Latest Update: 9/18/2019| 9:50 AM | Creation of Article
FC Dallas has come upon their final matches of the 2019 season. Los Toros are in the thick of the playoff race as not many points separate teams who are above the cutoff line to those below.
How do things look for FC Dallas as they look to enter the playoffs for the first time under new head coach Luchi Gonzalez?
Let’s dive in and look for this article to be updated through the end of the MLS Season.
at Chicago Fire
Before the Fire game, FC Dallas was 3-1-1 (W-D-L) in their previous five matches and had scored a total of 16 goals and had given up 10 goals and were on a 3-game unbeaten streak. Given that Luchi Gonzalez’s team had a bye week and were missing up to 9 players due to the international break, it didn’t appear that missing those players would impact their match preparations too much. The break offered the staff and players a chance to rest and sharpen their focus on their playoff ambitions.
The Chicago Fire had other ideas as FC Dallas was shutout 0-4 in a loss the featured an uncharacteristic performance from the Dallas players given their recent form. The loss didn’t do FC Dallas many favors as the gap increased from second place to eighth place, where FC Dallas is currently positioned in the Western Conference, to six points.
What does this mean for FC Dallas, the coaching staff, and players? It serves as a harsh reminder that nothing is given to any team and they must remain focused. This match served as to remind the depth-players that they have to support the team in any way that they can, and their performances are arguably more important now in the quest to enter the playoffs. For the players returning from international play, it serves as a match to refocus their minds on their club and that their club needs their skill and talent in the playoff hunt.
It really wasn’t the type of match that Dallas would have wanted nor the type of match that they needed. It was a match that could have kept them closer in the playoff hunt. It was a match where Dallas was possibly, on paper, the better team. It was a match that could have regrouped everyone in the final push for their playoff hunt.
Given the recent run of form for FC Dallas, it doesn’t appear that this loss with disturb the focus of the team or the momentum of the team though it probably will cause the team to play with more urgency in their upcoming matches.
at Seattle Sounders (Wednesday 9/18 @ 9:30 PM | TXA 21 & ESPN+ outside of DFW)
Speaking of upcoming matches, playing Seattle in Seattle is not going to be an easy task for FC Dallas let alone many teams in MLS. The Sounders sit in 2nd place in the Western Conference with 49 points (6 points ahead of FC Dallas). The Sounders are on 3-1-1 record in their last 5 matches and coming off a 4-2 win against the New York Red Bulls in Seattle. The last time that Seattle dropped points at home was against New England Revolution back on August 10th in a 3-3 and the last time the Sounders have lost at home was against Sporting Kansas City on August 4th with a score of 2-3.
Any points in this match will prove to be invaluable to the Dallas playoff hopes. FC Dallas will have to be more disciplined and cleaner in their defensive play and play as a unit and not leave space open to the Seattle midfield to play balls into. Playing on turf isn’t the most ideal surface as well and it may be a tougher task for the visitors playing on a synthetic surface.
It is reasonable to expect Dallas to pull off a draw but the last time that FC Dallas stole points from the Sounders in Seattle in MLS League play was on May 25th, 2011 which was a 1-0 win for Los Toros. History isn’t in FC Dallas’ favor and the Sounders are a tough team to play right before the beginning of the playoffs. Look for FC Dallas to hit on the counterattack and really play the ball into space while relying on their speed on the wings to punish the Seattle Defense.
vs. New York City FC (Sunday 9/22 @ 5:00 PM)
The result of the Seattle Sounders game will really determine the mood around this match. If a loss, there will be a sense of urgency around the team to win in this game. It may not be in a convincing fashion, but points will desperately be needed. A tie will leave many fans happy as they hope that FC Dallas can pick up the three points at home. If Dallas wins against Seattle, then the NYCFC match will feature Dallas looking to play with style and confidence while going for the three points.
FC Dallas has faced NYCFC four times over four seasons. When FC Dallas is at home, they have a 1-1-0 record against the team that is known for playing at Yankee Stadium. Over all matches, FC Dallas has a 1-2-1 record. Matches against NYCFC has been closely contested matches that have featured on average 3.25 goals per game. At Toyota Stadium, 2.5 goals have been scored.
New York City FC sits in first place in the Eastern Conference and is not a team to be taken likely. NYCFC features Plano native Keaton Parks who is on loan from Portuguese side Benfica. With NYCFC having already secured a playoff spot, this is the type of competition that FC Dallas will have to not only be able to compete with but also obtain a result. Again, Luchi Gonzalez will have his team motivated to earn the three points at home but it remains to be seen how the team will respond in-game when faced with adversity. If FC Dallas can remain their cool and stay focused, as they have demonstrated in previous matches before the Chicago Fire game, then this match in Frisco, Texas is set up to be a competitive one.
The weather is looking to be a cooler one as autumn begins to set upon North Texas with the high being 89 degrees with the temperature being in the mid to low 70’s by kickoff. The weather may not be much of a factor in the match, but the cooler temperatures will be a relief for FC Dallas after playing too many hot matches.
Featured Image: FC Dallas