Over 21,000 fans happily celebrated the Fourth of July in Frisco, Texas as FC Dallas played a strong game and overpowered the Philadelphia Union 2-1 in an inter-conference matchup. However, the soccer game was only the beginning of the festivities to be found at sold-out Toyota Stadium.
As a matter of fact, the festivities in Frisco spanned the entire day starting with Red Friday Frisco, an FC Dallas community initiative designed to benefit the residents of Frisco. Over 500 businesses ‘painted the town red’ to celebrate and remind fans of the upcoming FC Dallas home game.
It wasn’t hard to find a great tailgating party either. Throughout most of the parking lots, hundreds of people celebrated the fourth with great food, music and drinks as they prepared to head to the stadium.
After a beautiful salute to America, FC Dallas struck first when Blas Perez passed to Tesho Akindele, who had worked his way behind the Union defense, knocking the ball into the left side of the net with a great right-footed kick past onrushing goalkeeper Zac MacMath in the 26th minute.
Philadelphia did come back to score in the 43rd minute and at halftime the match remained a draw at 1-1.
During an emotional halftime show, artist Phil Taylor of The American Fallen Soldiers Project presented a portrait of Army SFC Houston Taylor to his mother and family. SFC Taylor was killed October 13, 2011 when his unit was attacked by enemy forces in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. The presentation was followed by a moving multi-media show on the stadium scoreboards that captivated the sellout crowd.
Four minutes into the second half, FC Dallas scored an unexpected goal taking the lead for good as a Union player inadvertently played the ball into a teammate and the ball rebounded into the Union net.
All was not totally jubilant as FC Dallas goalkeeper, Chris Seitz suffered what seemed to be a right quadriceps injury while taking a routine goal kick in the 71st minute. Raul Fernandez, a 2013 MLS All-Star, took over for him in the 72nd minute. Seitz is scheduled to undergo an MRI.
Maurice Edu's late sliding tackle into Blas Perez led to an 88th minute red card and a man advantage for FC Dallas. After six minutes of stoppage time, FC Dallas came away with a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union, but the party was just beginning on a beautiful, clear Texas evening.
Minutes after the game the skies lit up with the biggest post-game fireworks show in north Texas capping off the fourth of July in FC Dallas style.
The next FC Dallas home game is at 8PM on July 19 against the New England Revolution.