DALSportsNation

A loss against a DC United team that has been stellar at home was honestly what many expected from this match-up. Though FCD was looking to split the points up until the late moments of the game. While it wasn’t the most ideal result, it is a loss that the Huntsmen can afford. Though, one may definitely feel that they were wanting more.

Tactics

FCD was without few of their first choice players opening up the opportunity for Ryan Hollingshead to play right back and Abel Aguilar to make his first start with the team. Roland Lamah returned to the starting 11 after missing some time due to injury. Michael Barrios was to function as the striker today. Bryan Reynolds made the 18 along with Jordan Cano.

FC Dallas Starting XI vs. DC United (Image: FC Dallas)

It was classic road tactics from Oscar Pareja with the sit back and counter. Over the course of the game, FCD seemed to settle more in the game and they had their own attacking opportunities.

Events

17′ – event: Michael Barrios comes close on the near post.

21′– event: Santi Mosquera comes close to curling the ball in.

Halftime: FC Dallas 0-0 DC United

62′ – event: Jesse Gonzalez with an amazing save that required him to be at full length.

64′ – sub: Roland Lamah makes way for Dominique Badji.

84′ – sub: Michael Barrios makes way for Tesho Akindele

86′– goal: Disappointing goal to give up. 0-1 DC United.

89′ – sub: Pablo Aranguiz comes in for Ryan Hollingshead

Final: FC Dallas 0-1 DC United

Thoughts

It was an interesting game that was back and forth. Both teams opted to go on the counter and most of the play was done in each team’s final third. What held FCD back was their decision making the final third and it was rather frustrating. FCD did outshoot DC 18-15, with 6-3 on target. The Huntsmen did well to force some turnovers. There were quite a few shots coming from outside the box with 61% of the shots coming from outside of the box with only 39% inside the box. Lamah and Mosquera swapped wings many times as well and this resulted in the ball going the down the side of Mosquera (left wing). The shape of the team was also interesting.

 

It was an interesting game that was back and forth. Both teams opted to go on the counter and most of the play was done in each team’s final third. What held FCD back was their decision making the final third and it was rather frustrating. FCD did outshoot DC 18-15, with 6-3 on target. The Huntsmen did well to force some turnovers. There were quite a few shots coming from outside the box with 61% of the shots coming from outside of the box with only 39% inside the box. Lamah and Mosquera swapped wings many times as well and this resulted in the ball going the down the side of Mosquera (left wing). The shape of the team was also interesting.

Player Positioning
FC Dallas Player Position vs. DC United (whoscored.com)

The team shape is very lopsided and too bunched in the middle. Don’t think much of the fact that Lamah and Mosquera are shown in the middle as they did much switching throughout the game.

 

The backline was okay to me. Matt and Reto seemed to struggle at points in the match which is a little concerning. Pedroso was okay and Hollingshead did the best that he could. I personally don’t think he does well as a defender as he has the natural tendency and instinct to go forward and play as a midfielder. I’m not saying that he is a bad player, it’s just that his talents are not being played in the right spot in a defender role. The defense as well also had a few head-scratching moments which was rather out of character. I wouldn’t think much of it since they have been stellar this season but it was weird.

Victor and Aguilar did rather well together. Victor drifted more up and down the field while Aguilar helped control the pace and direction of the game. Think of his role like Sergio Busquets. His stats don’t say much but his on-field presence speaks volumes and that is what happened in this game. Aguilar had 66 touches which was the most out of the whole team. Take a look at his chart

Aguilar Passing Chart
Abel Aguilar’s Touches (mlssoccer.com)

not a bad showing from both players.

 

The front four had a rather interesting night. Santi played great but seemed a bit muter than the more threatening version that we have seen of him as of late. Barrios was really giving the DC back line a hard time with his speed. Lamah looked okay, more like his normal self than the Lamah that we knew before his injury versus the Lamah that came back from the injury that to me. I’m liking the post-injury Lamah versus the older Lamah. He’s more clinical and showed a bit flair which was pleasing to the eye, he holds formation and plays tactically, and DEFENSE. Though we got more pre-injury Lamah *sad sigh*. Maxi is embracing his new 9.5 role which is great.

Though there was one major problem throughout this game. Decision making. To me, they were quite a few headscratchers in the game especially this one


Lamah was right through on goal! And even if he didn’t want to pass to Lamah, you could’ve switched the ball Barrios who was open. This one of many rather frustrating decisions made by the offense. One of the things that FCD twitter-sphere was mentioning was our crossing. It’s a problem that we’ve had under Papi since 2016 and one of two things happen: no one (or only one) is in the box surrounded by multiple defenders or the cross is just whipped in the box with little accuracy. Similarly, if there are enough people in the box for the cross, the ball is played into the box instead of the top of the box where there is more space and awaiting people. Lastly, beating the dead horse topic: our finishing needs to improve

It’s okay though. FC Dallas will take on Sporting Kansas City that will definitely feel like a playoff game this coming Sunday, October 21st at 4:00 pm @ Toyota Stadium. This is the last home match for the season before the playoffs and it is the official opening of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. I definitely would go to this game as I bet the atmosphere will be great. Please do consider going and supporting your local soccer team if you can. Otherwise, you can catch the game on TXA-21 and ESPN+.

FC Dallas sits in first place in the Western Conference with 57 pts. At the time of this article, LAFC is behind FCD with 56 pts. FC Dallas has 2 more games and can become the first team to reach 60 or higher points in 3 seasons under a single coach and the quickest team to reach that point.

 

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