FC Dallas is attempting to return to top form after a rocky start to the season. Between mental lapses in defense, lack of execution in front of goal, there is reason for concern among the FCD faithful. Between injury announcements and pairing tests, this may bring some insight on what to expect Sunday.
Anton Nedyalkov has returned to full training
The Bulgarian has struggled with discomfort in his achilles over the last couple of weeks, which has caused him to miss the second leg vs Tauro FC and the league opener vs Real Salt Lake.
The 24-year-old was training with the default starters in Matt Hedges, Reto Ziegler, and Reggie Cannon. I would expect to see Nedyalkov get at least 60 minutes on Sunday as he works to return to full fitness.
Jesse Gonzalez did not train
The homegrown has been struggling for full fitness since being knocked out of CONCACAF Champions League. Per club sources, Gonzalez is listed as questionable due to a right knee injury. Jimmy Maurer is poised to continue his run for the starting spot in goal.
“We have been working on a lot of communication through our back line, they have a very talented team in Seattle. They are one of those teams who can beat you at moment if you fall asleep for 10-20 seconds, you can lose track of guys like Lodeiro, Dempsey, Will Bruin is always causing havoc up top as well. They have a lot of dangerous pieces and we need to be ready for 90 minutes of not falling asleep.” said the former Cosmos keeper.
Expect to see a back 4
Oscar Pareja has returned to the fundamentals. He spent nearly the entire training working with the back four along with Carlos Gruezo specifically on defensive awareness. They focused primarily on the lapse that led to the goal vs RSL, through balls cut between the center back and fullback. This is being further executed by enhanced communication with each other.
Offensive partnerships are being tested
The front four that is regarded as the strongest attack would consist of Santiago Mosquera, Mauro Diaz, Michael Barrios, with Maxi Urruti in front. Today I saw some flex on the wings with Mosquera and Paxton Pomykal getting time together on the wings, being rotated with the partnership of Roland Lamah and Barrios, a combination we saw plenty of last season. This is giving me reason to believe that both Lamah and Pomykal will be making the 18 this weekend.
Ziegler practicing free kicks
The Swiss spent the last 20 minutes of training working on free kicks with Jimmy Maurer. I will say this, the guy is real good. I am unsure if he will be relieving Mauro Diaz of some of the duties, but he has a mean left foot from 20 yards out. This will be something to look for if given a free kick on the right side within shooting distance.