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A few more thoughts on FC Dallas’ win over Minnesota United

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Between the goals, the hustle and the heat, this game had a lot to think about.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

So it has been a little while since I actually broke down a game in more detail. But Saturday’s FC Dallas game was certainly one that had plenty to offer and a lot going on within it that required additional viewings on my part.

Below are a few key thoughts I had following the 5-3 win over Minnesota United.

Santi’s goal

Was it a cross? Was it just a shot? That is something folks will want to debate for some time but I believe it falls more in the “why the hell not” kind of shot taking. Keep in mind the long run up Santiago Mosquera had before even attempting this wild shot on goal.

No matter what you call it, the point is that this is the kind of goal that Mosquera desperately needed on the season. For everything we saw out of him early on in preseason, we assumed this was going to be his year to carry the attack. It just hasn’t been due to injuries, his inability to go 90 minutes, the distribution to him, or anything else that is worth mentioning.

But here we are, going into the most important stretch of the season and he is scoring bangers. He may not end up with double digit goals on the season like we had hoped for but this feels like it could be the start of a nice run out of him to keep the attack flowing.

Jesus’s hustle

When we saw the lineup card come out on Saturday night, the important thing in my mind was where Jesus Ferreira was lined up. He wasn’t on the wing. He wasn’t the lone striker. He was in the midfield as a double #8/10 with Paxton Pomykal (those were Luchi Gonzalez’s words on how he set them up, not mine).

We’ve talked a bunch about where his best position is on the field right now, but we may need to spend more time as a whole talking about this formation that was used against Minnesota. It broke the offensive funk for sure and lot of it had to do with Jesus’ hustle on the ball and off the ball. Plus, like the highlight showed above, he was all over the place my friends. At that point in the game, he was playing up front and helping break up a counter attack. You love to see it.

Go wide my friends

Nathan talked about this a little bit in his Workhorse poll today but it is always worth mentioning how important it is to stretch out a defense with wide play. I look at the number of crosses on the night (23) with how many goals were scored at the back post and I can’t help but wonder what this team would be like if they played more to this strength than trying to work through the middle of the park as much as they do.

I do think it is also worth pointing out just how smart the runs by Brandon Servania were on Saturday night. It is crazy to think that Luchi almost didn’t put Servania in when he did. He was about to put in Bryan Reynolds instead just moments before.

The heat was a factor

I talked about this with Ryan Hollingshead a bit after the game. Both teams had to deal with the heat, so it really wasn’t an excuse but as Hollingshead put it to me, you can pretty much take out 5-10% of what you’d normally be able to do when playing in heat like Saturday night. And that may just be on the physical side too. The mental side was pretty obvious in the three goals given up by the Dallas defense.

What’s to come

This was the start of a huge week for FC Dallas. Three games in eight days is no joke in this league, especially when you add in the travel that FCD will have to deal with this week (they’ll head to LA tomorrow for Wednesday’s game and then fly to Montreal to prepare for Saturday’s game...no pit stops at home in between).

Wednesday’s game in LA is now a six-pointer as the Galaxy are just a point above FCD in the standings in fifth place (though they and RSL have a game-in-hand on FCD right now, which is also worth noting). Getting another performance out of this group like we had on Saturday will be key in staying up in what is an insane playoff race already in the Western Conference (seriously, FCD is three points back of second place Seattle).

Thankfully Montreal also has a midweek game to deal with this week in the Canadian Championship against Ottawa. So points are there for the taking this week. Just how many will remain to be seen.