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FC Dallas vs LAFC: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Another draw may seem lame to some but getting results on the road is important.

MLS: FC Dallas at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas was on the road again this week, traveling to the west coast to take on LAFC last Saturday. Playing in New York and then turning around to travel to California the following week isn’t ideal, but Dallas was able to deal with it. FCD came away from the match with a 1-1 draw, which is a pretty good result. Anytime you play a playoff caliber on the road anything other than a loss is acceptable.

The Good

Dallas has gotten points in seven out of the eight games they have played this year. Sure, another win, here or there would’ve been more ideal, but consistently getting some kind of result, is great. Take into effect that the team is also still coming together and trying to figure out the best way to play. I would say 13 points out of eight matches is respectable. If Dallas can keep the pace of 1.65 points per match, they will finish the season with roughly 55 points, which in most season is good enough for first or second best record in the West. There is still a lot of soccer left to be played, but coming off the collapse of last year, I think we can all be somewhat satisfied that FC Dallas is heading in the right direction.

The Bad

For the second week in a row, the holding midfielders struggled early on in the game. This week’s pairing, Carlos Gruezo and Victor Ulloa couldn’t seemed to find anyone to link up with to move the ball up the field. Too many times, they were forced to just hoof the ball and hope one of the attacking-three FCD players could get onto the end of it. To be fair, Vic and Carlos play the same position in the way they move and pass the ball. Neither are going to be your box to box midfielder, instead, they are both best suited sitting in front of the backline providing cover. Unfortunately, when both are sitting that deep, it allows opposing teams to overrun the midfield and keep FC Dallas pinned back against their own goal, which was certainly the case for long stretches of the first half.

Eventually Vic was subbed off before half time due to injury. You would have to think that move was going to be coming either way at the start of the second half. Luckily, Oscar was able to notice the problem and put Jacori Hayes out there who was able to connect with the midfield and help link up passes to relieve the pressure on the backline.

It showed a lot that Jacori was the called into the match before Kellyn Acosta. It looks like Oscar isn’t going to toss his new toy aside now that Kellyn is back. Instead, he appears to be looking at a way to get them both on the field. Late in the second half, after Dallas had equalized the score, Oscar brought Kellyn into the match, pairing him with Jacori and Carlos. The three of them then spent the rest of the game trying to keep a talented LAFC midfield at bay. This midfield situation is going to be super interesting going forward. Oscar has options and is hopefully able to keep pulling the right strings to get the desired results.

The Ugly

Normally I don’t care where the FC Dallas game is broadcast from. I would prefer our regional broadcast with Mark Followill and Steve Davis, but ESPN, FS1, and Univision are usually fine. For whatever reason on Saturday, the commenters were terrible. Yes, it’s strange when the two commenters start talking about a LAFC vs Atlanta championship game in the thirtieth minute of a match involving Dallas, but it’s whatever. The point that really grind my gears was it seemed like the two gentlemen hadn’t even watch any Dallas footage from this year. I get LAFC is the big draw, but at least do the viewer a solid by studying both teams before saying completely false statements.

At one point, they play-by-play game said something to effect of, “FC Dallas loves to keep to keep possession of the ball.” That couldn’t be more from the truth. FC Dallas would rather teams push their back lines up high so they can sneak in behind them. Go back and watch clips of the FCD vs Philadelphia match. Dallas let Philly have the bulk of possession, but would hit them on the counter, over and over again. (There were numerous other comments, but since i don’t remember the quotes verbatim, I don’t want to misquote the gentlemen)

I understand that I follow the team more closely than the Univision guys, but I also don’t get paid to do so. It’s about respect for me. If you don’t know much about both teams, then do some research. Figure out what makes both teams tick and what they are trying to accomplish. FC Dallas hasn’t held the majority of possession on the road since September of last year and that was against a terrible Colorado team.

On top of that, I would argue that a lot of FC Dallas issues last year was due to teams not allowing them to counter as much. Opposing teams were holding their back lines further back and just daring FCD to break them down without countering. They couldn’t. So, in reality, FC Dallas doesn’t love to keep possession of the ball.

The schedule doesn’t really get any easier this week as LA Galaxy come into Toyota Stadium. With the Galaxy are currently on a three game losing streak, I would expect them to show up and play. Hopefully Dallas is able to score enough to secure all three points.