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After a heartbreaking loss on the road to the Loons, FC Dallas had a second chance to heal those wounds in the second matchup between the two teams. In a hot match during the heat of the summer, FC Dallas had one of their strongest lineups start. Los Toros played to a thrilling 5-3 win that had fans on the edge of their seat up to the final whistle.

The Game

With having five home games left in the season, FC Dallas wanted to take full advantage of the opportunities and confidence boost that playing at home provides. Los Toros came out with the hunger and the attacking prowess that was key to FC Dallas’ success in the first third of the season. The Loons opened the scoring though, after repeated shots on goal due to some confusion in the Dallas box in the 11th minute.

Ryan Hollingshead received the ball from Michael Barrios and subsequently smashed it into the goal to level the score at 1 all.

Santiago Mosquera played in a cross/shot from the right side of the field that caught Vito Mannone off guard and gave FC Dallas the lead.

Ethan Finlay scored his second goal of the night as he chipped Jesse Gonzalez from outside of the box bring the score level once again.

In the final moments in the first half, Reggie Cannon scored his second goal of the game which allowed Dallas to go into the break with a one-goal lead.

In the second half, FC Dallas were more direct in their attack but kept the verticality. Matt Hedges came off due to lower back pain as Bressan replaced the veteran defender. Minnesota United found gaps diagonally in the Dallas defense as Hassani Dotson danced along the Dallas backline and ripped a ball into the back of the net to bring the score level once again.

Santiago Mosquera gave way for Brandon Servania and Dom Badji came off for Zdenek Ondrasek. FC Dallas was able to make to create many chances. Brandon Servania scored the 4th goal for the home side off a quick pass from Paxton Pomykal and a Michael Barrios hattrick of assists.

Brandon Servania wasn’t done as scored yet again to give Dallas the two-goal lead at 5-3.

Mason Toye got spit on Reggie Cannon and subsequently got a red card for the unprofessional display. FC Dallas ended their evening with a score line of 5-3.


Thoughts & Takeaways

Fluidity

One of the characteristics of FC Dallas under Luchi Gonzalez is playing a fluid game from the defense to the attack. In the past run of games, Dallas didn’t display the free-flowing midfield and attack that highlighted the team at the beginning of the season. That wasn’t the case when Dallas took on Minnesota United. Coach Gonzalez lined the midfield up differently as Bryan Acosta had Paxton Pomykal and Jesus Ferreira above him. This allowed Gonzalez to have Acosta as the “6” while also allowing Acosta to utilize his attacking skills from a deeper position on the field. Pomykal and Ferreira were at liberty to play off one another and create opportunities for their teammates.

FC Dallas Midfield Passing
FC Dallas midfield passing vs Minnesota United | Photo: mlssoccer.com

Each of the midfield players created 1 chance while Michael Barrios lead the team with 5 chances created. The confidence and natural flow that the attack had when moving the ball around and in the box displayed the confidence of and intensity that was absent in previous games.

Verticality

With the natural fluidity came verticality. FC Dallas played a more direct game in the second half which involved the fullbacks even more than what was already displayed in the first half. Ryan Hollingshead and Reggie Cannon have grown tactically throughout the season and the past two home games have highlighted this growth. Both Cannon and Hollingshead have gotten into a more advanced position but are now also cutting inside to combine with the attack.

“It was big,” defender Ryan Hollingshead said when asked about the involvement of the full-backs. “We had a game plan going into tonight to try and help the attack. Our attack has been struggling recently and we wanted to support them as much as we possible as we could and we did that tonight.”

This combined with the attack and the ability for the full-backs to cut inward was cause of Cannon’s goal. The speed at which Dallas was able to get up the field additionally enabled the home side to then stretch the backline of Minnesota which created gaps in the back to play the ball into, creating better goalscoring opportunities.

Never Quit

What allowed FC Dallas and Luchi Gonzalez to come away with the 3-points was the “never quit” mentality on display. FC Dallas looked unfazed when they were scored on and continued to play their game plan despite being down after the first goal and having their lead leveled twice. The way that the team kept fighting throughout the match and kept attacking the goal despite changes in momentum during the match is the type of attitude that can get you in the playoffs and win you playoff games.

“I mean they came back three times,” head coach Luchi Gonzalez said. “Three times and they wouldn’t let down. They tied it, it sucked the wind in the moment but as soon as it was kickoff it was 3-3, they refused to lose…A game that we conceded three, that’s not ideal, but our defense has been big time many times in the season, and it was time for the offense to step up.”

Credit to the fans that also got into the game in the finals moments as well. It was a complete team effort that paid off and earned them 3 points that keeps them in the race in the table.


Does this display build the momentum for Dallas to carry into the playoffs? Can the team replicate the success they had at home again? Are things coming together for FC Dallas? Has Lucchi Gonzalez figured out his best starting 11? With 9 games to do, those questions will be answered within the coming 7 weeks.


FC Dallas sits in 7th place in the Western Conference with 36 points. Los Toros now have 9 games left in their season and take on the LA Galaxy in a midweek matchup on Wednesday August 14th at 9:30 PM and can be viewed on TXA 21 in DFW and on ESPN+ outside of DFW.

Featured Image: MLS
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