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FC Dallas vs Sporting KC: What we learned

Boy when things are ugly with this team, they are really ugly.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

I'll admit, this game was tough to digest. I had to take it in a day later than most as I was out Friday evening with my wife. So knowing ahead of time that it was a 4-0 beating was not something I was looking forward to.

We knew FC Dallas would be without Fabian Castillo in their battle with Sporting Kansas City. Castillo had been out of practice all of last week, nursing a sore hamstring. Oscar Pareja was merely keeping his speedster out of this game to help him out in the long run similar to what he did with Mauro Diaz earlier this season. I'm not entirely sure it would have made a ton of difference.

The willing to fight but not grind a result

I think this tweet sums things up perfectly.

I know some of you might agree but when Schellas Hyndman was in charge, we knew there were going to be a lot of ugly days on the field with the team but a good portion of that time there would be at least a point to show for it. I'm not entirely sure Pareja knows how to get his team to grind out results in the same manner.

In a way that isn't bad because we know the alternative. When things are good, they are so damn good.

But when they are bad, like they were on Friday night, they were really bad.

I don't think it comes down to a softness to this team though. We know there is some heart and grit to this bunch, that is what Pareja has instilled in them. What may be lacking is that killer instinct or the instinct not to do something dumb. The red card to Zach Loyd was something that a rookie or a really young player makes, not a guy that was in his 150th career start.

Sporting pounced on the extra space and dominated in an area that FCD should be good at, set pieces.

Ignoring the defense

Down 1-0 after the red card, it was surprising to me that Pareja didn't go to his bench and put in Walker Zimmerman in the second half to fill in the defense a bit. Pulling out a guy like Ryan Hollingshead (who just seems lost on the wing these days), made more sense than bringing on a new guy in Rolando Escobar. By ignoring the defense a bit, SKC took the extra space and opened the flood gates. Not to mention, there was a serious lack of size in the penalty box without Zimmerman out there.

While I give credit for pushing the envelope a bit, the lack of width on the field with Castillo out and the lack of chemistry in the middle of the park between Victor Ulloa, Kyle Bekker, Diaz, and Escobar meant that the team was just exposed in all the wrong places on Friday night.

Other observations

SKC is getting hot. Lets just be honest, SKC is a team no one wants to play right now in this league. They've been getting results for almost two months now and are on a six-game unbeaten run as of this result. Kudos to them for the way they are playing.

Dying on set pieces. I touched on it above but FCD is not only losing the set piece battle on defense but they look totally lost on the offensive side of things too. Either balls aren't getting over the wall, or corners are missing their mark, something has to give with this club from the free spots.

Goals allowed. Take out this game and the Colorado loss and FCD would be at a very solid 11 goals against, good enough for second in the league. But add in these two results and they are right at the bottom of the league, just above Philadelphia for most goals given up so far. Yikes. There is quality on this defense but for whatever reason, it isn't showing when it needs to.