Defeat is always a tough taste to have in your mouth. For FC Dallas, defeat has been felt very little over the last six months, but when it does it hurts.
Thankfully last Saturday’s loss to the San Jose Earthquakes was a quick reminder that this team has its flaws. In some cases, really bad flaws that can still be addressed given where we are in the calendar.
A dud in the making
I don’t know what it was about this game but going into it I did have the sense that this was going to be the one that would trip this group up. A Dominic Kinnear team, like this one, always has the ability to trip up really good teams despite the fact that they are not quite on the same level.
Morales was everywhere...but where he needed to be
I’ve been a fan of Javier Morales since he came into this league but I think we’re starting to see a point where this league has passed up the veteran. Yes, he was brought in as a stop-gap for Mauro Diaz but he was such a good player for so long at Real Salt Lake that you just expected more than this.
Morales did bring a high possession rate for Dallas on Saturday night but if we’re being honest, this team isn’t built on having a lot of possession. They’re meant to lull teams into bad passes in the defensive end and then some quick counters on the opposite side.
I still think Morales can be useful in this set up though under Pareja, similar to how Mauro Rosales was used a year ago in this spot. He’s better for shorter spells right now, especially as the weather gets hotter. Still, we need him to continue to get reps until Diaz is truly 100%, which may not be for another couple months if we’re being truly honest with ourselves.
Time for some changes
Earlier in the season we saw Oscar Pareja do some player switching on the field by putting Roland Lamah on the right side and Michael Barrios on the bench. This would allow Barrios to come off the bench in late game situations and be really effective for the club. It also pushed Barrios back into the lineup for good after a couple good spells as a sub.
The same needs to happen now for Lamah. The veteran doesn’t look completely lost but he need some extra motivation here to get over whatever mental hump he has right now about playing in this league. In some situations he looks really comfortable out there but the majority of the time he does not.
I think getting him off the bench for a game or two would be wise, not only as it would allow for some extra roster rotation but it would show him that he has guys behind him in the pecking order that are pushing for his starting role.
On the same hand, I wouldn’t mind seeing Kellyn Acosta and Hernan Grana get a brief spell on the bench for a game in favor of Victor Ulloa, Carlos Cermeno or even Jacori Hayes or in Grana’s case Atiba Harris or Ryan Hollingshead. With three games in eight days this week, Acosta would seems like player that could be well suited to come off the bench at least once instead of starting. It is a marathon after all in MLS, not a sprint.
Injury to Paxton. Boy, the injury to Paxton Pomykal came at a horrible time for the young attacker. There is little doubt in my mind he would be competing for a starting spot or actually be starting right now had he not picked up that knee injury in training last week.
Jesus on the way. Saying that, I do think we’re closer to seeing Jesus Ferreira get his chance with the first team.