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What we learned from FC Dallas’ scoreless draw in Orlando

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VAR continues to be the thorn in our side.

MLS: FC Dallas at Orlando City SC Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas concluded a busy three games in eight day stretch that saw them go from Minnesota, to Frisco, to Orlando. Dallas picked up a 0-0 draw in Orlando to wrap up September with a new shutout streak of two games.

There was plenty of gather from this game between Oscar Pareja’s new found love of his current lineup, to yet another game that FCD got screwed through video replay...or lack there of.

VAR...what is it good for?

The big point for all of us in this one was the lack of video replay being used in the second half on a clear handball in the box by Orlando defender Seb Hines on a shot from Kellyn Acosta.

Deep down we all know that was a hand ball. We also probably know that shot would have beaten Joe Bendik.

I know it is easy for us to play the homer card of things like this but we’ve seen too many times this season that officials aren’t quick enough to trust this new video process. Center official Armando Villarreal had a tough second half where his calls were a bit all over the place. By not trusting his VAR on this play, it not only potentially kept two more points out of FC Dallas’ hands but it showed just how much further we have to go until VAR is a good thing in this league.

More JaviMo please

Last Wednesday appeared to be out preview into the mind of what Pareja wants to do heading into the post season. Instead of a 4-2-3-1 look like we’ve grown accustom to here, we’re seeing more of a 4-3-3 with Javier Morales playing that role in the midfield along side Mauro Diaz. The two of them work well in space with one another and it allows Carlos Gruezo to be the bulldozer type player in the middle of the park in front of the defense.

I wasn’t expecting to see that same look on Saturday, given the short turn around and travel but Pareja stuck with what worked against Colorado and tried it against Orlando. In some ways, it was to work out some kinks. In other ways, it was because he’s been waiting for this moment in the season to unleash Morales in the same way he did last year with Mauro Rosales.

Think about it, a gritty MLS veteran that knows how to navigate a tough playoff push and the playoffs themselves. It adds up well even if it does push guys like Kellyn Acosta out of the lineup.

At the end of the day, I enjoyed what I saw out of Morales. He good on the ball and helped put Diaz in better spots. While he may not provide the defensive cover, it wasn’t exactly an issue on the road this past Saturday until...

Evolution of Jesse

...Jesse Gonzalez stood on his head in the final ten minutes. Seriously, at one point he took a ball straight to the face. The face! I know at times we’ve been frustrated by our defensive and keeper situation this season but Gonzalez has grown so much over the course of this season.

He’s brought in some of his best work as of late too. Pitching shutouts in three out of the last four matches. I know the game in Minnesota was rough but I don’t fault him for that. Same for how the game was in Atlanta a couple weeks before. If anything, he kept FCD closer in that one from being worse.

They always say a good keeper can earn you points in this league and I would argue that Gonzalez has done so on a couple occasions this season.