Kellyn Acosta on the left, David Texeira up top, Danny Garcia, Otis Earle and Alex Zendejas on the bench. This was supposed to be the one where Oscar Pareja would allow his young ones to show him that they belong on this team. Instead, FC Dallas was treated an early red and forced to play a man down for 72 minutes. These are the types of games that I personally haven't the slightest clue on how to feel after them. On one hand, you held the opposition to a scoreless draw, on the other hand you played them pretty evenly even with 10 men and it just leaves you wanting more. Do you celebrate the point or do you kick yourself at the lost opportunity of three points and free chicken. Sorry, I only make it to Toyota Stadium once or twice a year, so getting shut out for this one stings more than usual. But enough about fried chicken, onto the Chalkboards!
Defense Shines or Inept Offense?
I'll admit, this one is really hard to analyze as both sides were depleted of their usual starters. I did a spit take and had to make sure my computer wasn't broken but this is the first graphic I'd like to present to you which I'd like to call "Blank Space" (Yes, there's my Taylor Swift reference. Shut up!)
This is the amount of attempts on goal Seattle managed to produce in the first half against Dallas. In fact, somehow Dallas kept Seattle's offense at bay and the first attempt on goal (blocked) didn't occur until the 52nd minute. That's an astonishing 34 minutes that Dallas defended a man down without conceding a shot attempt.
On one hand, Dallas played really well. Ryan Hollingshead did a nice shift at leftback (he was almost an auxiliary wingback at times) and the back four held their line nice and neatly. There was rarely a moment where the back four were disjointed or pulled out of position which we can attribute to the minutes that Matt Hedges, Zach Loyd and Atiba Harris have put in together, Chris Seitz's growing command of his defense and Ryan's incredible ability to read the game and interpret the spaces.
The flip side though was that Seattle's offense, led by Chad Barrett was really elementary in terms of their offense. Their runs were mostly vertical and easy to read. A few times Lamar Neagle was able to make an appropriate diagonal run on Harris, but Loyd and Walker Zimmerman were able to cover. The Sounders were only able to get a ball behind the Dallas backline once and were unable to stretch Dallas out of position. They did well to get the ball into Zone 14 (pictured below), but most of the passes were cycled back out wide and nothing much came of it after that.
You probably can make the argument that Dallas's defense did really well and also equally argue that Seattle just wasn't very good at all. Both would seem logical at this point.
I'm not going to say Oscar Pareja should be the next USMNT head coach because it's way too early, but I'll just go ahead and imply it. He's showing yet again, how good of a coach he is. In the first half, after the red, Dallas actually went into a 3-4-2 formation and nearly grabbed the lead off a Michel free kick which so sadly hit the crossbar. It was a gutsy move that he knew he could reasonably gamble in the first half but wisely moved Hollingshead back to leftback after the half, when Sigi Schmid would have the time to properly organize his team the exploit the man advantage.
End for Texeira?
Is this the most we'll get from David Texeira? Can this team really rely on him this summer when Blas Perz is gone for the Gold Cup?
Those are all his touches in 59 minutes of work. All of them. 2/5 passing and one of those was from the kick off. He did have one tackle and one interception, but those were his only two defensive actions all evening. It's disappointing as this was his chance to show why he was a DP on this team last year. I understand it's hard to get on the ball as a striker when you're down a man, but this is the type of game where Blas Perez would made his presence known more than usual. The team will need much, much more from him soon and while the situation wasn't ideal in his first start, here's to hoping Pareja can figure out a way to get more out of him soon.