Ep. 80: CantinaMX Futbol Podcast – LigaMX beats out MLS!

We had a few callers from listeners who contributed to the show. We talked the recent CCL action, resulting in LigaMX ousting the MLS teams. Tigres vs Pachuca will be the final and we discussed who would fare better in the Club World Cup.

One of our callers dissed Tuca and Yon got quite offended. 😀

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Ep. 77: CantinaMX Futbol Podcast – Referee strike, CopaMX and CCL Action!

Woah! This episode had some heated and argumentative discussion and it was all Juan Carlos Osorio’s fault. Luckily, here on the CantinaMX podcast, we don’t get our feelings hurt. Unlike Jesus Corono who was crying because the refs bully him and make him sad with their inults and burlas. LOL. We discuss this as well as CCL action. We neglected the CopaMX talk, probably because we were missing our resident Chivistas.

The heat came when the JCO hate came. We also had passionate discussion on the reffing situation and how they are not angels themselves. We also talked about the Brazilian criminal who got out of jail and was still able to sign with a Futebol Club!


FC Dallas Well Equipped for All Tourneys


It was another Jornada Doble for FC Dallas, and as they had done the first time they had a mid-week fixture, they won both games.  6 points put an end to the road losing streak that took hold of Oscar Pareja’s side the week before.

This was a 2-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC.  A team that on paper had a lethal attack.  Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris and Hercules Gomez all started.  Within the first 20 minutes they generated 2 good chances on goal.

And that was that.

Such are the way of things in MLS.  Teams that choose to base their offense down the flanks are at the mercy of the quality of crosses, which are going to be low percentage anyway.  It was puzzling, really, because those three guys had decent interplay among them.  But for most of the 2nd half, Sounders front stood and waited for that cross to come in.  And stood and stood and stood.  No movement, no bounces to give the passer a target.  Just the hope that one cross, any cross might find its way to the foot or head of one of three forwards.

FC Dallas on the other hand, were creating chances by any means necessary.  For most of the night, it was successfully beating the off-side trap, but the through balls were a step to long.  It meant attacking down the flank, or up the middle, or on a breakaway, or a free kick, etc.

“We believe we have one of the most dangerous attacks in the league.” Coach Oscar Pareja said after the 2-0 win.  He is right.  Not because he has the most dangerous players in the league, but because the players can adapt to whatever the defense gives them.  The win over Seattle afforded through balls into space, and FC Dallas got both their goals that way.

FC Dallas crosses like every other team on the planet, but their players look for soft spots, one goes to the near post while another to the back, and one makes himself available for the pass of death.

It makes a low-percentage play a little less so. It is also a testament to their coach, who seemingly prepares his side for anything and everything.  It will be good practice for the differing styles they will face in the three tourneys they have on the schedule.

There is still a long way to go in this 2016 MLS Season, and FC Dallas will have as a full a calendar as anyone in the league this summer with US Open Cup ties followed by the Concachampions group stage.   And FC Dallas has shown to be more of a pushover on the road than Pareja would like.  They will need to resolve that quickly.  But if the first two double match-days are any indication, Pareja and his players have the confidence and the talent to compete in every tournament the team is playing this season.

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FC Dallas – MLS Superlider

FRISCO, TX – FC Dallas got a big win at midweek at Portland.  They got an even bigger win just a few days later. The thunderstorms that had pounded North Texas let up just enough to give the fans and players dry enough conditions at Frisco’s Toyota Park. The field had drained, “but it was heavy.”  FC Dallas coach, Oscar Pareja said at his post game presser. He would know, he was spotted checking the field conditions with his bare feet about 90 minutes before the match. Did he have a special technique to determine the sogginess of the pitch. “Just coaches being crazy.” He said, with a slight blush in his cheeks.

He had no reason to blush about his teams’ performance. He was halfway expecting his team to be tired after the long trip to the Northwest, but their energy surprised him. “The character and enthusiasm and energy we had in Portland the whole 90 minutes was crucial, and I knew that today we were going to be off a little today.”  Pareja continued.  “It was too much to ask from me to have the same energy.  I knew they were going to be tired tonight, but they surprised me.”

But it had to take a goal from visiting SKC to start FC Dallas’ engines.  As is almost always the case for possession based teams, defending set plays are crucial, and FC Dallas let a ball bounce through several defenders and Goalkeeper Chris Seitz.  All Lawrence Olum had to do for KC was put his body in front of it.  1-0 KC after 22.

Despite missing their playmaker, Mauro Diaz, who is not fully fit enough for game duty, FC Dallas still has a stout and creative midfield, and Michael Barrios equalized things about 10 minutes later as he outran the KC defense to collect and beat the keeper.

Their could be some arguments made as to whether or not FC Dallas’ midfield is the best in the league, but it certainly might be the deepest.  2nd half substitute, Mauro Rosales placed a free kick just out of reach and that was the ball game.

Chris Seitz, who has come on after replacing Mexican U23 keeper Jesse Gonzalez during the international break, made some key saves down the stretch to preserve the victory.

