FC Dallas returned to play after a short delay from Wednesday’s game against the Colorado Rapids.

After going scoreless in the last three games, FC Dallas found the back of the net and broke their goalscoring drought. FC Dallas got their first win since their first game of the 2020 season in a 3-1 win over Minnesota United.

The Game

It didn’t take long for FC Dallas to break their goalscoring drought.

Fafa Picault received a well-played long ball from Bryan Acosta, cut-inside towards the top of the box, and shot the ball into the bottom corner for the first goal.

It didn’t take long for the second to come as Jesus Ferreira score his first goal of the season thanks to a quick pass from Ricardo Pepi.

The match was stopped due to a short weather-delay but play was resumed at 9:21 PM.

The return to play was chippy and notably, Jesus Ferreira was lucky to come away with only a yellow-card after retaliating from a tackle.

The Loons were able to pull a goal back from well taken shot from distance thanks to Hassani Dotson.

Luchi Gonzalez made a triple substitution bringing in Franco Jara, Michael Barrios, and Brandon Servania for Zdenek Ondrasek, Ricardo Pepi, and Jesus Ferreira respectively.

Fafa Picault went out of the match with what initially looked to be a hamstring injury. This brought Bressan into the match and the team shifted into a 3-5-2.

Bryan Reynolds was Luchi Gonzalez’s last substitution as Reynolds came in for Bryan Acosta. This changed the formation into a 3-4-3 with Barrios playing on the left and Reynolds on the right.

FC Dallas earned a penalty and while both Reto Ziegler and Franco Jara were wanted to take the penalty it was the captain, Ziegler, who game away with the goal.

Thoughts & Takeaways

Building Momentum

A win Is exactly what FC Dallas needed after going scoreless in their last three games and winless since February. This win puts FC Dallas in 7th place with 9 points through 6 games.

Additionally, FC Dallas started the game with a high intensity that resulted in 2 quick goals.

The desire to move up the field quickly, combined with good off-ball movement, allowed FC Dallas to garner control over the game in the early moments.

“We waited a while to get a win, we went through a lot and I’m very proud of the boys,” Coach Gonzalez said after the match. “… I thought the players that started did well and the bench players that came on made an impact.”

This new start contrasted to the slower pace that FC Dallas had played with in previous games. This change is reminiscent of the style and pace that Luchi Gonzalez desires rather than sitting deep and reacting to their opposition.

Moving Forward

FC Dallas did well getting up the field with speed and creating chances. This was a result of both tactical chances made and some individual contributions.

In the first half, FC Dallas did well to play with speed and intensity; both of which were lacking in the last couple of games. Getting to rest on Wednesday and having previously played games gave the players needed rest in a shortened season.

There did seem to be a drop off in intensity from the first half to the second half though that could’ve been a result of the weather delay at halftime.

When Fafa Picault was substituted, the formation changed to a 3-5-2 and this brought the intensity back into FC Dallas’ game.

This allowed Hollingshead and Nelson the freedom to move up the field to move and contribute to the attack.

“We wanted to turn them early and be vertical,” Luchi Gonzalez said of his team style. “We wanted to be more possession-based and be aggressive. It created someone on ones with Fafa, and some two on ones with Johnny and Ryan. I liked our flanking today and we made some early crosses. That was a very positive way to start. I liked how we ended as well. We were defensive and we created great open play counters.”

Nelson has been making improvements in his game and, while not at the level of Hollingshead and Cannon, has demonstrated that he is capable of playing in the lineup.

Fafa Picault got his first start since the return and he made an impact in the team aside from his goal.

“It was a regular performance,” Fafa Picault said of his performance.  “It was just missing overall and in the last month, people haven’t seen me. It can be difficult when you start to hear the criticism. I know what I’m capable of as a left-winger when it comes to attack in the past few years in the league. I’ve had good support from my teammates and coaches, and just having the self-belief to help the team.”

Fafa was able to get forward and make efforts to connect with his teammates in the final third. He had 4 successful dribbles, 2 key chances, and his success came from his speed and ability to hold onto the ball.

Similarly, Bryan Acosta had his best game of 2020 and he showed glimpses of his ability to play as an 8.

He finished the game with 90.6% pass accuracy, 32 passes, 2, key passes, 46 touches (6th highest after the backline, and Thiago Santos).

Bryan Acosta’s Passing Chart against Minnesota United (Photo: MLS Soccer)

His off-the-ball movement also gave attacking players space to work as Acosta would bring a defender with him when he would make runs in between lines. This is a positive sign in Acosta’s game assuming Luchi Gonzalez has figured how to bring the best out of Designated Player.

FC Dallas head on the road to play against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, September 2, at 7:30 PM.

Featured Image: FC Dallas
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