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What we learned against Nashville SC

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Dallas are down, but not out in this weird and wacky season.

Syndication: The Tennessean Shelley Mays/ via Imagn Content Services, LLC

FC Dallas took on Nashville SC on the road Tuesday night. The game settled 3-0 with Dallas recording two shots on goal. Dallas seem to be in a lackadaisical spiral and are in desperate need of some cold water in the face.

Weak wings

While Dallas’ attack was entirely ineffectual, special blame must be placed on the wings. Dallas attempted 20 crosses, but only managed to complete two of them.

FCD’s open play crosses against Nashville

Nashville surrendered possession to Dallas and said, “break us down if you can.” And as we know as experienced FCD fans—the team doesn’t know how to do that. Yes, Michael Barrios was missing and he’s by far Dallas’ most dangerous threat out wide, but Jesus Ferreira is at the stage in his FCD career where you have to expect more. He was incompetent as a winger and only completed two passes in the final third.

Ferreira’s passing chart vs Nashville

I’d rather see minutes on the wing go out to Dante Sealy or to Ema Twumasi, just to get a read on if he’s up to MLS level. On another line of thinking, could Thomas Roberts, Brandon Servania, or dare I say...a healthy Santiago Mosquera save us?

Season MVP

Got to be Jimmy Maurer. No one has been as consistent. Before this game, Maurer was averaging 0.86 goals against per game with a 80.9 save percentage (the best in the league). It’s not a good sign when your goalie is the player of the season. And it makes it a little weirder that the front office has brought in a young player with a great pedigree to presumably replace him.

Maurer’s story is indicative of what has left FCD fans scratching their heads for years. How can they find guys like Maurer in USL or draft Ryan Hollingshead, Matt Hedges, and Walker Zimmerman, but still can’t sort out a balanced midfield? Management is fantastic at bargain hunting, but not much else.

Come backs

Dallas have not won a game in which they’ve conceded first. They have not won or drawn in games where they’re trailing at half-time.

It feels like Dallas’ team used to be an unknown commodity in the best way. A rag tag mix of over performing veterans and kids that could combine for two goals in five minutes if they really needed to. I know COVID has shaken up this season in so many ways, but the team spirit seems particularly grim currently. And I understand, read our blog, read other FCD news, it’s all bad news and pessimism right now for reasons both on and off the field. A lot of it is justified, but regardless, FCD aren’t out of the playoff hunt. While they may not seem like a team that’s more likely than not to advance to the tournament, eight teams from the west advancing makes their inclusion likely.

As always with the MLS Cup, it’s about getting hot. I’m not sure we’ve seen Dallas hot this year, but with stars like Franco Jara and Andres Ricaurte this team has a high ceiling. They just need to find their identity and some good form before Decision Day.

  • Who’s behind Barrios on your right wing depth chart? Is it time to bench Fafa Picault?
  • Who is your season MVP?
  • If Dallas are going to launch a playoff run, who’s carrying the team?