Maybe it was time to get rid of Oscar Pareja. Luchi Gonzalez hasn’t even coached his first MLS game and he’s already won silverware.
On Saturday, FC Dallas lifted the prestigious Mobile Mini Sun Cup with a 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls. After going down 1-0 in the 22’ minute after a poor clearance by Moises Hernandez, the boys battled back— scoring a penalty and adding another late in the second half.
Ondrasek finds his feet
While his nickname may be Cobra, Zdenek Ondrasek has looked more like an ostrich to me thus far. He’s kind of tall, gangly, and awkward. His touch has been a little heavy and he hasn’t always looked in control of his body. Until this game, he’s struggled to combine well with his teammates, which to some degree can be chalked up to lack of chemistry. Additionally, as a target man, his job isn’t as much to create as it is to cause mayhem in the box. But Saturday’s game saw a reversal of that trend when he combined nicely with Jesus Ferreira to give Dallas the lead.
He’s going to get compared to Cristian Colman a lot because they play a similar role, but Ondrasek lacks the speed that Colman does. He drifts, while Colman tries penetrating runs. Neither of those is inherently better than the other unless they result in more goals. As someone that loves tactics, I’m excited to see how a different style of striker can unlock new combinations in Dallas’ unproven attack.
Jesus: Savior and MVP
Despite my jesting earlier, I’m not reading too much into anyone’s performance in a preseason tournament, although, we are only a week away from the start of the regular season. But if I was going to overreact based on a preseason tournament (and let’s be honest, you’re probably the type to as well if you’re reading analysis of a preseason game), I’d say that Jesus looks like he’s going to be playing with the big boys this year.
Going into this offseason, most expected Jesus to be one of the key beneficiaries of the addition of a USL team. But after seeing what he can do as a winger, striker, and near the end of the game, a creative midfielder, I think the first team needs his versatility. He looks like he’s developed physically enough to compete with the big boys so much so that he won MVP of the entire tournament—gadzooks!
What more do you need? Play the kid!
Pablo wants to play
We’ve internally debated about Pablo Aranguiz’s future with the team and can’t come to a consensus without more details about the deal. To me, he’s a very high ceiling player that isn’t a DP. As much as I love Paxton Pomykal and want him to get all the minutes he can because he’s a hometown boy and US National, there were times last year that we were ready to crown Aranguiz as Mauro Diaz’s replacement, and we haven’t seen that level of play from Paxton yet.
Pablo is busting his butt on the left wing in the preseason. He’s been fantastic about tracking back and has really made an influence on the left wing. His effort is outstanding. That’s all I want to see. If it’s because he knows that Chile is watching and he wants to go home, then send him home. He deserves it. But if he’s playing for a spot in the XI, he looks like he’s earned it to me.
What did you pick up from the game? Which players are exciting you the most? Should Pablo stay or go? Should we just be handed the MLS Cup already? Let’s discuss in the comments!