The one good thing of a Friday night game is that you do get your weekend back in a way. The bad thing about a full weekend without a game on Saturday or Sunday is that you have more time to dwell in what happens on Friday night. That is exactly what is going on right now for us, following FC Dallas' 4-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids.
The loss was one of the worst ones in recent years at home and to a team that was closing in on an all-time MLS worst winless streak as well as a long scoreless drought to start the 2015 season. Double ouch.
The one word a lot of the players kept saying after the game was how humbled they were from this result. There weren't a ton of down heads or guys that looked like they lost a dramatic game or anything on Friday night. It was merely just a group of guys in the locker room that knew they got took to the woodshed.
I do think that being humbled this way, this early in the season is a good thing though. I'll at least try to spin it in that direction. Another thing some of the guys mentioned was that this would be a game that they'd certainly learn from. Every now and then you definitely do need those kinds of games to remind yourself that you can't take anything lightly in this league. It wasn't that FC Dallas took Colorado lightly on Friday night, no, it was merely FCD showing up flat and getting embarrassed in the process.
Coming out flat
There is no getting around it, Colorado just wanted it more on Friday night. They wanted their goalless streak to end. They wanted the losing record gone. They just wanted it a whole hell of a lot more than FCD did. And it showed from the opening seconds with how flat FCD approached this game.
It wasn't the odd start time or being on a Friday night. Really any of the normal excuses are out the window on this one. The fact is, FCD didn't show up from top to bottom.
The 4-4-2 on the night with Victor Ulloa and Michel in the middle of the park just proved yet again that long-term, this pairing just isn't going to cut it against teams that know how to shove it down your throats. I tweeted out a look at Michel's chalkboard at halftime to show how bad his game was on the night. Truthfully, it is a good time to just bring him off the bench again in late game set piece situations. His lack of range and mobility on the field continues to hinder what FCD is doing out there.
At least Oscar Pareja had the foresight to at least attempt having Ryan Hollignshead in the middle of the park with Ulloa and Michel halfway through the first half. I give Hollignshead a ton of credit, he busts his butt out there more than most do, even if he doesn't have the skill set to really be a threat out there at times, you know he is going to give it his all. I do think he could be a decent option going forward in the middle of the park next to Ulloa, but both of them will need a healthy Mauro Diaz in front of them to feed the ball to.
Just not a good night defensively
When the middle of the park gets exposed as much as it did early on in this one, goals were bound to happen. Zach Loyd and Walker Zimmerman really didn't seem in sync with one another in the middle of the park.
I still have hopes for Zimmerman to be a solid center back in this league but it really looks like he is miles away from that at times. The first goal on the night, he was beat badly to a ball that all center backs are trained to defend from the wings. He didn't commit enough pressure on the fourth and final goal either.
Je-Vaughn Watson was a happy addition at times at right back but once again he showed how rusty he is early on this season. There is still going to be some time needed before he looks like the Watson we all grew to love at the end of last season.
I have trouble blaming everything on the back four and Chris Seitz though. I know a lot of you will immediately place the blame there but some of the goals were more than just the back four and Seitz. The turnovers in the middle of the park were awful on the night. The lack of defense from Fabian Castillo and Tesho Akindele on the wings was also another trouble spot. In the type of set up that Pareja is using, if the wings don't commit back at least some on defense, you run the risk of over exposing your defense.
Colorado read the playbook line for line on Friday night and it showed well in the score board.
Why not young guns? I give Pareja some credit for the double halftime subs of Kyle Bekker and Atiba Harris. But I don't get why he brought in Michael Barrios late in the game when it was already a foregone conclusion how the game would end. Instead, I was hoping he would give a guy like Alex Zendejas a run for a few minutes. There wouldn't have been too much harm in that.
Bekker's night summed up perfectly in a few GIFs. (Hat tip to Ben Jata for these...and a few more)
And the worst of all..
Ugh. That one may be the worst to watch over and over.
No more 6pm starts. One thing this night also proved is that a 6PM start in Frisco on a Friday is a bad, bad idea. The announced attendance was just shy of 13k. Rough. Traffic was brutal to get north to the stadium on the night even for someone like me that had plenty of time between the end of my work day and the game time.