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Scratching the Chalkboard: Floodgates opened as FC Dallas finally found some offense

FC Dallas gave the home crowd a memorable finale

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Unless FC Dallas ends up facing against New England Revolution in the MLS Cup Final on Nov 10, Dallas gave the home crowd quite a fireworks display on the field by routing Sporting Kansas City 6-0 and punching their ticket into the 2019 playoffs. Dallas entered the game in control of their destiny on #DecisionDay and started the game strong by opening the scoring before the 10 minute mark and didn’t let up until the final whistle.

Give it up for Acosta

Last week I picked on Bryan Acosta and Luchi Gonzalez for the defensive failures in the midfield; Acosta for not understanding his defensive responsibilities when partnered with Jesus Ferriera and Paxton Pomykal and also for Gonzalez for running that midfield trio and placing Acosta out of his natural position.

This week, paired with Brandon Servania, Acosta delivered a fantastic performance in the midfield.

Acosta’s passing chart vs SKC

It was Acosta’s route 1 pass that led to the opening goal for the hosts:

Acosta did only manage four defensive actions, not nearly enough for a midfielder but when you realize that he needs a complementary partner like Brandon Servania, he doesn’t need to worry too much about his defensive responsibilities.

Acosta’s defensive actions vs SKC
Servania’s defensive actions vs SKC

Servania quietly had his best match of the season, which led to Acosta shining too. It was encouraging to see the triple pivot get going again this weekend. There’s been a heavy rotation of midfielders playing in those three spots, and Luchi Gonzalez desperately needed to find a working combination he could build off of before the playoffs began.

What’s fascinating is that his trio of Ferreira, Acosta and Servania may be the best rotation at the moment, and it doesn’t feature the team’s best player - Paxton Pomykal, who couldn’t break into the game in this one.

It’s about damn time

Santiago Mosquera was brought in before the 2018 season as a Young Designated Player, meant to fill the cleats of the vacated left wing spot that was previously occupied by Fabian Castillo. Mosquera showed flashes of promise in 2018, but didn’t deliver enough consistent performances expected of a Young DP due to injuries.

2019 was even worse for Mosquera who struggled to find his way under Luchi Gonzalez and barely looked fit enough to go beyond 60 minutes in any given game. Mosquera was coming into the season finale with just 2 goals and an assist to his name; far below the offensive output you expect from a player taking up a coveted DP spot.

Finally, Mosquera put together what was perhaps his best performance in an FCD shirt earlier today with his goal and assist output.

Mosquera’s offensive chart vs SKC

And nothing captured the expectations of Mosquera than this work to set up Matt Hedges:

It was a delightful piece of individual work to create the goal scoring opportunity, but it was this moment when he took the second to check his shoulder that made everything possible.

By taking a quick look, Mosquera quickly checks to see if he’s onside and where his teammates are. Once Servania gets him the ball, he knows he has Zdenek Ondrasek and Matt Hedges in the area. He just had to create an opening to get the ball across.

It was just one moment, but those are the moments that win you three points and possibly advances you in the playoffs.

But it wasn’t just that one moment, Mosquera played with confidence and was careful with the ball when he was pressured. He didn’t rush the plays but kept it moving into spaces to unbalance the defender before turning on them. It was a very good display and one that many Dallas fans will hope continues when Dallas travels to Seattle in two weeks.