Minnesota United stumbles at Dallas following long weather delay
FRISCO, TEXAS Saturday night was a long one for Minnesota United in more ways than one.
The Loons were forced to wait just to get onto the field, as a thunderstorm rolled in during warmups and the resulting lightning caused the kickoff to be delayed 2 hours, 42 minutes from the scheduled 7 p.m. start.
It was a long night once the game got started, too.
FC Dallas took control early and never let it go, rolling past a depleted United side 2-0 at Toyota Stadium.
Minnesota played without its leader in goals, assists and shots, midfielder Darwin Quintero, who was sidelined with a strained calf. Starters Collen Warner and Francisco Calvo missed the game with suspensions, Calvo for a red card in last weeks draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy and Warner because of accumulated yellows.
Without its midfield star, United went back to a 4-2-3-1 formation, hoping to generate more of an attack, but never got anything going offensively.
The loss dropped ninth-place Minnesota (9-14-2) to 1-10-1 away from home MLS worst road record while Western Conference leader Dallas improved to 13-5-6.
Dallas dominated the entire night, first half, holding possession 59 percent of the time to Uniteds 41 percent and outshooting the Loons 16-7, including 8-1 in shots on goal.
Dallas kept United under pressure throughout the game, using its speed to keep the Loons defense on its heels.
Midfielder Pablo Aranguiz consistently slithered through the Minnesota back line to create dangerous scoring chances, including a point-blank opportunity for right back Reggie Cannon that keeper Bobby Shuttleworth thwarted by coming off his line for a gutsy save.
United held up against those chances until the 44th minute, when a disputed play gave FC Dallas a 1-0 lead.
A cross from Dallas Michael Barrios on the right wing into the crowded box just in front of Shuttleworth was headed on goal, and teammates Carlos Gruezo and Victor Ulloa raced toward the net to meet it with Minnesotas Michael Boxall defending. The ball was headed on goal, forcing Shuttleworth to make a save.
But the rebound bounced off the keeper to Dallas Maynor Figueroa, stationed at the doorstep, and he put it away except, after some hesitation, the linesman raised his flag to signal Figueroa was offside.
Dallas immediately argued that call, and eventually referee Ismail Elfath went to a video review. When the replay showed it was Boxall who got his head on the ball instead of a Dallas player, he ruled Figueroa was not offside because he was inside the last time a Dallas player touched the ball, and counted the goal.
Dallas removed any doubt about the outcome in the 57th minute as Berrios fired a bending missile of a shot from the left side that eluded a leaping Shuttleworth and curled inside the far post.