FC Dallas made history on Wednesday night becoming the first team in MLS history to ever win a CONCACAF Champions League match in Mexico. Granted Pumas UNAM fielded eight members of their U20 team in their starting XI (using CCL group games to test some youth player in a Pumas tradition), so despite the perhaps lesser quality in the opposition (who lead the MFL) the feat is still a remarkable one.
Consider it again, no MLS had EVER won a CCL game in Mexico... until now.
(The last US side to win in Mexico was way before MLS even existed. According to the crack research of a google search of some message boards and a check of wikipedia, the last team to do so was New York Hungaria who won 3-2 at CD Oro de Jalisco in Mexico in the 1963 Champions Cup. New York Hungaria had qualified for the CCC by winning the 1962 US Open Cup.)
"I’ll tell you the first man who broke the four-minute mile was a man named Roger Bannister," said FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman after the game. "The next week, I think another six people broke the four-minute mile… because they believed in it. For us, for the first team to beat a good Mexican team in Mexico, I hope that more MLS teams will have the same courage to play good soccer and I hope that we continue to find success here."
FC Dallas came out in their now familiar 4-1-4-1 with only a couple changes. New midfielder Daniel Cruz started in the place of the suspended Bruno Guarda (yellow cards in the open series with Alianza). Jackson lined up as the high striker for the CCL tied Maicon Satnos (Santos is not eligible for FCD in CCL having been in Toronto's 34 man squad in the opening round).
Midfielder Marvin Chavez scored the loan goal of the match off a rebound in the 66th minute. A long range shot by Jair Benitez bounced off the post and fell to a wide open Chavez who buried the goal. Chavez had to check if he was offside after the goal as even he was shocked by how wide open he was.
Kevin Hartman was again spectacular on the night, making several big saves, particularly in the early nervous minutes of the game for FCD. FCD was much calmer in the 2nd half as Hartman rallied his defense.
Several strong performances in the FCD midfield also marked the night as the triangle of Daniel Hernandez, Daniel Cruz, and Ricardo Villlar was very good. Brek Shea, as usual, caused lots of havoc on the left wing. It was also nice for FCD fans to see Fabiasn Castillo back from his time with the Colombian U20s at the World getting into the match at right mid and striker.
FC Dallas is the now, and forever more, the first MLS club to win in Mexico (in 24 tries).
Pumas UNAM has won the Primera Division seven times, most recently in 2011, qualifying automatically for the Group Stage as the Mexican Clausura Champion.
FC Dallas now leads group C on 3 points with the second opening game between Tauro (Panama) and Toronto FC schedule for Thursday. FCD travels to Toronto FC next Wednesday for their 2nd Group C game. FC Dallas and Mexican First Division Champions Pumas UNAM are scheduled to meet again in Dallas on Sept. 21 at Pizza Hut Park.
Here's Chavez's goal...
DAL – Marvin Chavez 66
PUM – Cesar Sanchez (caution) 45
PUM – Aaron Sandoval (caution) 58
FCD – Jackson (caution) 61
FCD – Zach Loyd (caution) 85
FCD – Fabian Castillo (caution) 90+
FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Zach Loyd, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez, Marvin Chavez, Daniel Cruz (Eric Alexander 83), Ricardo Villar (Andrew Jacobson 77), Daniel Hernandez, Brek Shea, Jackson (Fabian Castillo 67).
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Jack Stewart, Bobby Warshaw, Ruben Luna.
Pumas UNAM – Odin Patino, Carlos Gonzalez, Eduardo Gamez, Jose Antonio Garcia, Aaron Sandoval, Cesar Sanchez, Salvador Medina (Martin Bravo 55), Carlos Campos, Michelle Castro, Juan Carlos Cacho (Eduardo Barron 45), Raul Servin (Eduardo Herrera 68).
Substitutes Not Used: Alfredo Saldivar, Marco Antonio Palacios, Neftali Teja, Erik Vera.
Referee: Jose Molina
Referee's Assistants: Juan Rodas, Oscar Velasquez
4th Official: Hector Rodriguez