The two wins has put FC Dallas atop MLS.  And if beating two of the top teams in the league just 4 days apart is any indication, FC Dallas has not only taken the early pole position as a title contender, it should also give coach Pareja some confidence as he plans for the rest of the season, which includes mid-week ties in the Concacaf Champions League.

It was a big win in Frisco Sunday night. FC Dallas passed their first early test.  There will be more.  FC Dallas will be ready.

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FC Dallas Takes Down Impact

Last season FC Dallas came within a game of the MLS Cup relying on youngsters and locally cultivated talent.  Youngsters will have times when they slip up, as they did last week in the Tejano Derby vs. Houston, a 5-0 pasting by the Dynamo.  Determined not to let that happen again, coach Oscar Pareja instructed his players to play within themselves, use they had practiced, and above all, forget what happened last week in the Bayou City.

It took some doing, but FC Dallas finally broke through in the second half with a placement over power free kick by Mauro Diaz in the 80th minute.  His fellow Argentine Maxi Urruti iced the game with a solid effort of his own – a screamer that found the top corner of the net 7 minutes later.  The score would stay at 2-0, sending the faithful home happy after having to deal with some unseasonably chilly weather in North Texas.

The result should not have been much of a surprise, considering FC Dallas had the Lion’s share of possession.  Were it not for a few spurts at the open of each half by Montreal, the dominion of the round ball would have been Dallas’ and Dallas’ alone.

There was a reason for that.  After studying film, Oscar Pareja instructed his players to bracket Impact playmaker, Ignacio Piatti and limit his off the ball movement.  Piatti started strong, but his influence on the game diminished rapidly, and by the middle of the second half, he had all but disappeared.  With it, much of Montreal’s possession.  Impact did find some fresh wind when their Ivorian superstar, Didier Drogba, made his 2016 debut.  In fact it seemed that the former Chelsea icon inspired both teams to pick up the pace.  FC Dallas seemed to be in a hurry to score a goal before Drogba, and Montreal wanted to make that happen.

Despite his legend status, though, the stars of the the show tonight were the FC Dallas midfielders.  The holding midfielders Carlos Gruezo and Victor Ulloa were excellent in repossessing the offense, while Fabian Castillo, Michael Barrios and Mauro Diaz all took turns with daring and darting runs into the danger area.  Their speed and ball control gave Montreal fits, they just could not complete the play with the ball in the back of the net.  Usually that spells trouble – a player like Piatti, and Drogba, of course, can make teams pay for their offensive shortcomings.

But nothing it was unnecessary foul just at the top of the box gave Diaz the chance to showoff his free kick skills.  His shot badly fooled Montreal keeper Evan Bush, and gave the 14,502 fans the moment they had hoped would happen all night.  With Montreal opeining up to try and find the answer to equalize, it was FC Dallas who put an end to things a few minutes later with Urruti getting his 2nd goal of the season.

The Atmosphere at Toyota Park is lively, but a little labored.  There are drums, a small group of ultras, and the same chants we hear everywhere – but the local flavor is what stands out the most.  It was good to hear the crowd sing “Deep in the Heart of Texas” and a trumpet player belted out the theme to the “Dallas” TV show in the 2nd half. In case I had forgotten where I was.

Dallas has a good young team and as solid a midfield as one will see in MLS. If they can somehow limit the inconsistencies that are a product of youth, they will have a part to play in determining the Western Conference champions.


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Houston Dynamo capitalizes on poor FC Dallas Defense

Houston DynamoA quick trip to Houston to cover some MLS action, and was greeted with a first half full of early goals. Houston came out quickly with a nice cross to a wide open David Horst in the middle for an easy header for the opening goal. Mexican American, Jesse Rodriguez would not have a fun game as he gave up 4 first half goals.

The second goal would come off of a back pass to the goalie, but Jesse Gonzalez went one way and the pass went the other way, into the goal. FC Dallas was on the defensive for most of the first half. Two more goals would come as a result of defensive errors and leaving the Dynamo attackers unmarked in dangerous positions.

FC Dallas tried to come back with some offense later in the first half, with some runs by Colombian Fabian Castillo. The Dynamo defense held up however and stuffed all of FC Dallas’ attacks.

In the 2nd half, Mauro Diaz tried to get things going and created some good opportunities, but the Dynamo defense held on to get the shutout. FC Dallas made a good effort in the latter half but could not find goal. Instead Houston found the net one last time to make it 5-0. This time it was striker Will Bruin with the late goal off a nice generated play from the midfielders.

After the game Coach Owen Coyle praised his team’s dynamic offense. Damarcus Beasley also had good things to say about the Dynamo offense and the hustle of the midfielders. He did not think the Dallas defense was poor, rather that the Dynamo offense was too good. He referred to the hustle of the midfielders as tremendous and something that is rare to see these days.

A good start for the Dynamo. They will now be tested on the road, where in the past it has been a challenge for them.