FC Dallas bagged a win against Inter Miami CF with the help of late game heroics from Hollingshead. There were no shortage of theatrics in Frisco with Dallas scoring two in the second half to secure the result. Like it or not, this puts Dallas in good position to make the playoffs. Dallas looked like they had lost all hope less than a week ago against RSL, so what changed?
Getting the right side working
It’s no secret that Dallas have ridden Michael Barrios for years. And it’s going to continue to be the case until Fafa Picault starts to be effective. Even Ryan Hollingshead, though he scored a goal this game, has been less effective going forward than he was last season. But Bryan Reynolds has injected new energy into the right wing and Barrios still has his speed if he remembers how to use it.
In our Quick Burn this week, Ben wrote “If, however, [Barrios, Jara, or Ferreira] find their top end during the playoffs (possible!), no one in the West wants anything to do with FC Dallas. We’ll see!” We might be starting to see. Dallas have picked a great time to win their first game after being down at half time. If they can crush Houston at home this weekend, Dallas will clinch the playoffs and can ride into a play-in game with momentum.
Viva Matt Hedges
Captain, my captain! The FCD defense was effective at limiting Miami’s looks on goals once the Hedges-Bressan partnership found its feet. Hedge’s stability seemed to couple well with Bressan’s eagerness to close down. Where Reto Ziegler may be losing a step, Bressan is quick to step up when needed. Given the amount of unexpected game time Bressan has seen in recent weeks, and his solid performances, he’s going to make it easy for Dallas to let Ziegler walk if he wants to.
But as we know, defensive stability requires a solid midfield too. The addition of Ferreira into Dallas’ midfield in Acosta’s spot, let Santos focus on his defensive duties with great success (but don’t overlook Ferreira’s defensive efforts either). I don’t think Dallas have the luxury of keeping the lineup the same against Houston, but I find it hard to imagine that Ferreira doesn’t reprise his role against Nashville.
Improvement from Ricaurte
While he didn’t bag a goal or an assist, Andres Ricaurte was more involved in FCD’s game than he has been in past weeks. He’s slowly working his way up the field and trying more dangerous passes. However, most of his passes are still safe outlets to the wing. It’s understandable right now when your biggest threats are Barrios and Reynolds on the right, but there is almost no connection between Dallas’ two most important attackers—Ricaurte and Franco Jara.
Ricaurte is another player that if he gets hot, Dallas will be in good shape. He’s creeping slowly towards it, hopefully Houston’s orange can wake something up inside of him. But I imagine that even if he doesn’t, he figures to still be the focal point of Dallas’ attack in 2021.
- What needs to happen to get production out of the left wing?
- Who starts next to Hedges in 2021, Bressan or Ziegler?
- Are you comfortable handing Ricaurte the keys to the attack next year?