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What we learned against LAFC: Jesse comes up big

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Gonzalez’s heroics help Dallas grab a point at home

MLS: Los Angeles FC at FC Dallas Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas picked up their first point of the month Sunday night against LAFC. After being thoroughly embarrassed at Banc of California Stadium, Dallas put up a better fight in Frisco. The teams clashed spiritedly with seven players receiving a booking. Again, FCD shook up their eleven to overcome the absence of Paxton Pomykal, Michael Barrios, Edwin Cerrillo, Carlos Gruezo, and Santiago Mosquera.

Depth considered...

When you put the list of players missing to injury and international call up on a piece of paper, it’s shocking. Dallas are missing arguably their best player in Paxton, the two midfielders that have been the most successful under Luchi Gonzalez’s system, and a creative attacking utility-man.

Dallas wasn’t a deep team before the absences. Most of the backups are Homegrown players or draft picks that aren’t ready for the show yet. Losing four important players and replacing them with four unproven players, but still drawing LAFC at home sounds like an achievement to me.

Club legends

Which of the club’s current players are most likely to obtain club legend status?

You have to consider not only their talent, but also how long they’re likely to stay with the team. I’m sure if Paxton spent his entire career here, FCD would do great things and he would be worshipped for it. But I don’t see Paxton, or any of the promising youngsters that contribute at the level he does, sticking around for more than a few seasons.

So who else could potentially be a club legend? Gruezo has been stellar for a few seasons now. But the lack of silverware during his FCD career makes it hard to get too romantic about his tenure. I would argue Matt Hedges already ticks all the boxes: silverware, great career, one-club-man. But who is the next one? Does one of the kids spend more of their career than we anticipated with FCD? Does Dallas grab a young DP that carries the team to new heights?

I don’t think so. I think he’s shouting at a poorly arranged wall from between the goal posts right now.

Apparently being a Jesse Gonzalez fan is more controversial than I would have expected. Back in the Oscar Pareja keeper-switching years, Jesse and Jimmy Maurer were trading games for a while. There wasn’t much of a clear consensus in the fan base about who should be the number one.

Jesse has always been haunted by narratives about him being immature, a poor leader, or unable to organize his back line. These feel like body language-type arguments to me. You don’t like the guy, so you invent and nitpick ways to denigrate him. Saying Gonzalez is immature is like calling a candidate unelectable. It means you don’t have anything meaningful to contribute to the conversation, so you’re going to invent a talking point so you can hear the sound of your own voice.

Jesse has won us more points than he’s cost us. He’s got a badass record against penalties. He spends every second he can fighting for FCD even in the face of a few bookings. Games like this remind us that we have a superstar between the sticks.

Love for Bressan

Quick history lesson on Bressan’s career: After giving up a penalty via handball in stoppage time the Copa Liberatadores semifinal, Bressan was essentially chased out of Brazil.

Since then, Gremio fans made nasty compilations of his mistakes (with an impressive number of views). If you want to learn how to say mean things in Brazillian, the replies to FCD’s official signing announcement would be a great place to start.

He’s a guy we’re happy to have around at FCD and he’s served as good depth. I hope the fans and team rally around him after what has to be a slightly traumatic night.

Who’s your pick for the next club legend? Is Cerrillo-Gruezo the go-to pairing when Edwin returns? Can Dallas redeem themselves in May by picking up points against Vancouver? Has Badji played his way back into your heart?