You've already seen his goals. One brilliant strike from long-range into the far upper corner of the net, and leaping over a defender to put away a cross with his head to finish things off. But I was equally impressed with Maicon Santos on the second goal of the match. That was a 30-40 yard pass across the field to the perfect spot to let NDL run onto it at full speed. This an elite performance from Santos, and its probably no coincidence that it came against his former team. Hey remember when DeRo went off against all his former teams last year? Well D.C. United plays Toronto FC three times this year.
Nick DeLeon did a great job to finish the pass from Santos, allowing the ball to hit his chest and then shooting at a tough angle before it hit the ground. DeLeon wasn't actually all that far away from a hat trick if you think about it. He hit the crossbar once, and also had a ball cleared off the line after Kevin Hartman was drawn out. The rookie also added an assist as the two wingers combined well throughout the night.
In his press conference, Ben Olsen called Danny Cruz "a real pain in the ass" and "someone who I'd hate to play against," both of which can be considered large compliments from a man like Olsen. He made a smart run into the open space to score the goal that put the game out of reach, but then again he was also making many other smart plays all night. Cruz was involved in all three goals after the opener, starting the NDL goal by working hard under pressure to find an open Russell on the wing, and then drawing out a defender before passing to De Ro on the fourth goal.
Speaking of Dwayne De Rosario, this was his best game of the season and he appears to be well on his way towards returning to form. Olsen mentioned that he's been getting better and fitter every week, and it shows. De Rosario earned assists on both of the Santos goals, with his cross on the final goal of the night finding the Brazilian's head in a perfectly precise spot.
Goalkeeper Joe Willis also came up big several times, especially in the early stages of the match. He made at least three big stops in the first half. You might say that the shots from FC Dallas were straight at him, but there's a reason for that. The reason is that Willis was in just the right spot to get in the area that the attacker wanted to shoot. His positioning was phenomenal.
This was the second great game in a row from Daniel Woolard, He was United's best defender, really limiting Dallas's chances, while also getting involved in the attack. He wasn't at fault on the goal, or any of the shots that forced saves from Willis. Brandon McDonald also had his best game of the season so far, shutting down several FCD attacks.
While we still haven't gotten an indisputable answer to the question of whether or not Blas Perez's goal actually should have been ruled offside, we unfortunately have to recognize the failed clearance from Emiliano Dudar as the one truly terrible moment of the game for United. Ah well. Mistakes happen. Its how you react that matters.