DALSportsNation

FC Dallas opened up the National Soccer Hall of Fame seating and watch areas for the first time. What a way to open up the Hall of Fame than hosting the last place team in MLS? While fans hoped to see a win with a new addition to the stadium, Oscar Pareja’s 100th career win, and 75th with FC Dallas, it just was not meant to be. The Huntsmen went behind 1-3 in a not so spectacular fashion that was marred by mistakes. Here’s how it went.

Tactics

It was the same lineup from the Sporting game that Papi opted to go for. If it ain’t broke. What was different this time was FC Dallas had a 4-4-2 shape with Maxi and Tesho up top. Maxi would fall into the field, as usual, playing that false 10.

                                                    FC Dallas Starting XI vs. San Jose Earthquakes                                                  “Photo: FC Dallas”

Pomykal and Ferreira made the 18 which is great. I really would like to see Pomykal more but you have to trust in Papi as he knows when to bring in his young players at the right time. For Ferriera to make the 18 as well speaks to his work rate and taking the opportunity he has while Santi is out.

 

Events

19′ – San Jose opens the scoring the Jesse Gonzalez rushes Valeri far up in his box. Valeri dribbles past Jesse and Hedges to score. 0-1.

23′ – Roland Lamah taps in a cross from Barrios into an open net. 1-1.

Halftime: FC Dallas 1-1 San Jose Earthquakes

47′ – San Jose scores on Jesse’s near post on what looked like a really weird goal to give up. 1-2.

52′ – Victor Ulloa comes off for Jacori Hayes. Glad to see Jacori get some time and he looked really good holding the ball but interesting to see Victor come off. I think that Papi was going more for the win and wanted someone who could be more direct going forward.

63′ – Tesho Akindele comes off for Cristian Colman. Papi opting for a player that will push the San Jose backline allowing Maxi to drop in and giving him a target.

70′ – Reggie Cannon comes off with what looked like a hamstring injury for Ryan Hollingshead. At this point, Dallas is in a 3-5-2.

88′ – Despite all the pushing forward that FC Dallas was doing, San Jose pulls one back to give FC Dallas their first loss at home. Valeri scores his second of the night. 1-3.

Final: FC Dallas 1-3 San Jose Earthquakes

Thoughts

Without going to heavy into the statistics it was noticeable that FC Dallas didn’t come out attacking and guns blazing until they were down 1-2. The slow start really hurt them and San Jose was able to find a rhythm and really press FCD.

FCD had 57% of the possession which is on the higher end of this season. They didn’t really make the most of it though. FC Dallas also outshot San Jose 23 to 17, had better passing (84%), and 11 corners. What was different in terms of the attack this time was the Huntsmen relied more on their individual skill versus playing as a team as Maxi and Barrios were the two that displayed this the best.

Defensively, the back four looked fine and played fine as well. San Jose played more through ball this game which was similar to how Atlanta played but they held their own. Reggie, Hedges, and Ziegler all held their and Pedroso is finding his rhythm with the team. Pedroso did get forward more but you can tell that speed is something that he doesn’t have. I really like his crossing abilities and he made a nice dribble as well.

I was interested in why Papi subbed out Victor. I thought that Ulloa was doing his job greatly, moving the ball around, exploiting space and getting in behind at times at the San Jose defense. I’m fine with the fact that Jacori was brought in as he holds onto the ball really well and plays more vertically but I didn’t think taking Victor off was the best idea.

Finishing plagues this team badly. In those last 30 minutes, so many chances were wasted. I know that I am hard on Lamah (who still boggles my mind after this game) and a Colman Apologist but Colman really needed to have finished that header. The same narrative, as usual, making the right runs and getting in the right place but finishing… I could make excuses but now is not the time.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that Lamah scored (fun fact: everytime that Lamah changes his hair color, he scores) but same as usual within 6 yards into an open net. What bothers me is that he’s a defensive liability which forces Maxi to play deep instead of running along the defensive line and has a heavy touch. He’s such mystery to me.

It really did not help that Jesse made two mistakes that put the team behind. I’m not going to go into and coach, as they were two mistakes and Jesse, will (hopefully) learn from them as these mistakes are less and less frequent. Knowing how Papi loves intrasquad competition, this might open the door for Jimmy Maurer.

Even if we take away the two goals that were mistakes, the energy was really laking this game. Maybe the squad has worked really hard this week in practice (they were), or they didn’t take San Jose seriously, or they are still coming of the Kansas City win, or a combination of those things, the game that was put on was not ideal.

I think Papi said it best, “As we planned out this week, having this beautiful night with the [new part of the] stadium, we had the ambition to have three points that many of us probably thought that they were going to be easy—but there is not an easy game in Major League Soccer and today the game just taught us a big lesson. Today we did not play well and I have to recognize that…We need to balance ourselves. This is a team that is aiming to be first in the playoffs—but we’re not there yet. But that’s our next objective that we’re fighting for. Second, other than playoffs, we want to fight for the Supporter’s Shield. Once we accomplish those goals, then we can dream about winning the MLS Cup.”

FC Dallas play the Seatle Sounders in Seatle this coming Sunday at 9:00 pm on FOX Sports 1. It should be an interesting game as this year the Sounders have had a rough time and Papi & Co. will be looking to get a result after losing a game that should have been won.

 

Featured Image: Nico/Dallas Sports Nation
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