FC Dallas suffered their first regular season loss to Austin FC on Wednesday night in a heartbreaking 3-0 loss to their in-state rivals.
Let’s look at three silver linings for the Burn moving forward.
1) Injuries are Finally Relenting
It has been a brutal last couple months for FC Dallas on the injury front, with Paxton Pomykal, Paul Arriola, Sebastian Lletget, Tsiki Ntsabeleng, Ema Twumasi, and Jesus Jimenez all missing significant time with injuries. For the match against Austin in particular, this issue was compounded by the absences of Jader Obrianwho was out due to yellow card accumulation, and Jesus Ferreira, who is with the USMNT for the Gold Cup. Jose Martinez also had a short-term injury keeping him out, leaving just 6 players on the Dallas bench and forcing a lineup with multiple players out of position.
The good news here is that there looks to be some relief coming. Lletget made his first appearance since the last match against Austin back on May 13th to be back into training fully. Reports are that Paul Arriola is close to making his return, and Paxton Pomykal should be on his way back in the near future as well. Not as much word on Tsiki, Twumasi, or Jimenez, but just getting that long injury list cut down slightly will be huge for the team.
2) Experience for Young Players
It certainly was not an ideal situation for just about any of the players on the field. Still, the injury/suspension/call-up situation did provide a major opportunity for young players to get minutes. Herbert Endeley and Collin Smith were given the opportunity to start, each making their second-ever MLS start, and Bernard Kamungo and Amet Korca got minutes in the second half, with Korca making his MLS debut in the game.
The result wasn’t anywhere close to what anyone involved wanted, but getting playing time for the young players making up the depth of the FC Dallas squad is something that could pay off in a major way in the long run.
3) A Chance to Rest Up
Tagging along with the first point here, the match against Austin marks the end of FCD’s June slate of games. They had 10 days between the Portland game and this match, and they’ll have another 10 days before their next match against LAFC on July 1st. May and the first two-thirds of June were just brutal for FCD, and the already crowded and tough schedule was compounded by the pile-up of absences in the team. Even for the players who aren’t dealing with any kind of injuries, a lot of minutes have been played in the last month and a half, and having some time to rest up, both for the injured and uninjured players, will undoubtedly and much wanted for the entire roster.
Hopefully, when FCD returns to play at the start of July, they will be rejuvenated and ready to snap out of their poor run of form, regardless of who ends up taking the field.
How do you feel as FC Dallas moves on from a brutal loss down I-35?
Let me know in the comments below!
Photo: AP Photo/Eric Gay