I'm stepping in for Jason this week on the chalkboard series as he is out on a family vacation. FC Dallas continued their winning ways on Saturday night with a 2-0 win over Orlando City at the Citrus Bowl. The win was the third in a row and the third straight shutout, giving this defense the boost that it needed with all the Gold Cup call ups that have taken place lately.
There was plenty to be happy with in this one was Mauro Diaz scored the club's first penalty kick of 2015 and David Texeira showed some value scoring a goal as well to help put away this game.
Once again the midfield trio of Victor Ulloa, Kellyn Acosta and Diaz shined in this one as they also helped bring in Fabian Castillo and Michael Barrios into this one. Between the three in the midfield, there were 100 successful passes to just 34 unsuccessful passes on the night. That kind of control goes a long way in not only running up the possession time (which FCD had in their favor) but creating chances.
Don't sleep on Texeira
I know a lot of us question the value of David Texeira but on this night he was a big part of why FC Dallas came out with three points. If this guy could just get a tad more consistent with his play, I think most of us could live with having him out there as a starter. He has stepped up big in the last three games, all wins to be exact and his goal was a pure Texeira goal too. The guy is a poacher and when he gets a good ball in the box he does do well at finishing off those chances.
As I looked into his night more, he brought more than just the insurance goal in the second half. He had plenty of touches on the ball in this one to help keep the pressure off Diaz and Castillo. Also, that shot he had in the first half on Tally Hall was something I'd love to see more of. I'm a big fan of testing keepers from distance like he did because it forced Hall to punch the ball back out into the field of play instead of catching it.
Full back debate
The more I watch Ryan Hollingshead at full back the more I am intrigued by the possibilities there with him. I have to tip my hat to Oscar Pareja for putting guys like him and Atiba Harris at full back this season when the team needed a player there in a pinch. The gamble on both ends is actually paying off. Sure, both have their moments but on Saturday, both looked showed well at the two full back positions.
These moves work well because both players have the range to play full back in this league. They're both picking their moments up the field wisely and the are providing plenty of cover for Castillo and Barrios. Between the two of them they had 69 successful passes to just 19 unsuccessful. For two players that haven't really spent a lot of time in these positions over the course of their careers, that isn't a bad return on the road (and on turf for that matter). Orlando did try to go straight down the middle of the field with their attack, so that may have helped both of these guys out on the night too.