Katy Perry made it seem so glamorous. She said that the wind was our friend and that it was a great time playing in it. Well, she lied to us. FC Dallas had two foes on Sunday, the Chicago Fire and the dreaded breeze of the Windy City. They were unable to overcome either one of those adversaries, looking sluggish and out-of-sync in the national spotlight and succumbing to a 2-0 defeat against the worst team in the league. Accam scored early for the Fire, which is exactly what they needed, after picking up the ball as a result of sloppy defense. A second half penalty kick conversion from Maloney sealed the result after FC Dallas had been granted a man advantage. Just an overall dreadful effort by FCD, unfortunately.
No splendid this week and many things went wrong for FC Dallas in Bridgeview. The biggest problem, for me, was the defense. It was pretty rough watching the Chicago Fire consistently strike fear in the hearts of the Dallas defense with Accam, Maloney, and even Igboananike. Atiba Harris was pretty good last night, but the same cannot be said for the other three on the back line. Matt Hedges, Zach Loyd, and Ryan Hollingshead could not seem to put a foot in the right place with the Captain getting outmuscled on the first goal, Loyd seemingly discombobulated every time a defender came his way, and Hollingshead struggling to make the simple passes. The penalty kick was a result of an incredibly lazy clearance by Zach Loyd after some good initial defending and Kellyn Acosta fouled Igboananike, but that does not happen if Loyd clears the ball like he is supposed to on that play. Not a good day for the defenders.
The defense was not too pleasant yesterday, but it is not like the offensive side of the ball was much better to watch. Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo, our best two players, seemed uninterested. You can survive with one of them not playing well, but when both do not, you have a problem. It was shocking to see how difficult it was for one of the league's most dynamic offenses to establish a rhythm against the team with the worst record in MLS. Tesho Akindele showed some hustle after being inserted in the second half for David Texeira but Sunday was not on the strikers. Mauro's through balls were off all night, Castillo was not able to create the chances he usually does, and Barrios was quiet in comparison to his last few outings. A week after the 4-1 clinic against Portland, the total opposite occurred and it was arduous viewing to say the very least.
Oscar Pareja has been awesome in his time with Dallas so far, but last night was one of those moments when I felt like he did not have the team ready to execute the game plan effectively. The two 4-0 losses to Colorado and KC come to mind as well. The substitutions left something to be desired as well. Rolando Escobar for Victor Ulloa? Escobar did not bring anything to the match and pulling Victor served no purpose except getting the young man a well-deserved rest. How about the Hernandez sub for Hollingshead when we needed a goal in the last few minutes? If that sub is to happen, it should have happened at halftime. Otherwise, bring Alejandro Zendejas in, go three at the back, and add another attacker to the mix. I still have the highest faith in Oscar Pareja as the man to lead this team, but the in-game decisions needed to be better yesterday. They could have been the difference between a point and a loss.
The tackle by Matt Watson on Escobar (maybe his only contribution so far this season) was gruesome and disgusting. Leaving your feet for a two-footed tackle with the studs exposed could be dangerous and we are lucky that Rolando was not hurt too badly. Watson should see multiple games for that. Downright nasty.