It was game two of the Texas Derby as FC Dallas played hosts.

FC Dallas, in need of a win, won 2-1 over their Texas rivals. FC Dallas now sits in 8th place with 13 points through 9 games.


The Game

Luchi Gonzalez returned to the 4-3-3 as Andres Ricaurte earned his first start for FC Dallas.


Ricaurte announced his arrival to the FC Dallas fanbase with a spectacular volley from distance.


The Dynamo wouldn’t go into the half quietly as they scored their own from a freekick.


Franco Jara got his second goal with FC Dallas and gave Los Toros the lead with his chipped shot.


Ricardo Pepi and Brandon Servania came in for Santiago Mosquera and Tanner Tessmann respectively in the 68th minute.

Edwin Cerrillo replaced Andres Ricaurte in the 80th minute as Luchi Gonzalez aimed to secure the lead FC Dallas had.

Bressan was Luchi Gonzalez’s final substitution of the evening as he entered for Franco Jara in the 86th minute.


Thoughts & Takeaways

Transitions

The transition phase of FC Dallas’ game plan was of particular interest and lead to the success that FC Dallas had on the field.

In defense, Luchi Gonzalez had his team set up in a mid to low-block which is typical for FC Dallas when playing against teams that are quick to attack. FC Dallas was also fluid in their movement as the wanted to block all interior passing options.


This created a “shell” that forced Houston to play down the flanks.

“That’s where I feel that the group has evolved in the foundation defensively,” Luchi Gonzalez said about the transition phase of the game. “We try to instill from preseason that no matter the formation that we have to be better during moments that we don’t have the ball. As the game evolved we started to push and push numbers forward and started to create chances and had more crosses.”


When attacking, the team shape expanded from being compressed to covering the whole field. This is when FC Dallas continued to play with the speed, attacking down the flanks, breaking lines, and making passing combinations.

Defense

The way FC defended was a solid performance and it was not coincidental that there was an improvement with the return of Matt Hedges.

Matt Hedges had 6 clearances, the most of the team, out of 14 total clearance as reported by WhoScored.


The “shell” that FC Dallas greatly changed the direction of the attack for Houston as they attacked down the left and right side 40% and 31% respectively.


The gap in the middle allowed FC Dallas to mute the chances that Houston had. After Houston scored, FC Dallas committed more number forward which naturally opened up space in the interior channels.

The setup and consistency from the FC Dallas defense was better and is something that the team will want to carry forward through the rest of the season.

Complete

Since the restart, this was one of the most complete performances that FC Dallas has had.

The defense played together as a whole and the return of Matt Hedges brought the organization to the backline.


The attack was fluid and having a player like Andres Ricaurte to occupy a space in the middle of the field was a presence that FC Dallas was missing in previous games.

“I’m very happy that we won the match,” Andres Ricaurte said after the match.  “I think that, in general terms, we played a great game against a rival. [I’m] with the feeling of continuing to improve and wanting to rest and recover as soon as possible so I can think about Wednesday’s match.”


Importantly, the win will hopefully build momentum for the Luchi Gonzalez and his team. The next four games look to be difficult ones for the club and after having a rocky start, FC Dallas will be looking to pick up some points.


FC Dallas will play the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, September 16, at 7:30 PM at Toyota Stadium.

Featured Image: FC Dallas
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