Weird lineup, giving up a lead on the road and more injury issues. This just feels like the typical game for FC Dallas here this season when you compare it to most games. The only thing missing was a dumb red card on Saturday night against the LA Galaxy.
Looking around at this game there were plenty of weird moments and questions that had to be asked.
Pulling the right strings the wrong way
Sometimes I want to blame Oscar Pareja for his wild roster selections but it seems like the times that I do question them are the times that they work out. For a large part of that match they nearly did. It was however a bend and hope to not break type of selection to rest guys like Fabian Castillo and Matt Hedges.
But to not bring them along at all to California seemed extremely risky. Instead they were rested for Wednesday's home match with Seattle that has even more meaning now than it did a week ago. Pareja must be hoping to catch the Sounders on a post-US Open Cup win hangover like New York was able to do over the weekend. But I'll dive into that later this week.
Pareja opted to move Je-Vaughn Watson into the middle of the defense, making the starting back four just one of the wildest things I've ever seen. A flank player turned fullback into a center back along side a normal full back turned center back with two Homegrown fullbacks. Yikes that was a lot to digest. I won't even get into the midfield selection because that felt about right when we saw that Castillo wasn't there.
For about 60 minutes though it seemed as though these strings were being pulled in the right way but LA is too good of a team right now to not find holes in a defense and midfield that generates a lot of turnovers. Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes picked apart the midfield on the first goal and Keane made sure to do just enough to find a way too open Alan Gordon on the game-winner.
About that injury...
We're likely not going to know anything at all about Mauro Diaz until later today, or quite possibly until Wednesday with the way FC Dallas operates on the injuries. His knee appears to be fine but between a bum hamstring (just like everyone else on this club) and now his ankle you do have to ask the question, is it worth just shutting him down for the rest of the season?
We know the club won't officially do this unless there is a surgery required. Even then we'll probably find more about this injury through Diaz's Instagram account rather than from the club. At least I'm expecting that to be the case again. Gotta love how the players on this team have released information that way this season when the team does not, but again that is another subject for another day.
The club will always say that they are better with Diaz and that is true, they totally are. But given how well the club played between June and August without him, you kind of wonder if it worth shutting him down all together if this new injury is bad enough to do so. Or, if it isn't that bad to only use him off the bench. And off the bench only.
Hopefully we'll know something soon enough.
- Andres Escobar may be one of the most frustrating players FCD has owned over the last few years. For a Designated Player you expect a certain level of play. We've seen those brief moments out of him but the more we get out of him here this season, the more I'm thankful this was just a loan. If things don't go well in October and November for the club, I hope the club places him on the unprotected list for the Expansion draft (which I think they totally will) and ends the loan.
- Very cool to see Coy Craft get an appearance on the bench this past weekend. If anything that was just a good learning experience for the young player. Next year will be a time that I think we see way more out of him.
- More and more I am liking what I see out of Ryan Hollingshead. He doesn't try to do too much on the wings but he does enough to help put the team in decent spots.
- Time to just focus on getting spot number 4 in the playoffs. Getting third seems almost pointless considering RSL's remaining schedule (two more games with Chivas? Come on!). Getting fourth at least means a home game in the knockout round against Portland or Vancouver.