A new season is here, which means hot takes have returned! A lot has changed since the Hoops have played a competitive match, new players in, saying goodbye to old faces, and a new coach leading the charge. FC Dallas took on Brad Friedel and New England Revolution for the first MLS match under new head coach Luchi Gonzalez. Goals by Michael Barrios and Carles Gil sees FC Dallas split the points and maintain their opening day unbeaten run.
Barrios looked like his old self
One of the gripes the last season or so is that Michael Barrios has been figured out, he ran down the flank and either loses the ball or crosses it in mindlessly. With the Colombian being the most tenured attacker, he took charge Saturday afternoon and took matters into his own hands.
The touching moment with it was he paid tribute in his celebration doing the bow and arrow that Maxi Urruti is known for. After New England scored their goal, Dallas looked a bit more stagnant, but the flashes we have seen between preseason and in the first half, there is a budding partnership growing between Mikey and Dominique Badji. This will be a partnership to look out for over the next several weeks.
Bryan Acosta is an upgrade
I know this is way too soon to say after one competitive game, but I honestly believe that Bryan Acosta is an upgrade on the options from last season. In 2018 we had Gruezo, Hayes, Kellyn Acosta, and Victor Ullola. Vic and Kellyn are gone; Kellyn made a move that was best for his career, he was not thriving in Pareja’s system anymore and was struggling. Victor Ullola got picked up by FC Cincinnati, which for the crowd that loves the homegrown movement, it was unfortunate to see him leave. However, neither were guaranteed starters and weren’t playing like world beaters as the season wore on.
Bryan Acosta just buzzing around. Loving his play.— The 19th Minute (@The19thMinute) March 2, 2019
Acosta was lively with the ball, playing some exciting through balls, and was all over the place off the ball that makes me excited for 2019. I am hopeful that the new Honduran DP signing will prove beneficial to Luchi’s sytle of play and will be a strong number 8 to link the defense to the attack.
#LuchiGang is here, and I am all about it
Okay, I couldn’t help myself. I am all about it when FC Dallas posts something engaging. But in all seriousness, Saturday was a glimpse of what is to come in the Luchi era. This team presses high, dominates possession, and sees the fullbacks playing high. I am expecting Reggie Cannon to have a breakout year and we will see what he can do as an attacking fullback. The defense still needs to click some, there were a ton of misplaced passes early on, but as the game settled, they got into their groove.
We will see more of the likes of Paxton Pomykal, Jesus Ferreira, etc. getting the playing time they have waitied on for years. We thought #PlayTheKids was something under Papi, Luchi developed these players, and knows how to get the best out of each of them. Pair them up with the imports such as Bressan, Acosta, and Cobra (played for NTSC in their preseason game, keep an eye on that), this has the potential of being an exciting team. Or, some people with MLS digital may be right and we finish 10th, who knows. But I am believing that this team has the tenacity to do something exciting this season.