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Talking Points- 10 man FC Dallas sees off Zlatan and LA Galaxy

Diaz with all three assists

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Zlatan is in town. The city is hyped up, MLS fans emerged from the boondocks to see the Swede play at Toyota Stadium. The narrative was supposed to go one way, Zlatan doing Zlatan things, however, that was not the case.

Back to the Old and Familiar

We have seen several different formations this season: three at the back, 4-4-2, 4-3-3, however, Oscar Pareja opted for the formation that brought the best out of FC Dallas back in 2016: the 4-2-3-1. We see Mauro Diaz enter in as the key playmaker with Roland Lamah and Santiago Mosquera flanked on the wings with Maximiliano Urruti up top. I believe this was carefully crafted to expose LA Galaxy’s greatest weakness, their shaky defense. Even Daniel Steres was placed at right back.

When Lamah Scores One, Expect a Second

Roland Lamah has a knack for scoring few and far between, but when he does, he tends to always get a brace. In fact, the 30-year-old has scored in nine games in his FC Dallas career, and he has scored more than one goal in six of them. Mauro Diaz was exceptional on Saturday; Lamah’s first goal was pure masterclass from the Argentinian.

Lamah could not have gotten easier service for his first goal. Mauro showed signs of pre-injury Mauro with this perfectly weighted pass and beating David Bingham with ease. The Ivorian’s second goal was just as beautiful with the Unicorn crossing the ball into the box, splitting two defenders and Lamah slotting the ball in with a well placed header while Daniel Steres was just watching. It’s nice to see Dallas’ attack working beautifully in motion.

The Defense Held Their Own After the Red

Let’s be real. That second yellow was soft. But Dallas took it to the chin and shifted their focusing to securing the three points. A blow was taken when Ema Boateng scored to make it 3-2. Jimmy Maurer was also a little lucky when Ibra’s free kick hit the crossbar. The former Cosmos shot stopper came in clutch once again when it really mattered.

Maurer’s aged like fine wine, he is playing in the best form of his career, unfortunately his GAA has reached the 1.00 mark. With some solidity at the base, and with Kellyn returning to fitness, we will begin to see more protection for Jimmy Maurer.

Final point, to my friends who may have experienced their first MLS game to watch Zlatan: come back. This is an exciting league, and FC Dallas is a strong team. The team is gelling, we have the best defense in the league, and our offense is firing once again. Mauro Diaz can go under the radar at times, but he is a special player and is playing well once again. Support your local team, MLS is way more than your Zlatan’s and David Villa’s.