.

Jacobson got his revenge in the 88th minute, scoring on a beautiful reverse header off the cross from midfielder Ramon Nunez. FC Dallas completed its furious comeback in the 90th minute when young midfielder Preston Zimmerman scored on a thunderous, unstoppable header from the free kick of David Ferreira, sending the crowd into prolonged, ear drum bursting chaos. Sporting KC was able to spurn FC Dallas’ attempts at a winning goal and the game ended in a 2-2 draw.

Trip Report:

Driving to FC Dallas Stadium was extremely easy and brisk. It took a little over 30 minutes to drive from Denton down highway 380; even with avoiding the tolls of the Dallas North Tollway the drive was less than 40 minutes.

We arrived at the stadium, coerced our way past a parking lot attendant (by telling her we were with a media organization), and with absolutely no trouble received our press passes. After a quick jaunt to the press box, we made our way down to the parking lot, where the Dallas Beer Guardians and the Cauldron supporters groups were staging their battle of lungs and livers. Four kegs and hundreds of bottles and cans of beer kept the casual revelry from turning intense. Both sets of fans were equipped heavily in team gear, from jerseys to scarves, face paint, bandanas and Mexican luchador masks.

After the groups marched to the stadium, we made our way back up to the press box, which is located on the top floor of the club suites, for a late lunch (fajitas, rice, tortillas and iced tea). The atmosphere was laid-back, but professional in the press box, with adequate seating, electrical outlets and surprisingly fast Wi-Fi.

The players looked both huge and graceful from high above the stadium, with 6-foot-3 Kei Kamara of Sporting Kansas City appearing especially daunting. The match was not the greatest display of technical prowess ever, but it was heavy in drama, even from the press box.

Although traffic was much worse on the return trip to Denton, the drive was still less than an hour and was well worth the extra time.

Check out our slideshow of photos from the event below.

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