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It all came down to Halloween for FC Dallas and things were more of a trick than a treat for Los Toros. After playing a well-contested match FC Dallas was downed 1-2 by the Portland Timbers who got the treat in this game. Things were spookier than desired but after all, has been dusted and letting the raw emotions run their course, let’s take a look at the final game of the 2018 season.

Tactics

There was only one change to this starting lineup as Oscar opted to bring back in Santi for this game over Lamah who found himself on the bench. Aguilar also made the bench after suffering a hip issue which forced a head-scratching choice of leaving Aranguiz off the 18.

FC Dallas Starting XI vs. Portland Timbers (Image: FC Dallas)

FC Dallas really came out this game with the guns firing and really wanted to win in this game. We saw the FC Dallas that we are more accustomed to: come out attacking, doing at the opponent, and domination ball possession at home.

Events

12′event: Reto Ziegler gets Dallas a goal but very unfortunaltey was offsides

23′goal: Diego Valeri scores an absolutely beautiful goal. FCD 0-1 POR

26′event: Barrios comes close to scoring but hits off the crossbar

43′event: Maynor Figueroa comes close to opening up the FCD account but his half-volley goes wide

Halftime: FC Dallas 0-1 Portland Timbers

58′event: Larrys Mabiala sent off for an unneeded challenge on Badji

65′sub: Roland Lamah comes in for Victor Ulloa

68′event: Lamah tries working one into the bottom corner but his shot is saved

71′goal: Diego Valeri gets a brace for the night. FCD 0-2 POR

76′sub: Ryan Hollingshead comes in for Maynor Figueroa

85′sub: Tesho Akindele comes in for Maxi Urruti

90’+3′goal: FC Dallas scores a late goal from the captain Matt Hedges. FCD 1-2 POR

Final: FC Dallas 1-2 Portland Timbers

Thoughts

First of all, massive shout out, kudos, and fans that made it out to the game. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it out due to distance and class but I could hear you guys loud and clear on the stream. Great job to El Matador, Dallas Beer Guardians, and Lone Star Legion for all the support throughout the match. I’m sure that even though that the attendance was low, that it must have still been a good atmosphere. Great job guys!

I’ve said it before in the last games and I’ll say it again this time. It wasn’t that we were bad (far from it actually), it was just 2 mistakes and some thing that called finishing. You know, “beating the dead horse” topic. In the playoffs, what is really going to help you is experience and having that “special player”. The two goals were a result of the kids and that’s that one takes with playing the kids. They are inexperienced and will make mistakes when the pressure is high in a do or die game. Reggie had been rather well after moving away from relying on diving into the tackle or going for the slide tackle. Though, he dove in giving Portland the freekick that they scored off of. Jesse looked a little late to react to that ball and personally, I thought he could’ve saved it. Whether he was thinking the ball would go over, expecting the ball into the box, or just slow, that was a little rough for Jesse. The second goal was a serious head-scratcher as to why Jesse came out for the ball and missed it. Maybe lack of communication between Jesse and Reto but Jesse should have not come off his line there. These are the mistakes you get with playing the kids but, hey, how else are they going to learn.

You can tell that the team was really going for it in this game as they average positioning is higher than many, if not all the games that we have seen from them this year.

You can tell that the team was really going for it in this game as they average positioning is higher than many, if not all the games that we have seen from them this year.

Player Positioning
FCD Player Position (Photo: Whoscored.com)

The backline didn’t look bad at all. They had a much better game this go around than the last few times. Carlos and Victor looked like they were playing one of the most important games and to say that is an understatement. Santi and Barrios were running their tails off and tried to get anything going. Santi put in some great defensive work and I really liked how he was looking to switch the field of play by sending it long to Barrios. Badji still looked out of place but he was trying to get under Portland’s nerves. That what you want from your striker. To take on that villain role and see if you can get a reaction out of your opposition. That is exactly what happened with the red card for Mabiala. Maxi was very fired up and at times could be a bit too fired up. That was the passion that I enjoyed and I’m sure that many others enjoyed seeing. That was great stuff my Maxi.

We all know it by now. Finishing…

We had 22 shots taken and only 1 was a goal and that was scored by a defender (2 goals by defenders if you want to count Reto’s). To put it short: that’s terrible. I don’t know what else to say but we can’t seem to score no matter what. What was frustrating was there were two problems in this game that we haven’t seen much of this season. The first was that there were no people in the box at the right places. Our players were either too far up to the goal and way behind the run of play. Look at this ball that Barrios plays in:

You have 4 players in the box that are viable options and all of them are covered. Opposing teams know to just clog the box. Which leads me to the second problem. Our attack is way to predictable. Pass to the wing and aimlessly cross it into the box. Portland quickly figured out that this was the game plan for the Huntsmen and it was ineffective. In the 5 seasons, we have been with Oscar Pareja, the attack has kinda been the same.

You do have to wonder what the game would have been like if we did have Aranguiz on the bench though. Papi said that he opted for Jacor and Aguilar as the team had a short turnaround from the Colorado game and wanted to have backups for Victor and Gruezo. Oscar admitted that it was a mistake made on his part as well and this is part of the head-scratching lineup changes that Oscar makes in big games.

The season ended in not the most ideal ways but we can’t let that take away from looking at the bigger picture. One has to look at the whole season and emotions are still running high from this disappointing loss and exit. It’s a long season and that’s what defines how this team did.


Well, this was sadly the last game review for this season and not really the type of game review that I would have liked to finish the season on. Thank you so much for taking the time to read reviews over this season. It was definitely a fun and great learning experience my first year here at Dallas Sports Nation and FC Dallas Nation. I plan to do some more articles over the offseason so you all will get some FC Dallas reading. Thank you so much and feel free to reach out to me on Twitter.


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