The season rolls on for FC Dallas as they added another notch on their belts with a 2-1 win over New York City FC on Saturday night. Michel returned to the lineup for the first time since June and helped spark two first half goals in route to the victory over the expansion side.
Lets be real honest about FC Dallas' win over New York City FC, it was good, maybe a solid B if we were grading things. Good but not great. At the end of the day it was the three points that FCD needed to stay in the Supporters' Shield race.
Papi continues to plug away
We're 28 weeks into the year and I think it is safe to say that we should just not worry or concern ourselves too much with what Oscar Pareja does on a weekly basis with his lineup choices. We've talked all season long about depth and where the team has it and doesn't have it but Saturday proved that the team may have just enough to get away with it in key spots.
Case and point to the fact that several players were missing a week ago against Columbus due to international duty. A lot of those players didn't return to training until late in the week and Pareja opted to mix things up again by bringing some of them like Je-Vaughn Watson and Tesho Akindele back into the starting lineup. Fabian Castillo always seemed like a sure bet to start on the night but adding Watson and Akindele was a smart move on Pareja's part.
The faith that Pareja puts in his players like Akindele and Michel to step up when the club needs them to is impressive.The way these players respond to that kind of faith is possibly even more impressive.
One last thought here, I fully support bringing Michel into the game against teams like NYCFC. Slower midfields that foul a ton are his bread and butter. Also, he's had a ton of practice time on those set pieces since his last start back in June. Saturday night was a far cry from the Michel we saw earlier in the year.
Be weary of the possession
The game plan on Saturday was to always go at pace against this New York side. Michael Barrios and Castillo were going to be the key drivers in that and Akindele also provided some nice sparks when needed. New York struggled at defending the pace up front and Dallas did well to take advantage of it when they could.
As the game wore on however, New York was gaining momentum and the pace up front was starting to lag a bit. FCD's tendency of late to let the other side possess the ball in bunches in hopes of springing a counter attack is a dangerous sword to play with, especially on a night where Castillo was rather quiet for the second half.
Lately, Dallas has faced a lot of shots and a lot of attempts on their defensive part of the field. Maybe this is due to the team sitting back more in hopes of protecting Jesse Gonazlez more or it is just a part of wanting to counter more with the pace. As the competition ramps up in the final few weeks of the season, those fast break chances are going to be tougher to come by when you play teams that also go at you with pace like Vancouver and Sporting KC.
Kids on the field. Seriously, what the hell was that about?
Problems in NYC. Boy, you have to feel for Jason Kreis and what he is trying to do in New York. He wanted the challenge of building a team from scratch but probably not like this. Also, we may have witnessed some history on Saturday with NYCFC pulling all three DPs in the game. I don't think any team in MLS that has started three DPs has ever subbed all of them out in one game before.
No Cirigliano. I was a bit surprised late with Pareja's subs though after some review, I thought they were all correct. Maybe it was just timing of them in the moment. Either way, no Ezequiel Cirigliano in this on was a total disappointment. I think had FCD lost this game with Michel in the midfield, there would have been a bigger out cry as to why Cirigliano didn't start. Also, the Walker Zimmerman sub late was bold but totally correct as FCD needed a bigger body in the back to defend the set pieces that NYC was picking up.