Well, FC Dallas always has one horrible, bad, no good loss of the season, it is usually early on in the season though. Oscar Pareja and FC Dallas got a good ole humbling when Vancouver Whitecaps defeated FC Dallas Saturday 4-0. There aren’t many positive talking points, so we will dive right in
Toledo is not a very good referee
For those who follow FC Dallas and MLS, or even any league really, there is always that one referee that not many players or fans like; and in MLS, that would be Baldomero Toledo. He has gained a reputation of giving out questionable cards during inappropriate times, and losing control of games, Saturday night was another case of this. Vancouver’s second goal was from the spot thanks to Freddy Montero. This is because Kellyn Acosta was recovering to win the ball back in the box, and Toledo called the tackle a foul and awarded the penalty.
In what universe is that a penalty? pic.twitter.com/SW4bCWC0ps— Big D Soccer (@BigDSoccer) July 30, 2017
Toledo was asked by our own Drew Epperley on this penalty call, and the response was...well....interesting.
And here is Toledo’s comments on the penalty that was called. pic.twitter.com/qJmspNUvkA— Drew Epperley (@wvhooligan) July 30, 2017
I have long been opposed to VAR in soccer, however, with these PRO referees, it may end up being a blessing more than a burden. While he did get this call, and quite a few others wrong, there is one questionable call he did get correct...
Gruezo did deserve the red
At first, I was absolutely appalled that Toledo gave Carlos Gruezo a red card for Yordy Reyna sticking his hip out to intentionally block the Ecuadorian away from the ball that was several feet from Reyna. After further reviewing the replay, I saw what most of us did not see in real time.
Completely ignore the hip check, take a look at Gruezo’s right arm after they are both on the ground. Gruezo throws an elbow at Reyna’s face, which does warrant a red card. You can definitely argue that Toledo lost control of the game well before this incident happened, heck, I’m in the same boat as that, but at the end of the day, Gruezo threw a pretty hard elbow to the face, which is in fact a red card.
In one week VAR will be instituted, and then we can debate further then if Reyna should have been carded for the hip check or anything that was done after they are on the ground. Until then, we will continue to live in the dark ages of referees making decisions in real time.
FC Dallas played their worst league game of the season
Yes, the refereeing was questionable, yes, the penalty shouldn’t have happened, yes offsides should have been called more often, but this still does not discount the fact that Dallas played terribly. The experience of Figueroa was greatly missed in that back line. The first half of the game, the fullbacks were not going forward and defensively played a very deep line.
This allowed the Whitecaps to play a high line most of the game, and they took advantage of this opportunity, catching Dallas on the break several times. Victor Ullola never found his footing in the center of the park, to where Gruezo was often times the midfielder playing further forward. Ryan Hollingshead made a few critical errors that nearly led to goals, and struggled going forward.
Michael Barrios and Roland Lamah struggled to unlock the defense from out wide, and ended up playing mindless crosses that were consistently unsuccessful. Maxi Urruti was not given ample service to catch their defense on the break. The Argentine was a work horse defensively, at one point tracking back to the defensive 18 to win a ball back.
Lastly, Jesse Gonzalez arguably had one of the worst games of his career. Jesse frequently had poor positioning when the Vancouver attack was inside the box. He even had a few Neuer-esque clearances from basically midline that was close to going awol quickly. The American even got nutmegged via a bicycle kick to rub salt in the wound of being down 4-0.
This will be a pivotal week for Oscar Pareja as he needs to refocus his team to bounce back after not scoring at home for the first time in over two years.