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FC Dallas traveled south on I-45 to the armpit of Texas (rivalry and banter talk) to take on the Houstank Dynamo in the first game of the 2018 edition of the Texas Derby. In a game that really could have gone either way, this probably left a sour taste in many fans. FC Dallas got a point as they drew the Dynamo 1-1. Here’s how it unfolded.

Tactics

The 4-2-3-1 made its second appearance in a row with two changes: Roland Lamah took over in the center switching with Santiago Mosquera and Maynor Figueroa slotting in at left-back. Victor Ulloa made his 100th MLS start in this game.

07-21-1820Starting20XI20-20Social
                                               FC Dallas Starting XI vs. Houston Dynamo                                                        “Photo: FC Dallas”

When taking a look at the average player positioning last week, this week’s lineup showed us what we saw last week. Dallas looked to play on the counter and used their normal home attacking method this time: pass the ball with intent as practiced to set up scoring opportunities.

Events

1′ – Matt Hedges scores off a cross from Santiago Mosquera. What a way to start the Texas Derby. FCD lead 1-0.

8′ – The Dynamo scores a quick one in response. 1-1.

28′ – Santiago Mosquera comes off for Tesho Akindele. Santi was making a normal run but goes down grabbing his hamstring. Hopefully, it is nothing major for him.

Halftime: FC Dallas 1-1 Houston Dynamo

75′ – Kellyn Acosta comes in for Michael Barrios. Papi aims to solidify the midfield and hopefully try to pull out a win. This is the last time that we would see Kellyn Acosta in the FC Dallas shirt.

84′ – Ryan Hollingshead comes in for Roland Lamah who has had a very disappointing night. Dallas looks to solidify the team and grab a point.

Final Time: FC Dallas 1-1 Houston Dynamo

Thoughts

For me, this was a game that could have gone either way for both teams. There were times that FC Dallas looked like the better team and there were times that the Dynamo were the better team. Statistically, FCD were the better team with 15 shots, 494 passes, 89% passing accuracy, 19 interceptions, 9 fouls, 12 aerial duels, 640 touches, 44 duels won, 14 crosses, and 3 shots on target.

Before I continue. VAR ACTUALLY WORKED FOR ONCE!

Homer Simpson

VAR actually has been good to us this year. Hopefully, I didn’t just jinx the team.

Something that was different in this game is how the Huntsmen created opportunities through the middle versus the flank. This may be in part due to having to Santi off and the team shaping more into a 4-4-2 after the injury but it was notable. They moved and played the ball on the flanks and when they were ready to commit to the attack, the ball was moved in the middle. FCD also took many more shots outside of the box this time with 58% of shots coming outside of the box. One thing that I noticed is that FCD is getting really good at keeping the ball out of their own third as of late as only 25% of the game was in the Dallas third, 47% in the middle, and 28% in the Houston third.

Matt Hedges had a wonderful game this night and my hat is off to him. He was my man of the match with grabbing a goal himself and playing well in Houston. Historically, Hedges seemed to have run into a rut when it comes to playing against Houston. Not this time though so kudos to him. The backline looked great as usual. Reggie was doing his usual Reggie things and is aging like a fine wine. Reto looked solid and Maynor didn’t look too shabby.

Victor and Gruezo had quite the night. Both of them put in an amazing effort this time around and really help protect the backline and support the attack. I cannot stop talking about the praise that Victor deserves. Great to see that he has the starting job and for him to have had a great game on his 100th MLS start.

Mikey has not been able to catch a break this year as he has not had a good half of the season. I really do hope he can find his form again as when he is on form, he is such a huge threat. Maxi is usually all over the place with his running but this game he really was. Now that Dallas is getting Dominique Badji, I think a two-striker system is what is really going to help out Maxi. Tesho was okay and missed a great opportunity to put FCD ahead.

Roland Lamah did not have a good game at all. It was hard to find some good as he was just there. One has to do better with that penalty. It did not look like he put much thought and if he did want to go down the middle you have to get some lift on it buddy. It also says a lot when you turn away Reto who scored a penalty in the last game. Lamah had a chance to redeem himself with a shot about 7 yards out but lifts it and hits the crossbar. Not a good night at all but when he came off, you could tell that he was gutted and I felt bad for the guy. He is human and despite what happened in the game, you have to feel for him.

I asked how you guys felt about the game and I would have to agree.

FCD has had an impressive run this season on the road and this game felt like that we should have walked away with more. Regardless, grabbing a point on the road in MLS is huge no matter what and let’s just keep on working for the next game.

FC Dallas heads up to Sporting Kansas City where that have struggled in the past this Saturday, July 28th, at 7:30pm. Watch on TXA-21.

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