Image: FC Dallas Twitter
FC Dallas suffered a devastating 3-0 loss against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park last night. The defeat was Dallas' third of the year, keeping them at the bottom of the Western Conference table with a mere six points overrall. The match saw a former fan favorite score his revenage goal, a penalty kick, and an own goal.
Image: FC Dallas Twitter
The lineup was relatively unchanged from last week's game against Real Salt Lake, Luchi only made one change, swapping Bressan in for an injured Matt Hedges. Unfortunately the club was unable to get on the scoresheet in this match, despite the limited changes. The full injury list can be found in the following link:
Image: FC Dallas Twitter
The Dallas offense has been terrible. In the beginning of the season, it was easy to just blame their poor form on the fact that the offense had been completely rebuilt during the offseason. Zdenek Ondrasek, their striker of nearly two years, left the club to return to his home country Czech Republic midseason last year. Fafa Picault was transferred to rival Houston Dynamo after just a season with Dallas. Longtime wingers Santiago Mosquera and Michael Barrios either saw their contract end or were traded within the league. With the exception of Szabolcs Schon, the entire offense has had a full preseason and now seven league games together. By now they should be somewhat familiar with each other and be able to play off each other to create goals.
The offense has continued to look unorganized. Their best peice has been Paxton Pomykal, who is still trying to gain game fitness after several months out due to an injury. Even then, Pomykal has only had one game where he looked good. Last week in the match against RSL, he assisted on Ryan Hollingshead's goal.
Everyone on the field shares the blame for the lack of goals. Franco Jara has performed at the level he was expected to when he signed. Freddy Vargas, after a stellar preseason, doesn't look MLS ready. Jader Obrian currently has two goals but has been very inconsistent.
Luchi needs to address the issues with the offense during the international break. They look unorganized and uninspired. He will need to light a fire under them if he hopes to make it to the playoffs this year.
The defense started the season strong... in the first game of the season against the Rapids in Frisco back in April. Since that match, they've leaked in goals and it with an under performing offense, it's cost them wins and ties that could've pushed Dallas further up the table. Goalkeepers Jimmy Maurer and Phelipe Megiolaro have done well under the circumstances. Phelipe was called to be the starting goalkeeper after Maurer went down with an injury and now that Phelipe's out injured, Maurer has had to return to the field while still recovering.
The centerbacks haven't been at their best. Hedges made two glaring mistakes in the RSL game that resulted in two goals, Bressan had a good run of games but soon lost his good form. Hollingshead has been everywhere on the field, trying to defend and score goals when the offenses can't. As one player, it's unfair to ask him to do everything for the club. Eddie Munjoma is slowly finding his form. Despite this being his second professionally, he's still a rookie. This is first season to earn minutes in MLS.
The lack of a true "6" type player has added to the defenses' struggles. Thiago Santos and Carlos Gruezo in their respective years at Dallas provided the defense with needed support. They were unsung heros. They rarely ended up on the scoresheet but their defensive work could grind out draws or keep a win. Cerrillo is the only natural "6" on the roster. He's young and unexperienced however and doesn't seem to have Luchi's trust yet. Bryan Acosta has been used as a "6" and has performed well there but he's also Dallas' best box-to-box midfielder and with the attack playing so poor, Luchi has opted to move him further up the field, leaving Tanner Tessman as the "6". Tessman is not an MLS level "6". He play as a box-to-box or linking midfielder but he's not a great defensive midfielder.
Luchi and the technically need to be searching for a true "6" if they haven't been already. They are rumored to be approaching Facundo Quignon, if this rumor is true, than hopefully he'll be a good fit for the roster and help the defense regain their former status. (https://www.mlsnowpodcast.com/post/fc-dallas-transfer-rumors-as-of-05-13-21)
The play appeared to begin with Colorado pushing Dallas to the ground (It's hard to tell from this video which players are involved in that). After the push, Dallas is unable to retrive the ball again. Keegan Rosenberry was free in the midfield and rushed into space for a pass and slotted it past Maurer. Dallas just didn't look good in this play. Everyone is either too far back or too far forward, opening up space for Colorado to attempt a long distance shot. Unfortunately for Dallas that shot resulted in a goal.
Dallas again had to scramble to try and stop a Colorado attack. Tessman ran into the box, ready to clear it off the line if needed, unfortunately the shot bounces off him and into the net. Tessman had good intentions but unluckily deflected it in.
Michael Barrios finished off the route. Last season he did not perform at his best. It was a weird year though. In the clip above he looked to be back to his old self. He outpaced his man, the most surprising part of this play was his willingness to dribble into the box and attempt the shot himself rather than play his teammates in. His bold move paid off as he scored his revenge goal.
Dallas has a lot to work on during the international break. Their performance so far has been unacceptable for a playoff team. Their next game will be on June 19th in Toyota Stadium. They should have plenty of time to find and address their issues before facing Minnesota United.
By Melanie G. Isbell