FC Dallas battled Argentines Racing Club in a pair of 70-minute friendlies on Saturday morning in Buenos Aires.
Both scrimmages saw Tesho Akindele find the back of the net to keep FC Dallas level with their Argentine hosts.
FCD Lineup: Chris Seitz, Maynor Figueroa, Matt Hedges, Atiba Harris, Hernan Grana (Reggie Cannon 55), Carlos Gruezo, Roland Lamah, Carlos Cermeno (Kellyn Acosta 36), Michael Barrios, Maxi Urruti (Anibal Chala 36), Cristian Colman (Akindele 45)
FCD got off to a bit of a slow start in their fourth friendly of the preseason. Racing Club got on the board first with a goal eight minutes in off a corner kick. Racing midfielder Pulpo Gonzalez cut in front of his defender and beat Seitz on the near post.
Twenty minutes in we saw the first real combination between Barrios and Colman of the preseason. Barrios played a short pass to Colman on the right side and the new Dallas Designated Player opted to rip a long drive low and towards the post that forced Racing’s keeper to make a diving stop.
Dallas finally got on the board in the later stages of the first scrimmage. Chala raced up the left side and played a ball into the six yard box where Akindele was there to get on the end of it to tie the game.
FCD Lineup: Jesse Gonzalez, Chala (Walker Zimmerman 36), Aaron Guillen, Walker Hume, Cannon (Dakota Barnathan 36), trialist, Jacroi Hayes, Jesus Ferreira (Mauro Rosales 36), Javier Morales, Paxton Pomykal, Akindele (Adonijah Reid 36).
Pareja opted to go with a bit of a reserve heavy lineup in the second scrimmage but he did mix in a fair amount of starters in this one too.
Ferreira nearly put FC Dallas up a goal in the 21st minute of the second match. The Homegrown beat his defender inside at the top of the box before hitting a shot low and to the left of the Racing goalkeeper.
Akindele scored his second goal of the day in the 33rd minute thanks to a great build up along the right side of the field. Paxton Pomykal delivered the final pass, sending a curling cross right to Akindele. The Canadian international finished the ball well beating the Racing keeper on the back post.
Racing’s second unit took over in the second portion of this game as they started to chip away at the young Dallas midfield and defense. Finally in the late stages Brian Guille was able to beat Gonzalez to make it a 1-1 final.
Thoughts on the day
Anyone tired yet? Seriously, four games in four days is a whip and we’re only half way there in this trip. Pareja continues to mix and match his formations and lineups in this trip, something I for one am enjoying. We’re getting a good glimpse into what we can expect to see from time to time this season.
Set pieces again. This was an issue early last season and I assume it could be an issue early on this year as well. Set piece defending has to improve before the CCL. Seeing a guy win a goal on a near post run off a corner kick is never good. It will get better though, I trust that.
Akindele with a lot to prove. Today reminded me what Akindele can actually bring to this club. He isn’t going to wow anyone with his shooting or pace but he does have that hard work rate that you love to see in a player. And because of that high work rate, things are paying off for him here in Argentina with some goals.
Young guys are ready. We may be a bit early in saying it but there is a lot to like about Hayes, Reid, Pomykal and Ferreria. All four looked really good again today and are brining a lot of fire and energy to the field when they are on it. I can see each of them being big time subs in games this year. Reid in particular just has a nose for goal.