Paul Arriola believes “the sky’s the limit” for FC Dallas amid their fine start to the season.
Dallas capitalized on the Seattle Sounders’ CONCACAF Champions League hangover last week to claim a 2-0 win that sees them sit fourth in the Western Conference.
It has been a strong start under new coach Nico Estevez, who has overseen five wins, four draws and just one defeat from his 10 games in charge this season.
Next up is a trip to California to face the LA Galaxy, who are in third place in the West, albeit on the same points as Dallas.
“I think the sky’s the limit for us, as long as we stay humble,” said winger Arriola, who scored Dallas’ second goal against Seattle.
“One game at a time, one week at a time, focusing on how we can consistently get better, not getting ahead of ourselves, individually staying motivated and willing to sacrifice the individual for the team. If we can do that, we’re going to be a really, really good team throughout the year. I’m really confident in that.”
Dallas face a Galaxy side that edged past California United Strikers 3-2 in the US Open Cup last time out, though before that Greg Vanney’s side kept a well-earned clean sheet in a 1-0 win away at Austin FC.
“It’s a commitment by the whole group to defending, to helping each other, to moving and working together,” Vanney said.
“The guys that are working to get pressure on the ball are obviously putting in the work, but the guys who are away from the ball are working hard to stay connected to close off space. I think that whole group is committed to that, they’re taking pride in that and that’s obviously a hugely positive thing.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
LA Galaxy – Jonathan Bond
The Galaxy have only conceded seven goals from their 10 games in 2022, with goalkeeper Jonathan Bond having featured in every match.
FC Dallas – Jesus Ferreira
Jesus Ferreira has scored seven times in his first 10 games this season, including in the win against Seattle. Only Jason Kreis (eight in 1999) has scored more goals in the first 10 games of a season in Dallas’ MLS history.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– The Galaxy have taken seven points from their last three home games against FC Dallas (W2 D1), including a win and a draw last season.
– They have lost only two of its last 13 home matches against Dallas (W8 D3) dating back to the start of the 2011 season.
– The Galaxy’s last four matches have seen a total of three goals, with no match having more than one (two 1-0 wins, one 1-0 loss, one 0-0 draw). The last team to play five straight games with fewer than two goals in each game in a single season was Philadelphia in August-October 2013.
– Dallas extended their unbeaten run to eight games (W5 D3) after a 2-0 victory over the Sounders on Saturday. All three away matches in that time have been draws, however, as Dallas hasn’t won on the road since August, failing to record a victory in its last 10 away matches (D6 L4).
– The Galaxy and Dallas have the joint-best defenses in MLS this season, allowing just seven goals through 10 games. The Galaxy have allowed fewer goals at this stage of a season only twice (two in 2010, six in 1999) while Dallas have let in fewer after 10 games just once (six in 1999).