Pareja: FC Dallas raised bar with 2-0 win against New England

The manager believes his team can compete with the top teams in Major League Soccer and said playing a struggling team can sometimes be more difficult than a top club.
FRISCO, Texas — With its 2-0 win Saturday against New England, FC Dallas moved into second place in the Western Conference.

Though the win came against a Revolution team that has now lost seven straight matches, FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja feels his team sent a statement to the league with the win.

"I thought tonight we raised the bar, and the team is feeling we're for real and competing for the highest spot in the league," Pareja said in his postgame news conference. "It was great to see the discipline and the composure that the team showed with a team that we respect a lot like New England. We knew that they were struggling with results, but that didn't factor into our approach to the game."

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In fact, Pareja said, the fact that Jay Heaps' men are desperate for a win may have added to the level of difficulty for his club.

The Revs made several changes to their starting lineup, handing Stephen McCarthy his first start on the season in central defense and moving Scott Caldwell into defensive midfield after a 5-1 loss to the LA Galaxy during the week. Heaps also started Charlie Davies at forward, pushing Patrick Mullins to the bench. Pareja said his team wasn't ready to see the new faces but adjusted well once they settled in.

"It was a tricky game. When you face teams that struggle, and we have been there, their teams are very difficult to beat, and sometimes your brain fools you and you think that everything will come automatically," he said. "Tonight New England came and showed that that's not true. You have to fight for those points.

"That's a relief to see our team play at that high level against a team that is struggling. For me those games are sometimes even more difficult."

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