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What we learned against Minnesota United: Pieces fall into place

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Pareja gets it right in his 100th win

MLS: Minnesota United FC at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After a lengthy rain delay FC Dallas took down Minnesota United 2-0. Dallas were generally nonplussed by the Loons and were able to control the game. Pablo Aranguiz made his first start and is already well on his way to winning a few hearts in Frisco. Jason did a great write up about his game here complete with some awesome gifs.

Barrios could be back

Michael Barrios getting hot in the last month is one of the best things that could happen for Dallas. For FCD to be competitive going into the post season, they’re going to need momentum. In MLS the form table is a better predictor of post-season success than the regular season table. Having a guy like Barrios who if he’s on his game can absolutely terrorize defenses with his speed, does a lot to improve Dallas’ odds at bringing home silverware this season.

It could be that starting Aranguiz took pressure off of Barrios both on the field and in his mind and let him get his touch back. Having someone who can put Barrios in dangerous positions with the ball is a phenomenal asset as well and Aranguiz has the ability to do that.

I’m not expecting Barrios to score many more Countinho-esque curlers, but I do think that he can play better for the rest of the season than he has so far. Having an in-form Barrios just makes FCD even harder to deal with and gives them even more attacking options in the front 3/4.

Maxi continues to concern

You have to start worrying about Maxi Urruti. He hasn’t scored since May. That’s 12 appearances without a goal. You don’t want to just hand Dominique Badji the starting job, but it seems like he’s better suited to the team’s playing style and is the hot hand currently. The Maxi as a deeper striker/number 10 experiment was interesting, but Dallas need to be putting finishing touches on their best 11 and tactics with only 10 games left. Plus, Aranguiz can alleviate some of the pressure on the striker to contribute in build up play, so Badji can focus solely on scoring goals.

If Maxi hadn’t signed a contract this season, you would think that he’s someone that would be on their way out in the off-season, but the new contract might complicate that. It would make him a nice trade piece within MLS, though I’m not sure he’s interested in that. He is only 27 and does have a few more years left in the tank, still because he is so dependent upon his speed and work ethic I could see him regressing sooner rather than later.

Depth on display

Looking at the lineup sheet for this game is exciting. Reto Ziegler was suspended and in his place we were able to start a veteran that knows the system and is able to play both CB and LB. We had tactical fluidity with Aranguiz moving in and out of the central attacking midfield and out wide. Santiago Mosquera, who can play anywhere across the front four, subbed on and got some minutes in his return from injury. As did our beloved homegrown, Paxton Pomykal. We even brought on our leading scorer off the bench just for a little bit of oomph.

Obviously I love the team Oscar Pareja is building. Every season it feels like there are fewer and fewer weak links. I think by next season we could have the best 18 top to bottom in MLS... if we’re able to retain key players.