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FC Dallas took on DC United for their highly anticipated Fourth of July match. Fans hoped not only to see fireworks after the match but during the match as well. Fans were not disappointed as there were fireworks on the field as FC Dallas was able to down DC United 2-0. FC Dallas has finished playing 4 games in thirteen days having earned a total of 7 points.

The Game

Santiago Mosquera started the firework show early after he scored his first goal of the season from a Ryan Hollingshead cross.

FC Dallas came out wanting to continue their unbeaten streak at home for the Fourth of July. Dallas built out of the back and attacked down the flanks of the field. There was a slower tempo to FCD’s game, and the momentum swung back and forth. Referee Nima Saghafi had quite the night as he produced 4 yellow cards in the first half. There was initially a red card on Wayne Rooney but after a VAR review, the red card was changed to a yellow.

The momentum began to swing in Dallas’ favor in the second half as they were patient but meaningful when going forward. FC Dallas was neater on the ball and crisp with their passes. Dominique Badji was the first sub of the evening as he came on for Jesus Ferreira. Badji made an impact 4 minutes later in the 65th minute as he doubled the score.

DC United’s Luciano Acosta earned himself a red card after only playing for 15 minutes as he stepped on Paxton Pomykal’s face. Bryan Reynolds was the second substitute of the evening as he came in for Santiago Mosquera. Jacori Hayes was the final sub of the evening as he replaced Paxton Pomykal.


Thoughts & Takeaways

Patience & Tempo

There was a slower tempo that FC Dallas played in this game than what they normally do. The play was built out of the back as it normally does but when the ball was moved up to the midfield, there wasn’t the immediate movement of the ball forward or backward.

Midfield Distribution
Midfield Passing Chart / Photo: mlssoccer.com

There is a good amount of ball movement from side-to-side in the midfield which suggests that the midfield players were looking for gaps in the DC defense to exploit. Moving the ball with width rather than verticality allowed the midfield to set up quality chances and thus the patience that was present in the game.

“I think today it was big to keep possession and counter when it’s on,” Servania explained. “I think a big thing for us is knowing when we transition whether we should counter right away or whether we should possess it, and then find the right time to break lines and go forward. I think today we did a good job of that, just coming out and continue going forward.”

In previous FC Dallas games where the team was more patient on the ball, there was still a fast pace to the game. In this match that wasn’t quite the case. While some may prefer a faster tempo game, FC Dallas’s patience resulted in a slower tempo game. This slower speed allowed the team to really see what options they had when moving the ball around. It may not be a vast amount of time but any additional time to scan the field of play allows the players to have more information and make a better-informed choice on how, when, and where to play the ball.

Individual Players

One of the standout players was Brandon Servania who appeared very comfortable throughout this match. He was all over the field and did well to guide and dictate the flow of the game.

Brandon Servania Heat Map
Brandon Servania Heat Map / Photo: whoscored.com

“I felt really confident today, I just have to keep that momentum going,” Servania said with a smile. “I think everyone had a really good game today. As a team we pushed, we all knew that we were coming in trying to get the three points. We weren’t really going to accept anything less today, so we all did a really good job. I think everyone helped me, it’s probably one of the best games I’ve played so far. Hopefully, I can just continue this.”

It’s great to see how well he has done after coming back from the U-20 World Cup. That tournament gave him confidence and he has carried that confidence over to FC Dallas. He has been remarkable thus far and hopefully, he continues this run of form.

Bressan has looked more and more comfortable with this team as he continues to get play time. He has played center back and right back and while his initial role was to just play defense and limit the opposition getting forward, he has not only displayed his defensive capabilities but also his ability to get forward. Bressan has displayed that he is a quality defender that is willing to get his hands dirty when it comes to defensive work.

He plays a physical game which was necessary for playing South America. The physicality is refreshing but can still earn him unwanted attention from referees. A great quality of his game is his communication with his teammates. Despite the language barrier (Bressan does speak Spanish), he is helping direct his teammates. With Bressan on the field, there is energy amongst the backline that has made the defense livelier and less reactive.

Momentum

Given that FC Dallas has played 4 games in thirteen days and has picked up 7 points and came into this game from a disappointing loss in Portland, momentum was wavering for FC Dallas. FCD started the first half strong with excellent energy and pressure which resulted in an early goal for the home side. One of the struggles for this team is how to keep the energy going the whole 90 minutes.

At the beginning of the season, FC Dallas struggled with energy in the 2nd half of the game and but was still able to gather the full points. During the winless stretch of games, the energy appeared in short sporadic moments and it became very evident in the scoreline when the flow wasn’t there. Now that Dallas is in the middle of their season, finding that rhythm and being consistently competitive will do them well.

“Since last week, we buckled down and saw video, we showed accountability and a desire to be open and take feedback and communicate to each other to do better the next time we’re in that situation,” Gonzalez explained to the media. “It was a little different, just because they were a man down, but I thought we showed maturity and we grew from last week to this one. We want to keep on it.”

There will be games like that against Vancouver where the players know they cannot let up on the gas and that they have to do better. The players have all echoed that sentiment. Now Luchi wants his players to adapt throughout the game and understand what the game is presenting them and how to turn the tide in their favor. This is the part of the season where the league leaders can start to fall (FC Dallas 2017) and where teams like the Sounders have taken off in form. If FC Dallas can not only gain the momentum but carry it forward, they will continue to be a competitive team.


Overall, FC Dallas put on a convincing and thorough game for the reported 19,096 in attendance. They entered this game with a desire to pick up dropped points and went about it with a different style.


FC Dallas returns to MLS play on July 13, as they take on Minnesota United on the road for their first trip to Allianz Field. The game will be aired on TXA 21 for viewers in DFW and on ESPN+ outside of DFW at 7:00 PM.

Featured Image: MLS
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