The loses are piling up, the frustration level is getting higher and higher. That is just how things go in a long season like this when the luck has dried up. FC Dallas is experiencing some major levels of everything bad at the moment, even more so following yet another road loss to the LA Galaxy on Wednesday night.
A broken record with the defense
Maybe there is a bit of a burn out situation going on with Matt Hedges. The latest issue in the defense is starting to be his game. First the Robbie Keane goal, Hedges fails to make a good defensive play on the ball, allowing Keane to get around him and fire off that ridiculous shot. On the second goal, Hedges along with Stephen Keel left a wide open Gyasi Zardes in the middle of the penalty box to head home the second goal.
It is a shame that the two biggest mistakes on the night cost the club another chance at points. But the defense continues to do this for FC Dallas. We're 12 games in and the goal differential is a whopping zero. FCD has scored 22 and given up 22.
It isn't just Hedges that has struggled. Both Zach Loyd and Jair Benitez allow a little more in from the wings than I would like to see and losing Andrew Jacobson in the first half after the Keane goal was not a good thing either.
At some point the defense will click and get a shutout. The law of averages tend to side on the fact that it will happen before long. It is just crazy to think that the area with the most depth going into this season has had the most issues with quality play.
Team still has some heart
Saying all that about the defense (which isn't just on the back four, it is a team-wide issue), this group still shows a ton of heart.
The second half surge was good to see out of this bunch after giving up the Zardes goal right before halftime. Most teams on the road would have given up a bit at that point in the game. Seeing Tesho Akindele score his first goal was a nice sign of things to come in my mind. While the kid didn't have an all-around great performance on Wednesday night, he did show up in pockets that he can stretch the field and give the FCD attack a different look. I do wonder how he would fare in a 4-4-2 with someone like Blas Perez holding the ball up for him.
Oscar Pareja has at least given this young group of player a reason to press forward and a mentality to continue to fight. That leads me to believe that things will turn into a positive before long once some players return from their injuries.
At some point it should click for Fabian
As much as everyone praised his effort last Saturday against Chivas, Fabian Castillo yet again had one of those nights that you just look at and shake your head. Chance after chance, misstep after misstep.
I keep having to remind myself that this kid is still only 21-years old and has plenty of soccer ahead of him in his career. But you know, at some point it either will or won't click for him. He continues to remind me Luis Mendoza from the Might Ducks movies. All the speed in the world on his feet but when it comes to the end, he struggles.
I guess the kid in me from growing up with the Might Ducks believes that Castillo will eventually turn out like Mendoza and find a way to stop properly and fire off the correct type of pass or shot on goal.
For all our sanity here, I hope that happens sooner rather than later.
Getting more from Escobar
Alright, the sample size has doubled on young Andres Escobar for us in the last week. After really getting nothing out of him in the first two games and then dealing with a two-month long injury, we're finally getting around to seeing why he was brought in.
Sure the price tag will still stick with some folks as he is indeed the highest paid player on the team. But there were moments last night that showed how good he can be if given the right amount of time here. We have to remember that he didn't have much of a preseason with the team and that he missed nearly two months of the season with a back injury. In a small way, he's still in preseason mode. Fitness is getting there and his comfort level with his teammates is slowly growing.
Last night against LA, he was finding himself in good spots to help create chances for his teammates. I began to wonder if he may be more suited for the Mauro Diaz role during this time rather than Danny Garcia (who looked rather awful last night). To me Garcia should be on the wings, not in the middle but that may be a story for another day. Escobar showed last night that he has some decent vision on the field and that once he and Castillo, Perez, Akindele and Je-Vaughn Watson all get on the same page as one another, good things could happen.