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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