FC Dallas played two games on the road in four days against LA Galaxy and Montreal Impact. The LA Galaxy game didn’t go in favor of FC Dallas which ended in a 0-2 loss. A trip north of the border saw FC Dallas play to a hard-fought game that saw Los Toros come back from a 0-3 deficit to earn a 3-3 draw.

The Game – LA Galaxy

FC Dallas, high off their high-scoring thriller against Minnesota United, continued the attacking intensity against LA Galaxy. The lineup remained the same from the Minnesota game and the style of play emphasized attacking across the field. The first half was balanced between both teams as each tried to break the deadlock. Neither team was able to open the scoring as the first half ended scorelessly.

Both teams started the second half where they left of and continued the attacking intensity. Brandon Servania was Luchi Gonzalez’s first substitute of the match as Servania came in for Santiago Mosquera. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was a concern for the Dallas backline, and he opened the scoring from a ground cross from the left edge of the box by Jorgen Skjelvik who was fed by Cristian Pavon in the 68th minute.

Edwin Gyasi came in to substitute Paxton Pomykal in the 74th minute suggesting that Luchi Gonzalez wanted to give his new signing some time on the pitch while managing the minutes of his young midfield maestro. Zdenek Ondrasek was the final substitute of the evening as he came in for Jesus Ferreira. Reggie Cannon fouled Cristian Pavon in the box after small contact from behind which was enough for Ismail Elfath to award a penalty. Ibrahimovic scored his second goal of the evening off the penalty giving the Galaxy a 2-goal lead over a scoreless FC Dallas.

The two goals were too much for FC Dallas to overcome despite their best efforts to prevent being shutout as FC Dallas lost 0-2.

The Game – Montreal Impact

Things did not go in favor for FC Dallas team as Lassi Lappalainen capitalized on the mistouch of Matt Hedges giving the Impact the lead in the eighth minute.

Dallas looked to find their rhythm in the first half but as Los Toros were about to go into halftime with only being a goal down, Lassi Lappalaine got a brace after intercepting a pass and slotting the ball past Jesse Gonzalez.

Luchi Gonzalez looked in add another attacking presence with the addition of Zdenek Ondrasek in place of Bryan Reynolds. Orji Okwonkwo notched another goal from a cross from Saphir Taider on the left of the field.

With the match looking to be out of FC Dallas’ hands, Zdenek Ondrasek provided some light with his first goal in MLS in the 59th minute.

Ricardo Pepi and Brandon Servania both came into the match for Jesus Ferreira and Paxton Pomykal respectively. FC Dallas continued to press on and earned a penalty after a handball call in the box which resulted in Reto Ziegler converting his penalty.

Ryan Hollingshead proved to be the hero of the match after scoring the tying goal in the 90th minute to allow Dallas to come away with a point on the road after playing to a 3-3 draw.

Thoughts & Takeaways

Managing Games

The last three games have been quite the roller coaster for FC Dallas and their fans alike. After pushing for the win in the Minnesota game, pushed as hard as they could in the 0-2 loss to the Galaxy, and pushed for 3 goals after being down, FC Dallas has shown that there is a variety of ways that they manage games. The use of the word “push” is not coincidental either as that is exactly how Luchi Gonzalez described his team in the last three games.

“We had to push the game,” Luchi Gonzalez said after the Montreal Impact game. “Sometimes, soccer is like that where you have two different halves. I don’t want to say our concepts were hugely improved in the second half, but we showed a lot more energy and commitment to push the game, to get forward, to get balls in the box, to press, to go for the game. We were able to tie it — it wasn’t a win, but certainly felt positive. It’s an important point for us, so we’ll take it under the circumstances. We’ll grow on this and know that we have the personalities to push through adversity.”

In the past two games, FC Dallas has been put in two different positions where they pushed throughout the game but yielded different results.

In the LA Galaxy game, FC Dallas had Sunday off for rest, training Monday and Tuesday while departing for Los Angeles on Tuesday to play a Wednesday game. With the Minnesota game being a must-win game at home, managing the workload and physique of the players is a challenge with quick games in succession. Arguably, Dallas couldn’t put on their best performance due to the demanding schedule and opted to contain the Galaxy and hit on the counter. There were moments when Dallas was the better team but couldn’t capitalize on their chances.

FC Dallas looked better rested for the Montreal game, but the opening half was not what any Dallas fan would’ve wanted. After being outplayed in the first half, Los Toros mounted a response and pushed to get the 3 goals to come away with a meaningful road point.

“They did it with energy,” Luchi Gonzalez said in response to his subs against the Impact. “No fear mentality. It’s a good team, and they attacked us well. At some point, maybe it could have been 4-1 or could’ve changed the game. But the guys who came in closed things down, got guys in the box to create and combine to show courage. Even those losses of possession. The game was one where we had to take risks. We conceded, but those risks were rewarded by getting back into the game.”

Responding in Game

FC Dallas has gotten better when it comes to attacking games from start to finish. It’s not that FC Dallas hasn’t attacked in previous games, but they have attacked with variable success. What has helped yield in a more successful attack, along with better midfield management, is how they are responding in games. FC Dallas has appeared, in the past, to have needed a cue within the game before the attacking onslaught begins in games. This cue has come in the form of a goal or two being scored against them.

In the Galaxy game, this wasn’t the case as FC Dallas worked the whole 90 to play a disciplined game-plan to contain the Galaxy and exploit the space that was afforded to them. Even after going down each goal, the team never looked fazed or disheartened that the score was not in their favor. This change in response is different than what has been seen at the beginning of the season. This change in response has afforded Dallas to stay calm and confident in their abilities to gather a result in any match, as was the case in the Minnesota game.

Though, against the Montreal Impact, FC Dallas looked more reactive than proactive when it came to produce a response. It was a game of two halves where the substitutions that Luchi Gonzalez made resulted in points being earned. While two of Montreal’s goal were the result of errors, the ability of the team to fight for a valuable point is the response that can earn results.

While it may have not been a consistent style from the team due to the response after being down, the biggest takeaway is that FC Dallas is responding during games in a manner that earns them points.

After playing 3 games in 8 days and coming away with 4 points with two games being on the road isn’t entirely a disappointing performance. With FC Dallas having 7 games left in the season (4 at home and 3 on the road), the hunt to earn a place in the playoffs is proving to be a close one up until the final games of the season.

FC Dallas returns home at Toyota Stadium on Sunday, August 25th at 7:00 PM to play the second (and final) leg of the Texas Derby. The game can be viewed in person and can also be viewed on Fox Sports 1.

Featured Image: FC Dallas
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Thoughts on FC Dallas’ Year End Roster Decisions

FC Dallas published their year end roster decisions on Thursday. This week, I’ll sha…