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.

Listen to the Dos a Zero Futbol podcast every Wednesday night at 9PM CT on youtube.com.  Download on itunes.

Follow me on twitter @jjagou

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.

Listen to the dos a zero futbol podcast every Wednesday at 9:00PM CDT.

Follow me on twitter @jjagou