Twenty two shots.
Ten shots inside the box.
One goal (a penalty).
Only a man of the match performance from FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez could save FC Dallas from defeat Saturday in Mercedes-Benz Stadium against Atlanta United, and that’s exactly what they got.
“I think their goalkeeper had an outstanding game,” said midfielder Jeff Larentowicz after the 2-1 loss. “When you’re creating the chances, I think eventually it’ll come around where you’re putting them away.”
Atlanta players across the board know they created the opportunities to win. On top of the plethora of shooting opportunities the team generated, several more dangerous moves didn’t result in a shot but presented danger nonetheless, as evidence by Dallas’ 36 clearances in the game (compared to Atlanta’s eight).
Frank de Boer remarked in his postgame press conference that his side would win roughly (but also extremely specifically) 28 of 30 games if they performed the way they did against Dallas. While we may quibble about Atlanta’s actual win rate based on the performance, Atlanta’s players echoed their manager’s general sentiments (something they haven’t always done in the past... they speak their own minds).
“We are happy (that) we created the chances, and we know they will start to fall for us,” said Parkhurst in the locker room after the match. “It is the toughest thing to do in soccer, and it’s more difficult when the goalie is playing well. We don’t have the confidence right now. Goals tend to come in bunches sometimes.”
Parkhurst added that it’s always tougher when a team is facing off against a goalkeeper like Gonzalez. The U.S. international made a personal season-high 7 saves against Atlanta. To add to the misfortune, Ezequiel Barco saw shots bang off the woodwork not once, but twice. And to cap it all off, Josef Martinez missed a shot (didn’t even put it on frame) from six yards out in what Opta says was the best goalscoring chance for either team in the match.
“We just got to score goals. You can’t win games if you don’t score goals,” said Julian Gressel. “They had three chances to score two goals. Obviously, the early goal helped them, and we couldn’t find a way past a great goalkeeper who made some incredible saves today... We had our chances and just couldn’t capitalize.”
And now I’ll leave y’all with Leandro Gonzalez Pirez who had the quote of the night.
“It’s a very frustrating game for us,” said the Argentine center back Gonzalez Pirez. “We were attacking from all sides. We arrived on goal 200 times. Their goalkeeper saved I don’t know how many shots. It’s one of those games where the ball doesn’t want to go in.”