With FC Dallas getting a draw away at LAFC in Banc of California Stadium, we learned more about this FC Dallas team and what its away strategies will likely be for the most part this year.
Tying is good on the road
FC Dallas approached this game defensively from a tactical standpoint. When FC Dallas scored to level the game, the team could have attempted to use the momentum to attack LAFC, but instead of doing that and giving up space to LAFC to attack, the team stepped back. Oscar Pareja then did defensive substitutions, like putting Ryan Hollingshead in for Roland Lamah.
Tying on the road is generally good if you can win at home. If a team were to win all of its home games and tie all of its away games, they would get 68 points, which almost for sure is enough points to win the Supporters’ Shield. Right now, FC Dallas have gotten four road points from three games, so the road haul has been successful thus far. Unfortunately, the team has not been able to collect all three points in all of its home games, though, so getting away points may be vital for FC Dallas this year.
Counterattacking 4-4-2 formation
With Mauro Diaz sitting on the bench in another away game, it appears that this is not just to protect Diaz from injuries and to keep him from playing on turf fields, but it is a strategy for the team. On the road, it seems that Oscar Pareja wants the team to play in a 4-4-2 formation to defend the other side and counterattack them hard. Mauro Diaz is good at defending for a playmaker, but playmakers will never give as much defensive help as a box-to-box midfielder like Jacori Hayes and Kellyn Acosta, or a defensive midfielder like Victor Ulloa and Carlos Gruezo.
FC Dallas will be content with road ties this year, especially against hot teams like LAFC that are playing in front of raucous crowds. The strategy appears to be to grind out a result by playing hard defensively until winning the ball, then going straight up the field immediately on a counterattack. FC Dallas may be on to something with this away strategy, and we will see if they continue to deploy it.