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What we learned against NYCFC: FC Dallas might not be giants

Dallas didn’t remain undefeated, but they’re better for it.

MLS: FC Dallas at New York City FC Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

You don’t want to draw too many conclusions, good or bad, from a game like this. The 3-1 result looks bad on paper, but the score is what it is because of a few FC Dallas mistakes and because NYCFC is a good soccer team. We had a suspicion that Dallas being the last undefeated team in MLS was more the product of good fortune than Dallas being a powerhouse this year. So going to NYC and losing isn’t anything to be devastated by. Plus, on a field that small it feels like an entirely different sport. It’s like watching MLS: Arcade Mode™, and it’s hard to ask a team to change their style of play to fit that field and be better at it than NYCFC who play half of their games there.

Be patient; we’re building something

This is not the week to start calling for any player’s head (but if you are going to call for a player’s head, it’s probably Reto Ziegler and I went on record two weeks ago expressing first concerns about him). NYCFC are a good team and they can beat just about anyone at home right now.

Dallas did well to create chances in different ways. They pressed and won the ball high up the field, crossed, and tried long balls. It’s nice to see Dallas developing different ways of attacking and creating opportunities that can be added to the arsenal. But it is frustrating to watch so many of those opportunities be squandered by a lack of clinical-ness in the final third. Each week Santiago Mosquera and Cristian Colman get more accustomed to playing with the team and hopefully some of those missed opportunities will start getting buried.

Maurer is the man once again

I still haven’t gotten used to Jimmy making miraculous save after miraculous save every week. While it’s weird to compliment a goalie in a game where he conceded three, NYC saw some solid goal scoring opportunities undone by Maurer.

I have to start wondering what comes of Jesse Gonzalez. In an alternate timeline he’s a Mexican international starting in Liga MX and I can’t imagine that he’s happy being in this one. He made the choice to declare for America and try to win his spot in the national team from MLS. So far he’s been outworked for his starting spot, that he was practically guaranteed, by a 29 year-old journeyman.

I would love to keep Jesse around because I still believe that ultimately he’s the future of this franchise, but keeping him on the bench until Maurer stops playing out of his mind may not be a luxury that Dallas has.

Jacori struggles to hang

Jacori’s passing chart for his 53 minutes against NYC

When matched up against one of the better midfield pairings in MLS of Alex Ring and Yangel Herrera, Jacori Hayes looked a little bit out of his league. Maybe it was the small field not giving him space to operate, but no matter the cause he looked shaky out there. Which is to be expected from someone who is in their first whole season as a starter for Dallas. He wasn’t able to make the impact he normally makes by recycling possession in the midfield and NYC challenged him physically when they could. But like I said earlier, be patient. Games like these have to happen. Each game this young team learns more about themselves and how they play and I’m certain that Jacori will be better for it next week.