It was just the response everyone was looking for from FC Dallas after last week's humiliation in Houston as Dallas got back on track with a 2-0 triumph over early pacesetters Montreal Impact. A pair of well taken goals from Mauro Diaz and Maximiliano Urruti did the job on Saturday night for FCD, but it was the overall positive attitude and commitment throughout the 90 minutes that caught the eye of most, including Oscar Pareja who looked pretty content afterwards. Let's look at some of the main points that were taken out of this game from a FCD viewpoint:
1. The whole team maintained a high level of concentration throughout the match. After looking very sloppy an giving away cheap goals last week, this was pretty much the polar opposite of that game from FC Dallas. Pareja only made one change to the derby losing team, but it looked like a completely different side that took to the field as everyone played with so much more confidence and kept their focus throughout. It was more of a continuation of what we saw in Week 1 against Philadelphia with the Houston game being a 'let's pretend like it never happened' in between, like we all hoped for since then.
2. Defensively, everything was done nearly perfectly. Considering that FCD were coming off a five goal loss and Montreal were in blistering form with six goals from two games, this was an outstanding display from the men at the back which will surely ease some of their early critics. They limited the Canadian visitors to just two attempts on goal, with only one of any real significant danger, so credit must be given where it's due and praise is in order for everyone that's managed to recover so well mentally from such a terrible performance last week.
3. Offensively, things were much better too. As soon as the game started, FCD laid siege to Montreal's goal and it looked like they could score on almost every attack for much of the contest. Michael Barrios and Ryan Hollingshead got the right side more involved in any foray forward while Diaz ran the show when he had the ball at his feet. It was an impressive display up front against a strong opponent, especially when considering that Fabian Castillo still doesn't look fully recovered from his injury and Urruti isn't quite settled in yet in the team's playing system either.
4. Gruezo-Acosta may not be the right CM partnership going forward. The problem here might be the fact that the two players are too similar to each other, which some have already pointed out on this board. Pareja opted with Victor Ulloa from the start instead of Acosta on Saturday and there looked like a considerable improvement than what we saw in that area in the first two games. It's hard to imagine a FCD lineup these days without Kellyn Acosta in it so finding room for him elsewhere could be a possibility, but pairing him with the Ecuadorian acquisition doesn't seem to be the right idea going off the evidence we have so far. Too early to rule it out though.
5. Urruti may have scored, but his performances leave more left to be desired. His goal was a beauty on the half volley which showed that he has flashes of abilities in him, but much like the man he replaced from last year in David Texeira, he doesn't get involved enough in play and offer off-the-ball movement for the likes of Diaz to feed him proper service. 2 goals in 3 games is a good start statistically wise, but his displays haven't been awe-inspiring up until now. Let's hope that the best is yet to come from the Argentine as he gels in with his new teammates and understands what is expected of him in this team's system.