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What we learned against the Houston Dynamo: How inescapable suffering feels

That was a rough one.

MLS: FC Dallas at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas lost the lead late against the Houston Dynamo to draw 1-1. Despite that, Dallas are still on top of the Western Conference standings, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

Hello disappointment, my old friend

Forget billboards, forget commercials, forget public transportation to Frisco. The best way for FCD to get people to games is to have some sort of punch card for fans that watch games like these. Sat through 90 minutes of uninspired and boring soccer? Have a punch. Watched Dallas lead for most of the game just to give up the lead in the closing minutes? Have a punch. I feel like that would engage the core fans and get dedicated fans out to Frisco.

It can be draining as an FC Dallas fan when disappointment feels like second nature. There is a constant and inescapable since of doom as a supporter that sucks the optimism out of you. I liked the way we played in the first half. I was all ready to rave about our ability to pass out of the back and how good Maynor Figueroa’s passing range is, and how we look cohesive, at least the back line, Victor Ulloa, and Carlos Gruezo do. But here I am dejectedly typing this out between sighs.

Tesho performs as expected

This is the worst passing chart I have ever seen in 82 minutes of game time

Tesho Akindele completed five forward passes (if you count that one on the left that is one degree away from being sideways)

For a split second, I thought starting Tesho made sense. I saw him win a few headers and thought maybe if he gets involved in the air in the box then he can make an impact. I think he won two headers and then proceeded to contribute nothing the rest of the game. I understand wanting to have a veteran presence in the team in a derby, but nothing about the way Tesho plays feels very veteran-ly. He sucks the energy out of the attack and struggles to get the simple things right. What good is all our depth if we’re still going to play Ryan Hollingshead, Tesho, and Cristian Colman?

You have to wonder what’s going on with Paxton Pomykal that it seemed like he was ready to make the jump into the first team in the off season and now he can’t get a look. I will never fully lose trust in Pareja because of how well he handled the development of Reggie Cannon (maybe Cannon’s success has nothing to do with Oscar Pareja?), but when he starts Tesho and Paxton can’t get any minutes, it’s hard to have faith. All you can do is try not to think about it too much and trust in Papi.

Free kicks need work

We were just awful on set pieces. We could really use Kellyn Acosta, Mauro Diaz, or even Reto Ziegler because some of the free kicks we took were the worst I’ve ever seen. Dallas don’t create enough chances on the road (or period) to waste free kicks from dangerous locations. Ulloa and Pablo Aranguiz have to improve their delivery. Why not try more school yard free kick routines? We have a consistent core of players that feature enough to be able to execute something like that. Dallas have to find a way to scrounge up goals when the strikers aren’t striking and their poor free kicks have been wasted opportunities.

P.S. VAR sucks

P.P.S. Houston aren’t even our real rivals