FC Dallas played their third scrimmage/friendly today against Argentinian side San Lorenzo. The game was initially delayed to torrential downpour but eventually got under way.
In the first half, the FC Dallas team consisted of bench players. There were some bright spots that will discussed a little further down in the article, but overall, FCD was chasing the ball a lot of the half. You could see the rust and lack of cohesiveness within the team. However, as the half wore, so did FCD’s confidence.
Starting XI for the first half (4-2-3-1):— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) February 10, 2017
Gonzalez; Chala, Guillen, Harris, Cannon; Hayes, Cermeno; Reid, Morales, Pomykal; Tesho.
The first half ended with FCD being down 2-1. San Lorenzo scored their first goal on a nice bit of play cutting through the FC Dallas defense and putting a ball into the net from inside the 18 yard box.
Their second goal was scored off of a penalty attempt that was initially saved by Jesse Gonzales, who was unable to save the rebound attempt.
Dallas’ lone goal in the first half was put as an own goal after a good bit of skill by Tesho Akindele to turn a SL defender and put a shot on target that was deflected into the net.
Second Half XI (4-4-2):— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) February 10, 2017
Seitz; Figueroa, Hedges, Zimmerman, Grana; Lamah, Gruezo, Acosta, Barrios; Colman, Urruti.
In the second half, FC Dallas put in, what appeared to be their starting lineup, and went with a 4-4-2 formation. The team was flying around and looked a pretty sharp. Dallas’ was able to score the first goal of the second half through Michael Barrios who found some room out wide and was able to cut inside and beat the goalie far post.
Shortly after equalizing, San Lorenzo was able to take the lead again through a scramble in the box with FCD not able to clear the ball.
FCD was able to tie the game up in the last 15 minutes with a nice bit of play down the wing through Barrios who found Maxi Urruti in the box. Maxi was able to turn on his defender fire a shot in the bottom corner of the net.
The game ended 3-3 with no injuries, which is definitely the biggest outcome. The field was a bit chewed up and players slipping about a bit.
Anibal Chala is very, very quick. Oscar seemed to have him pushed up the pitch and wanted to utilize his ability. There were a couple of times where he was caught out of position but was able to track back with his speed. I would expect Chala to be a bit more of a project in that his passing isn’t refined yet. He seemed to panic a bit and would just clear the ball instead of playing out of trouble. He does have flashes of being a stud, it might just take a little while for it all to come together.
Pomykal, Reid, Cannon, and Hayes seemed to be very comfortable out there. They didn’t seem overwhelmed or not able to deal with the physicality of San Lorenzo. Reggie Cannon really impressed. He conceded the penalty, but it was due to a freak play more than anything he did wrong. He was in always in the right position and was threatening going forward. Reggie has a really good chance to challenge for first team minutes this year.
Cristian Colman is a big man. He uses his body very well to block off defenders and is able to distribute quite nicely while holding those defenders off. There were a couple of times in the second half where Colman started counter attacks by being the holdup man, and then playing the ball to Maxi Urruti who was running full speed at the defense. Colman didn’t really get any service in the box but his movement allowed for Barrios and Lamah to have room to cut inside.
Michael Barrios and Maxi Urruti seemed to be playing at the level of the end of last year. They looked fast and were connecting up with each other quite nicely. With the movement of Colman in the middle, it freed up Maxi and Michael to have a little more room. Even though it’s one scrimmage, I can see both players filling up the score sheet this year.
Like Colman, Ronald Lamah, is a big guy. Even with his size, he can still fly. He did a really good job of playing out wide and either crossing the ball, which had some pace on it, or cutting inside himself and trying to utilize his cannon of a left foot. With this being the first time of seeing him in a somewhat competitive match, I am very excited to see what he looks like come the MLS season.
Herman Grana looks to have not lost too much from his time in Columbus. He was able to dribble out of trouble a couple of times and get a pass off. Not all of his passes came off, but with time, one would thing that will come. It was interesting that he was with the first team, while Atiba Harris was playing CB with the bench players in the first half. It could be something as simple as Oscar needed another CB and wanted to look at Atiba or it could be that Oscar wants to see if Grana can play with the first team. I guess time will tell.
While it was only a friendly, there are a lot of positives to take out of the game. The first team looked sharp, flying around after the ball. They looked focused and were able to score two goals as well as create a few more opportunities. We are now under two weeks away from the first leg of the CCL competition and this team seems to be working extremely hard to be ready for it.