I’ve complained an awful lot this season about FC Dallas’ inability to generate chances. I should be much happier than I am right now after Dallas took 26 shots (nine on target). Of course, stats like shots can be misleading. Only 35% of Dallas’ shots came from inside the box, for Vancouver that number was 58%. I like watching Servania rip them as much as the next guy and it’s nice to see 26 shots on the stat sheet, but Dallas need to convert shots into goals. This week was progress, but when you watch this team play, you’re still not sure who you can rely on to score.
With his goal Wednesday night, Jesus Ferreira has claimed the title as top scorer. I’m impressed with his game, he has a unique skill set, and is our best striker at age 18, but I haven’t been convinced that he’s a guy who can consistently put away goal scoring opportunities this season. I have no doubt that he’s capable of growing into that player, but he just isn’t a goal scoring machine yet. Partially that’s because it’s not in his nature, he drops a little deep to ever be that guy. Either way, if the goals aren’t coming from the 9, Dallas have to find them elsewhere.
For a month or two at the beginning of the season Michael Barrios was that guy. He put away the chances he had and was on an assist tear. But as he’s been struggling to score, Dallas haven’t found a consistent source of goals to replace his production.
The way Dallas are currently playing, a lot of attacking emphasis has been put on Ryan Hollingshead he has the team’s second most shots with 24 (Ferreira-34, Barrios-21). We raved about Ryan earlier in the season and have always lauded his ability to play so many different positions, but he’s just not sharp in the final third. I know he scored this week, but it’s not like he actually meant to. Ryan being so important to the attack says more about the passive play on the left wing that has allowed him so many chances. With new blood in that position, Ryan should hopefully see a diminished role.
Does Dallas have a guy who can put away opportunities consistently? That’s been the question since Blas Perez’s hay day. I’m of the opinion that there isn’t a guy on the roster that can do it, yet. So until then, the system has to change. Hit them hard and fast on the counter, give Barrios and Ferreira one on ones, let Badji stretch the back line and use his good hold up play to create chances for players around him.
How do you fix the attack? Does it need fixing? Should you trust the system or burn it down? Is the problem in the attack or the defense?