FC Dallas is heating up with the Texas summer weather. The last four games played in North Texas (including US Open Cup) have been wins for FC Dallas. The win against Toronto FC on Saturday helped propel Dallas past three Western conference teams in the standings: Houston, San Jose, and Portland.
Now FC Dallas holds the second position in the West halfway through the season. More than anything however, this win should serve as a confidence boost to this team that took a surprisingly long time to settle into the season, but now seems to be getting hot. Several questions were answered from this performance. Let’s take a look back at some of those answers.
Lamah's previous goal scoring was not a fluke
After scoring twice against Toronto, Roland Lamah now has six goals this year for FC Dallas, which is nothing to joke about. FC Dallas' new winger is showing us that his slow start to the season is behind him, and he is contributing well as a goal-scoring winger. His brace shows us that his hat trick versus Real Salt Lake was not just a fluke against a weak side.
It's especially good to see that Mauro Diaz assisted Lamah on his second goal of the night. That is a positive indication of what can come for this team. The passing ability and vision of Diaz should help Lamah have more performances like this one in the future.
Something interesting to note is that Lamah seems to score early on in matches. All six of his goals this year have been within the first thirty-one minutes of a match.
Harris and Figueroa can hold the back together just fine
Atiba Harris and Maynor Figueroa, both not natural center backs, each had a huge game for FC Dallas. They were tested by a potent Toronto offense that consisted of the likes of Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore, and Michael Bradley. The help of a strong defensive midfield pairing (consisting of Gruezo and Ulloa on Saturday) definitely helped, but Atiba and Figueroa were able to heavily limit Toronto's attack.
Pareja is comfortable switching formations during a match.
With each substitution he made, the team changed how they looked, and it seemed to result in only positives for the team.
(1) The team started in their usual 4-2-3-1.
(2) Tesho subbed on for Diaz, switching the team to a 4-4-2.
(3) Carlos Cermeño switched on for Lamah. The team went to a 4-5-1 with three central midfielders, none of them playing as a Diaz-type playmaker.
(4) Aaron Guillen came in for Michael Barrios. Guillen occupied the left fullback position and moved Ryan Hollingshead into the midfield. Hollingshead played like a fullback/winger combo. A defensive left midfielder.
These changes came right in the middle of a contested match against a potential Supporter's Shield rival. It was impressive how Dallas kept in their stride with all these changes with no problems.
Barrios got another assist. Barrios is now in third place in MLS for his assist count this year, with eight of them. Some people just look at Barrios' goal scoring "slump," but I see a Barrios that is contributing a lot to this team and looks AT LEAST like his normal self causing problems to opposing defenses with his speed.
Urruti on fire. Maxi Urruti has a goal per 90 rate of .68 this year. He happens to be tied with last year's MLS MVP, David Villa. Urruti also picked up his fourth assist of the season, tying his assist count from all of last year. He became the first FCD player to score ten goals in a season since Blas Perez did so in 2014.