The first match at Toyota Stadium in 2020 ended in a 1-0 win for FC Dallas as they defeated Austin Bold FC in pre-season friendly.
After playing through cool weather with the sky’s threatening rain, fans had the opportunity to see most of the squad on display.
The match was broken into 3, 30-minute periods with the goal of giving as many minutes possible to each of the players. The first group consisted mostly of starters that are likely to get much playtime throughout the season.
This first group played a calm and clean game against Austin Bold. The only goal of the game was scored off a Zdenek “Cobra” Ondrasek as he backheeled the ball off a Michael Barrios cross.
? Zdenek Ondrasek, he scores when he wants! ?
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) February 9, 2020
The second group consisted of players making their case for a starting spot and who will likely be the consistent substitutes throughout the season.
Thomas Roberts, Fafa Picault, and Bryan Reynolds were some of the players that stood out with their performances. Edwin Cerrillo played higher up in the field which was different from his normal 6-role that he was tasked with last year.
The final group for FC Dallas had players are some that can be expected to go between the first team and North Texas SC.
By this stage of the match, there was less fluidity in the style of play and the FC Dallas looked to walk away with a clean sheet.
Thoughts & Takeaways
It wasn’t the most visually appealing of matches but that is too be expected within preseason. Luchi Gonzalez is putting together the details on his tactical plan for the upcoming season.
“As you could probably see, there were heavy legs but we want to make sure our players are challenged and out of their comfort zone where even though they may physically have heavy legs and fatigued that they are mentally sharp and that there is quality in the decision and quality in their reactions,” Coach Gonzalez said after the match.
Saturday’s training ended with some running and physical work which was part of the training staff’s plan. The goal was to simulate fatigue and tiredness that players can expect to experience over the course of the season due to travel and matches in quick succession.
“I think the performance, we can be honest with ourselves, is not up to standard,” Gonzalez explained. “We want to perform much better and create a lot more. There were some nice things that I saw. Getting the shutout is important. Zero against is important. Sometimes playing ugly and winning are signs of a team that find a way and have resilience.”
There has been an emphasis on building upon the successes from 2019 and carrying that positive momentum into 2020. Luchi Gonzalez wants his team to be more refined, polished, and consistent this coming season.
“I think that we built a big foundation last year with Luchi and we’re trying to build on it,” Hollingshead said. “It’s still early in preseason so we’re still working on some kinks and figuring out what we want to do but we know our style and the brand of soccer that we want to play and working on little movements and little ways to get guys open.”
FC Dallas will head south to play San Antonio FC before traveling out to the east coast to play Philidelphia Union and Inter Miami in their final preseason matches.
Featured Image: FC Dallas