FC Dallas suffered its first home defeat since August 2015 with a 1-0 reverse against fellow Supporters’ Shield contenders Colorado Rapids, who have put their destiny back in their own hands with this victory. Dominique Badji scored the lone goal of the game early in the second half for the visitors as a much changed FCD side labored up until that point and, despite the introduction of Michael Barrios and Mauro Diaz in the second half, they were unable to turn things around and had to settle for a loss at home for the first time in twenty-five games across all competitions in thirteen months.
With one eye on Tuesday’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final against New England Revolution and with a trip to another SS contender in New York City FC to come next weekend, Oscar Pareja rang the changes in this one with half of the regulars starting on the bench but saw his plan backfire ultimately as Colorado left Frisco with all three points. A damaging defeat to FCD’s SS hopes but not a fatal one and now attentions will turn to salvage the week by winning a first trophy since 1997 before turning focus back on the increasingly difficult challenge of winning a first Supporters’ Shield plate in franchise history.
Not too many positives to take out of the actual performance which was bland, uninspiring, and fairly toothless on the whole with the amount of changes made clearly negatively affecting the team on the pitch which had hardly played together before, especially in a 4-42 system. Kellyn Acosta, Diaz, and Barrios looked decent enough, but not enough to break down a compact Colorado defense.
The main positive from the game to take out is that several players managed to get some rest ahead of two big games later this week. Make no mistake about it, this Colorado match was huge but with two other equally important fixtures in the next seven days, some rotation had to take place at some point and this was probably the game that Dallas could afford to do so most. Maynor Figueroa and Carlos Gruezo, who are both expected to start the next two games, got the night off while Diaz and Barrios got a good amount of rest before they came on as well. Pareja knows with this loss that he’ll have to go with all the big guns now in this next week, but at least he got them an opportunity to rest ahead of a very demanding schedule.
Despite all that, the chance creation wasn’t too bad with the team mustering up seven shots on target from seventeen in total and only allowing one shot on goal to Colorado which was unfortunately converted. The performance might not have been very convincing but not a whole lot was done wrong and it could easily be argued that FCD was just unlucky to lose on the night in a game that does happen in this sport every now and then, especially when you go on long unbeaten runs like the one Dallas was on.
We did see a few disappointing displays from several individuals, however. Getterson was once again very ineffective from the start and it’s unlikely that he’ll get another one this year with so much to play for from here on out. Ryan Hollingshead’s struggles since his injury continued while Maximiliano Urruti and Tesho Akindele didn’t light things up in front of goal once again. Matt Hedges and Walker Zimmerman had a rare off night and struggled to deal with the pace of Colorado’s attack, which was all too evident on Badji’s goal.
With the final stage of the season now here, it’ll be important for everyone to step up collectively if FCD is to win any titles. The starters will have to maintain the high level that they’ve played at throughout the year and the depth players will have to do better if or when they get the opportunity to step in for a regular. It’ll take a real team effort for Dallas to end this year with some long awaited silverware and that’s exactly the mantra that will be put across everyone’s head by the Colombian head coach.
FC Dallas will now host in-form New England Revolution for the USOC final at Toyota Stadium tomorrow night at 9pm (CT) before going on the road to face NYCFC on Saturday in an important encounter in the hunt for the Supporters’ Shield.