I’ve felt my frustration mounting the past few weeks. Maybe you’ve noticed. Is an away game where you’re missing two key players and had two others play in the all-star game mid-week the appropriate time to finally snap? Probably not. But I’m going to do it anyway. Let’s come together and let off a little steam this week.
The attack is clueless
We have no attacking talent outside of Paxton Pomykal, Michael Barrios, and occasionally Jesus Ferreira. Everyone ball watches and stands around the box waiting for someone else to create something. When Paxton picks up the ball on the top of the box, he has no options. Jesus wasn’t getting involved so he dropped deep (and was only pushed deeper by Badji’s coming on), but that’s only advisable for a striker if they’re making meaningful touches. I understand the argument that it gets them into the flow of the game, but more often than not it takes them out of position. It prevents them from contributing in the final third and drags down the rest of the attack by asking them to play without a striker. Jesus has to find a balance between taking a more active role in build up play and not dragging himself into useless positions that should be occupied by midfielders. If he’s going to drop deep, he has to create and he struggled to do that this game. But is it really his fault? This anemic attack has no ideas. Ferreira can’t create something from nothing. He isn’t good on the counter, he hesitates and kills attacks before they can develop. Santiago Mosquera has some of the worst positioning I’ve ever seen. He consistently drops deeper than Ryan Hollingshead, calls for the ball, and then pouts when he doesn’t get it. Santi, you aren’t entitled to the ball and you sure don’t do anything useful when you get it. You are indicative of everything that is wrong with our attack. You show no indication that there is a greater plan of attack than whatever you can improvise when you get on the ball. Edwin Gyasi shows the exact same lack of composure. Barrios, who we have spent years watching run to the end line and blindly put in a cross looks like Zidane comparatively. I would take Bressan on the wing ahead of anyone except Barrios. Tesho Akindele would have easily been Dallas’ best individual attacker. But thankfully we have Dominque Badji to come off the bench and kick field goals.
Jacori could have done better
When you try to build attacks slowly through the midfield like Dallas does, you make yourself susceptible to counters. As the attack works its way up the field, the midfielders commit themselves forward. Then Mosquera makes an idiotic decision and loses possession allowing Jacori Hayes and Brandon Servania to be foregone in a single long pass. Hayes and Servania are aware of this and are leery about getting forward. Meaning that they fail to provide attacking support, leaving Paxton alone to try to perform a miracle. The blame on the poor midfield performance has to fall on Jacori as the older of the two. He’s no longer being thrown in there to “see what ya got kid.” He’s no longer the “kid” of the midfield and as a result he’s being asked to perform as a reliable veteran presence. He wasn’t up to the task last night.
I love Jacori’s craft. Particularly, his energy, how much ground he covers, and how hard he works to make himself available. He could be an important cog in a possession based system because of his ability to help the team keep the ball and connect the midfield, defense, and attack through legwork alone. But he struggled to assert himself in this game. In the first half he couldn’t pick his pass and often put teammates in difficult situations. He looked sharper in the second half, but never offered much in the attack. It’s always rough for a team when the next guy up underperforms. Not only are you without Bryan Acosta, who has established himself as incredibly important to this team’s stability, but Jacori’s performance made his absence feel like a crisis.
We need reinforcements
Can the Hunts and the rest of the Farce Office spend some of their massive reserve of Garber bucks they’ve built up by selling anyone they’ve gotten an offer for on someone who knows how to create? I’m not asking for a multimillion dollar DP from Liga MX, give me Lee Nguyen, Kellyn Rowe, Sacha Kljestan; someone that knows there way around the league and can take the burden off of Paxton to create everything. But playing the kids is all part of our long term master plan and 15 years from now when we’re losing to Real Madrid 7-0 in the Club World Cup, our ascetic dedication to building our global brand through exporting teenagers will all be worth it. I get being committed to developing your own players, but you can’t argue that Bressan has not made this team better. Investing in players of his caliber is the difference between being an MLS team and a USL team. I‘m having a hard time sitting through this season with the senior team being treated like a glorified developmental team.
But hey, at least we had more possession.
Did anything I say resonate with you? Which takes are too hot? Am I going to regret this or am I right on the money? I want to hear you vent in the comments.