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What we learned against Sporting Kansas City

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A celebration of FCD’s fullbacks.

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at FC Dallas Tim Flores-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas beat Sporting Kansas City 1-0 Wednesday night. This was Dallas’ first win in about a month since the last time they beat Sporting Kansas City. Three points move Dallas into fifth place in the West. However, with the league’s suggestion that they may have to use points per game we can’t say anything for certain about standings except that a win is good for the team.

SKC missed the memo

Last night SKC came for Bryan Reynolds.

SKC’s attacking channels
WhoScored.com

I don’t know what they saw on the scouting report or why they didn’t buy into the hype, but they decided that Reynolds was their ticket to the result they wanted. Or perhaps more accurately that the Bressan-Reynolds partnership was.

Bressan has had some ups and downs, but has been a useful third center back to have around. Injuries, suspensions, and a desire to the play three in the back have made his presence all the more welcome.

Neither Bressan or Reynolds surrendered a foul last night, which given how much SKC worked their side, is impressive. We know Reynolds is only here until he can make the leap to Europe, but Bressan is someone we could see in an FCD kit for a little longer. Reto Ziegler, both with his performance on the field and with his captainship, has proved that he’s worth the investment, but if he wanted to spend his twilight years closer to home that would leave Bressan as the presumptive heir (with competition from John Nelson, Callum Montgomery, Nkosi Burgess, and Justin Che). But I’m becoming more and more comfortable with Bressan on the back line and Reynolds is a boon far more often that he’s a burden—so let’s hope every team keeps trying to come down the left.

And on the right

Fullbacks always need love. I’m glad they’ve become a greater point of attention with Guardiola’s inverted wingbacks, Conte’s back five that worked for about a season, and Liverpool’s talented duo that are amazing assets to the attack. But they still don’t get the attention they deserve. It’s not an easy job to be forced into so many one on one defending situations with nothing to gain and everything to lose.

With Reggie Cannon’s meteoric rise into the USMNT and Reynold’s name growing across the league, Dallas has somehow found themselves a producer of fantastic right backs. We’ll have to see if Eddie Munjoma is the third generation, but regardless there’s something in the water. Therefore, I believe it is our duty as FC Dallas fans to advocate for recognition of great fullback play both to respect the efforts of our players, but more so to inflate their transfer values.

So, to spread the love, let’s recognize that (of course) it was Ryan Hollingshead that stepped up for FCD last night. Franco Jara skied a sitter, Fafa Picault could have done better at times, etc, etc, etc, it goes on with players that just didn’t execute. But as has become the norm the past two seasons, it was Hollingshead who regardless of pedigree and salary exerts a massive influence on the team’s play.


It feels right in a game where the only goal was scored by a fullback and assisted by the other fullback that we take a moment to shout out two players that have given us reason to cheer this season.