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Scratching the Chalkboard: Defense Falls Apart

Chicago makes a gutsy choice and it pays off.

MLS: FC Dallas at Chicago Fire Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

On one hand, getting smacked 4-0 can be a real shocker to the system but on the other, was this really a surprise? Every team suffers a out of form pummeling from a lesser team at some point during the season. Even during that historic double season in 2016, Dallas was beat 5-0 by Houston, 4-0 by the Red Bulls and another 5-0 beat down by Seattle. It happens. Sometimes everything goes right for you, and sometimes Murphy’s Law (everything that can go wrong will go wrong) becomes a reality. It’s just unfortunate it had to come at a time that Dallas desperately need a positive result.

Defensive Woes

Yes, losing 4-0 by the half points to defensive problems but it’s also been a larger trend for this team for the 2019 season. Dallas have already given up 42 goals, which puts them on pace to ship 48 goals for the year.

Here’s a quick look at the last five seasons.

2014: 45 GA (54 pts)

2015: 39 GA (60 pts)

2016: 40 GA (60 pts)

2017: 48 GA (46 pts)

2018: 44 GA (57 pts)

But it’s not just the pure number total that’s troubling at the moment, it’s the way they are happening. It is more mental lapses and more silly mistakes that are turning out to be costly for this club.

This back pass pretty much sums it all up.

It’s a loose pass from from the back by Reggie Cannon, and misread or miscommunication between Matt Hedges and Jesse Gonzalez. Yet credit to CJ Sapong for capitalizing on his chance and setting things up for an ugly afternoon for Dallas.

Basically after this miscue, Chicago really went for it on the left side - targeting Reggie Cannon and Matt Hedges.

All defensive actions for Dallas defenders

It’s a bit insane that a team would look at the defensive combination in front of them and purposefully go after the side with a former MLS Defender of the Year and a rising USMNT regular. But that is what Chicago did and it paid off for them.

Dallas needed points. As Nathan Hill pointed out in our Slack channel, it doesn’t matter if this team lost 1-0 or 4-0. The bottom line is that they walked out of Chicago with nothing, and the midweek tussle with Seattle becomes even more important. Yeah, losing 4-0 looks way worse than 1-0, but at this stage of the season it’s all about the results and I’m not hopeful that Dallas can get anything out of Century Link Field on Wednesday.