Things are extremely quiet around the professional side right now as they're training over 1,000 miles away in Portland as they prepare for Saturday's game against Vancouver. To be honest, I haven't even watched the Portland game. I've seen the highlights but with the soccer heavy schedule of Dallas Cup, I really don't feel like going home and analyzing an FC Dallas loss.
Just a few random thoughts and then some news
Regarding the 4-4-2, be careful what you wish for I've read many calling for a change to the 4-4-2 as it was so successful in the last minutes of the Portland game. I think right now it would be a mistake to change up the system as the center midfield just wouldn't be able to handle it. FC Dallas has been at their worst this year when Ferreira is dropping too far back into the midfield and taking another man out of that midfield would render #10 less effective.
Also, Daniel Hernandez simply doesn't have the wheels to go up and down the pitch right now. He is great in his protected d-mid role with not as many responsibilities other than breaking up the opposing team's attack and getting the ball to the danger man. Watch how quickly he gets injured when he's asked to go from box to box.
My thoughts on the 4-4-2 are that it's a great setup to practice when you need a goal, it nearly worked wonders on Sunday. For the first 60 minutes, the 4-1-4-1 is still the ideal formation. However...
Brek Shea must be moved forward on the left Everyone's calling for this and I couldn't agree more. His size, speed, tricks and skill terrorized defenses last year and Brek looks to be in form right now. As John and Ihemelu still work to get back to 100%, Dallas needs to focus on scoring the first goal. They've allowed the first goal in 4 of their 5 games this season. Moving Brek Shea forward in the starting lineup will allow Dallas to step on the gas from the beginning and go after teams rather than the other way around.
So what happens to Castillo? It's very hip right now in coaching circles to play a guy on the opposite side of his favored foot allowing him to cut onto his better foot and unleash a shot rather than a cross. I think Castillo should be given a shot on the right side to see what he can do. It's not as if FCD is going to score much from crosses anyways with their lack of size, so get Castillo onto his better foot, facing goal and giving him options to play a through ball(like Ferreira's first goal against Colorado) or unleash a shot.
Yes that means dropping Chavez to the bench. For some reason, I don't believe Chavez has played quite as well as he did in the pre-season. There are enough games coming up to where Marvin will get plenty of playing time, but against Vancouver I'd like to see Castillo on the right and Shea on the left.
Forward situation I didn't see Galindo play, all I can go by is what I've read and apparently he was very effective. Does that mean I think he should start? No. Many people won't like this but I personally would still with Milton Rodriguez for at least another couple of games unless he is carrying an injury. If Milton is truly healthy, his scoring will come soon enough, Galindo is not fit enough to start in the 4-1-4-1 formation yet and I'd still prefer Milton over Luna for the time being.
Keep the defense how it is Despite giving up 3 goals this week, I'm really not worried about a Jair-Ugo-John-Loyd partnership at the back. It was great last year and come crunch time these are the guys I want protecting Kevin Hartman. There's absolutely no reason to believe they won't get things together by the time the games really mean something.
Patience Perhaps this is easy for me to say as I didn't watch the Portland game, but it's just five games. FC Dallas had exactly 4 points after five games last year with the same amount of goals given up. Then they won 5 of their next 8 games. Don't jump off the bus just yet.
Dallas Cup Yes I'm biased, but as FC Dallas fans you all have a duty to get out to Pizza Hut Park on Friday night provided FCD doesn't stumble tomorrow against Japan. With a draw or win, FCD will play in the Super Group semifinals which is always an electric night of soccer. There is absolutely no reason to not get you and your friends out there to support these kids as they fly the flag of soccer in Dallas.