When a team has a disappointingly stinky result, my Workhorse column here likewise suffers a dearth of voters stepping up. Thus, no one claimed a Workhorse nod last week, even though Paxton and Ryan were knocking on the door. It was a pretty miserable performance against Orlando though.
Season Saving Win
On Saturday night, FC Dallas knew what they were up against. Their playoff positioning was teetering on the edge. The team was playing pretty poorly, struggling to put shots on goal and suffering some defensive breakdowns. Question marks loomed over Frisco like those terrifying spring thunderstorms. Couple that with a fairly tepid summer transfer window, for good reasons and bad, fans were frustrated. They let Gina, Zenotta, and others know via any method available to them, including Facebook Live.
Minnesota United had just booked a ticket to an Open Cup final, so while squad rotation was expected, this is a team that is hungry and in form. They were not going to march into Frisco and give up a chance for points against a struggling Dallas side. Meanwhile, FC Dallas seemed to sound all the right notes and alarms, that it was time to figure this thing out, break the dam, and stake a claim for a playoff spot.
In return, with all of these precipitating forces at work, FC Dallas fans got a hell of a show in Frisco on Saturday.
Bonker goals. Scintillating passing. Late game heroics. Spitting players. Drama. A come from behind win.
You can't ask for a better game for neutrals, at least, with a total of eight goals, and FC Dallas now surges with a bit of renewed confidence (even if problems remain). Is this what they need to get over the hump and back in good form? Will fans respond with a little love for this hard-working team with young players itching to make a difference?
The Defense Is In Shambles
I have no idea what happened on Saturday, but the defense was an absolute mess. Maybe Matt Hedges wasn’t 100%, coming off after halftime, but the four players on the back line looked like they had just met for the first time. No communication. Missed clearances. Lack of focus. No bite. Chaos and confusion. Jesse Gonzalez stepped up and did what he can, blocking several saves, but in the end, Minnesota scored 3 goals which varied from wonderful to circus-like in quality. The defense has got to do better.
This is a good argument that pushes back against calls to Play the Kids. If those were all youngsters, you’d laugh and chalk it up as a learning experience. Instead, the veterans looked like they were simply unprepared, out of step, and not up for the match. It’s too late in the season for that stuff.
Go to the Back Post
Finally, something I hope Luchi preaches over and over again in practice, go to the back post.
Dominique Badji, want to score goals? Go to the back post.
Santiago Mosquera, want to score goals? GO TO THE BACK POST.
Anybody on this team, anyone at all, want to score? GO TO THE DAMN BACK POST.
Oh, Brandon Servania? Is that you at the back post? Here are two goals for your hard work.
Saturday night, I was not in a good mood. I was tired of the way this team came out, generating a bunch of somewhat juicy chances to only see them easily parried away by Minnesota’s goalkeeper, skied into orbit, or just lead to nothing. When FCD gave up the opening goal, I was ready to check out. Thank God Ryan Hollingshead, Paxton Pomykal, Reggie Cannon, and Michael Barrios went the full 90 and kept fighting for their shirts and this season. This was a wild and fun game. You should vote for one of those guys, by the way.
And I’m ready for more.
Cast your vote for Workhorse of the Week.
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