FC Dallas won their 7th preseason friendly this year with a 3-2 victory against San Antonio in Toyota Field.
This is the club’s 4th victory this preseason, and their 3rd against professional competition

The Game

Most of the matches that were open to the public until now consisted of three 30-minute periods. However, the match against San Antonio was split into two 45-minute halves, with only a couple of substitutions.

FC Dallas

Jesse Gonzalez; Reggie Cannon, Bressan (Nkosi Burgess 81′), Reto Ziegler, Ryan Hollingshead; Santos (Tanner Tessmann 81′), Edwin Cerrillo (John Nelson 67′), Jesus Ferreira; Michael Barrios, Zdenek Ondrasek (Ricardo Pepi 72′), Fafa Picault (Ema Twumasi 72′)

San Antonio FC

Matt Cardone (Dayne St. Clair 45’); Connor Maloney, Joshua Yaro (Trialist 45), Hunter Gorskie (Trialist 83’), Callum Montgomery, Blake Smith; Hayden Partain (Santiago Viera 62’), Zach Herivaux (Sebastian Mercado 83’), Jesus Enriquez (Fabricio Bernal 75’); Jose Gallegos, Ignacio Bailone (Abraham Lincon 63’)

FC Dallas played its infamous “Luchi-ball”, which includes a combination of breaking lines through possession and a heavy press when defending. San Antonio FC played with a similar defensive set-up, but played with slightly more intensity in the attack, trying to push the ball forward as quickly as possible.

The first half consisted mostly of both teams trying to break the other teams in their respective styles, but both defenses were stout defensively. The one chance to talk about came in the 20th minute, when Cobra headed the ball towards goal on a corner kick but it was headed easily off the line by San Antonio FC defender Blake Smith

The second half was packed full of entertainment. After going back and forth, FC Dallas right back Reggie Cannon fouled Abraham Lincoln in the box. Former Columbus Crew SC defender Connor Maloney finished the penalty kick.

San Antonio FC was able to double their lead a couple of minutes later. Academy signing Jose Gallegos, who was probably the best player on the field that day, ran the entire length of the field after Jesus Ferreira lost the in the San Antonio FC half. Gallegos was able to keep Reto Zielgler at bay long enough to push the ball past Jesse Gonzalez in the 72nd minute.

After being dormant for some time, FC Dallas pulled into gear after a couple of substitutions. This was shown in the first goal of the game, which occurred in the 84th minute. A typical “Luchiball” goal, the ball was pinged by five FC Dallas players before Ricardo Pepi scored a simple tap-in.

FC Dallas was able to tie it up a couple minutes later, after Minnesota United FC loanee Dayne St. Clair accidentally gave Michael Barrios a gift of a goal by passing the ball straight to the Colombian.

The comeback was completed by the Boys in Red in stoppage time. After a couple of great free kicks by Reto Ziegler throughout the entirety of the game, he was able to finally finish one, curling the ball into the corner of the net from a nearly-impossible angle.

The match finished 3-2 in favor of FC Dallas.

Thoughts and Takeaways

Tired Legs

It might have disappointed or even scared a couple of fans the way FC Dallas was playing the first 75 minutes of this match, which saw FC Dallas play a step or two behind the local USL Championship side. For most of this match, San Antonio was first to every ball, won most of the 50-50s, and there was a general lack of energy coming from the side from Frisco. However, the club has played 5 matches in 12 days, with a flight from California to Dallas and a bus ride from Dallas to San Antonio. This heavy workload is unlike most of the preseason schedules for most teams, as FC Dallas has played the most preseason matches out of anyone in MLS.

This heavy workload is meant to help the team get full fitness ahead of the MLS season, which is why the team looked slow. As their stamina grows, and when we enter the regular season, where most matches and flights span about a week from each other, there will hopefully be more energy from the boys.

Poor Defense

Having said that, it was pretty frustrating how poorly the defense played throughout the stretch of the match. Reto Ziegler, Bressan, and Thiago Santos all played pretty poorly, given the opposition.

This is Jose Gallegos, the MVP of the match, and the player I referenced earlier. The kid has some talent: no one is going to deny it. However, here, you see two players from the Brazilian First Division make poor decisions in how to stop his forward momentum, with Thiago diving in, and Bressan sliding in for no discernible reason.

Performances will need to be improved from the backline as the season gets closer. So far this preseason, even with a 5-2-0 record, the club has conceded 11 goals. Even with Matt Hedges and Brandon Servania injured, it’s still a worrying prospect of your depth is incapable of performing well against a USL Academy Player.

FC Dallas will travel to Florida in a couple days to play their final two preseason matches against Philadelphia on the 19th and Inter Miami on the 22nd.

Featured Image: FCDallas.com
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