DALSportsNation

FC Dallas came away with huge 3 points against Sporting Kansas City at Childrens Mercy Park which has proven to be a formidable place for FC Dallas. The Huntsmen broke there 7-year winless streak with a 3-2 win as they put on a performance that could show much promise later down the road. In what was another good team performance, FCD can end their July on a high note. Heres is how it went.

Tactics

Oscar Pareja brought in the 4-2-3-1 with Marquinhos Pedroso making his FC Dallas debut and Maxi Urruti playing as a false #10. What this formation really was a 4-4-2 that would feature Barrios sitting on top and Maxi underneath. Tesho and Lamah would take the left and right wings respectively with some switching throughout the game.

07-28-1820Starting20XI20-20Social
                                              FC Dallas Starting XI vs. Sporting Kansas City                                                “Photo: FC Dallas”

Papi saw that there was an opportunity to exploit the SKC center backs, in particular, Opara, and that move opened up the game for FCD. FCD goal was to go on the counter and play long balls to Barrios who would run behind the defense or into space to exploit Opara.

Events

23′ – Micheal Barrios makes a run off of Victor Ulloa’s long ball and is able to fend of Opara and pop the ball over a rushing Tim Melia. 1-0. This is Barrios’ first goal this season and the first in 10 months.

Halftime: FC Dallas 1-0 Sporting Kansas City

50′ – Gerso Fernadez gets by Pedroso and Ulloa for a curling shot. 1-1.

62′ – Roland Lamah plays a long ball up the left side to Mikey who nutmegs a rushing Melia to earn himself a brace. 2-0. Mikey is looking good.

74′ – Hatrick complete. A ball that was deflected of an SKC defender lands in front of Barrios who smashes it into the back of the net. 3-0.

82′ – Cristian Colman comes in for Michael Barrios and Paxton Pomykal comes in for Tesho Akindele. Papi looks to get in some playing time for players that could use play time. Nice to see that Colman is back. He had a good opportunity to score but shoots at the keeper. Regardless of his shot, he is called offsides. Paxton dazzled and showed what he can bring to the team with his footwork and dribbling.

90′ – Roland Lamah comes off for Ryan Hollingshead as Papi looks to close out this game.

90+6′ – SKC pulls one back after quickly moving the ball around the box. 3-2.

Final Time: FC Dallas 3-2 Sporting Kansas City

Thoughts

To me, the social media group was really hyping this game up and set the stage as a revenge game for this team. I know that myself, I don’t like the times that FC Dallas has to go up and play Kansas City at Children Mercy Park. On top of that, almost every time we play Kansas City at CMP, there is always some drama that leads to FC Dallas getting robbed or bad calls called against them. This game, it was 7+ minutes of stoppage that came out of nowhere. In earlier games in the season, Dallas was guilty of time wasting and I could understand at most 5 minutes for time times that Barrios went down but 7? That seemed way off and Jace summed up how many of us feel.

I kinda feel like playing against Kansas City at least is a rivalry (maybe more so than playing Houston). Also, can we get Roger Espinoza a pacifier?

I think that this was a very complete performance despite the fact that 2 goals were let in. What I liked is the flexibility and the dynamic ability of this team and Papi have. To change the formation early on allowed this team to thrive a possession-hungry Kansas City and the team was thoroughly rewarded. This counterattacking style worked great as it allowed Barrios to roam along the front which limited his defensive duties. This allows Barrios to use his speed to go at defenses than to have to come back from his own half and work the ball up.

I found the team defending really cool to watch as well. They defended in a Christmas Tree style or known as the 4-3-2-1. It would be Barrios on top with Maxi and Tesho underneath and Victor, Gruezo, and Lamah with the normal back four. This forced Kansas City out the sides who normally likes to play through the middle.

What’s great about this game that shows that FC Dallas values what they do with the ball versus how much they have the ball. They try to make the most of it and force the ball into the space to create scoring opportunities. They only had 37.8% of possession! They did a better job at finishing their opportunities as well which is something that fans and myself have been bothered by. The aggressiveness that FCD displayed also played to their advantage.

The backline looked great in the is game as Hedges was doing some great solo defending on his own. Reggie is really breaking out and deserves an article on his own. Reto showed his experience in this game. Pedroso had a solid show, you can tell that he is still getting used to his teammates in the game environment but he showed he was solid in the air and got up the field.

Victor and Gruezo did a great job with Gruezo pressuring and moving around and Victor cycling the ball around as usual. This midfield pairing is turning out really nice and I’m pretty happy with this tandem. Lamah was just there and looked out of place and lacking drive. Tesho got more into the dirty work and playing more on the defense and pushed the ball up. Interesting use of Tesho but I think he did fine.

Maxi and Barrios was the highlight of this tactical outing that Papi used tonight. Maxi was running around trying to be a passing option, where he would feed it up to Barrios who would use his speed to get on goal. I think the use of Maxi as a false 10 worked out well. It gave the opportunity for Maxi to use his endless tank to run and drop in without having an option up on the front. I’m glad that Barrios was able to find his footing and got his goals. He really has been working hard and it Papi felt that it was best to keep him out there just as he is keeping Maxi out there who hasn’t scored since May. I trust in Papi.

One last thing, it was frustrating that whenever FC Dallas wins a game that is being nationally broadcasted, its never, “FC Dallas did a good job and this is what they did right…” its, “[insert opposition] let FC Dallas have this…” or “[team] didn’t do this right and that’s why they lost.” Sorry, but I that FC Dallas would get the respect that they deserve. They are sitting 6 points clear in first in the West and in the chase for the Shield. We have a really special team here. Sorry for the rant.

FC Dallas returns to action this Saturday, August 4th, at 7:00 pm against the San Jose Earthquakes at Toyota Stadium in Frisco TX. I would recommend people to come out to this game (as always) as the Hall of Fame seating will be open from here on out. Tickets for Hall of Fame seating are $49 and if you come early, food will be provided with $2 and $5 margaritas. If you can’t make it out to the game, it will be televised on TXA 21.

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