Instead of tipping his cap to the other team or praising the Union for giving 110 percent, the FC Dallas coach seemed to speak from his heart about his own side.
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"We outdid ourselves. Players did on the field," he said in a news conference after the match. "That’s something that I’m really proud. They left everything on the field. It was probably one of those performances that encourages you and you just feel... honored to belong to this club and belong to these players."
The competition holds a special place of significance for the club, which is owned by the family of its late namesake, who guided the club in its early days - including when it lifted the trophy in 1997. That triumph remains Dallas' only major trophy, and though the club missed out on the opportunity to host this year's edition, Pareja still expressed pride after the match.
“Beautiful game tonight," he said. "I think people enjoyed and everybody could see the atmosphere there how we endured the drama and what happened in the game
"Obviously, There is a frustration for not getting the final here at home. I thought the boys deserved it. The game was ruined, but sometimes people don’t deserve to be in these kind of games I’m very disappointed with the way the game was managed.”
The match went to a shootout after an 81st minute goal by Fabian Castillo canceled out a 47th minute turn-in from Amobi Okugo and neither side could tally in extra time. Zac MacMath stopped penalty kicks from Blas Perez and Victor Ulloa to give the side a 4-3 win.
The Union will host the winner of Wednesday's match between the Seattle Sounders and the Chicago Fire.