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Training Notes: Set pieces a focus for FC Dallas

Golazos from Morales and a scorpion kick from Hume

MLS: Toronto FC at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off of a second straight frustrating loss, there isn’t much you can do in Frisco other than be patient. FC Dallas knows that they have the quality to see of Colorado, but they have to execute. Abandoning a game plan that has made you the best team in MLS the last three seasons is over reactionary and causes more harm than good. Practice last week felt intense and aggressive, but it felt like Dallas realized that there isn’t much they can do except go with the flow. The team was all smiles during warm ups and took to a normal practice routine.

Thursday’s practice took place in Toyota Stadium as the team geared up for Saturday’s match up against the Colorado Rapids. After light stretching the players worked on one-two’s resulting in shots on miniature goals. Next they broke off into position groups. Wide players stood on their respective wings and worked on their crossing while interior players passed amongst themselves around a dummy before sending the ball out wide to be crossed. Dallas has been far from clinical out wide this year, and no one in particular impressed.

They broke from that drill to another variant that worked on making the most of dead ball situations, something Dallas hasn’t done very well this year. They’ve only scored two goals from corner kicks this year, and one free kick in MLS play. Walker Zimmerman and Matt Hedges combined for five goals last season and were an intimidating pair on corners, but they’ve only scored one goal between the two of them this season.

That has a lot to do with the absence of Mauro Diaz, who is generally very dangerous from corners and free kicks, early in the season. Although it was Javier Morales who stole the spot light with his free kick ability today, as he consistently was able to put the ball in the top corner from range. Walker Hume received applause from his teammates after scoring with a clever scorpion flick.

Notably absent from first team drills was Kellyn Acosta as he got some much needed rest after a busy last few weeks. Acosta has been putting in double duty with both FC Dallas and the national team, even appearing in the All-Star game in-between. While the team practiced Acosta did some light jogging with a fitness coach. Acosta should be available for Saturday’s game as this is customary for players to get a rest day from time to time during busy stretches of the season.