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What we learned against the Columbus Crew

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For once, the defense let Dallas down.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew drew 2-2 Saturday night. Dallas surrendered the lead twice, but ultimately should be content with a point against the current top dogs in the Eastern Conference.

Lineup

The “Best 11” doesn’t actually exist. It’s always about managing form, workload, chemistry and every other variable that influences how a team plays, but “Most Expensive 11” does exist and that’s who Dallas rolled out against Columbus.

Like I said, a point is fine, but you don’t want your A-team conceding the lead twice. Columbus brought good energy, but Dallas has to be able to cling onto a lead at home. Especially when they’re fortunate enough to convert 2/3rds of their shots on goal.

Shambolic defending on both goals sunk Dallas, even after some help from a VAR call. On the disallowed goal, how does Gyasi Zardes have that much space minutes after Dallas just took the lead at home in the second half? This isn’t a team that has their fundamentals down and that’s fine when you’re playing the kids, but last night was the veterans and there are no excuses for them.

How to stop Dallas

So you’ve got FCD next up on your schedule. You know they’ve got a pretty solid defense, but they have trouble generating chances in the attack. They just added this guy Andres Ricaurte to help with that, he seems legit. They also finally spent big on an established striker and he’s been in good form lately. How do you plan for that game?

It’s not that hard. Hack Ricaurte, hack Franco Jara, make Michael Barrios beat you and challenge someone else to step up for Dallas. If you can do that without bunkering down, then you should be able to keep consistent pressure on their back line. Just stay attentive and wait for your break, then the goal should come.

It’s tiring to watch a Dallas team without teeth. Yeah, they scored two goals this game, but they still haven’t found a way to put the pressure on the other side. There’s no swagger or confidence and until that comes Dallas are going to have to just hope to scrape by.

Fafa’s first assist

Not great to get your first assist after 500 minutes when you’re a 29 year-old brought in to make an impact offensively, but maybe that’s because Dallas haven’t been using him right.

Fafa Picault worked more out of the right wing this game, swapping and occasionally stacking with Barrios. On the goal, the left wing crashed the box. Not only is Barrios drifting back post, but Ryan Hollingshead is the center target. Maybe positional trickery is the way to get him engaged. Plus, subbing him at the 75th minute let’s guys like Sealy come on and get minutes, and add energy while also letting Fafa go all out knowing that he doesn’t have to last the full 90.


  • Do you expect more from this lineup?
  • How would you game plan against Dallas?
  • How can Dallas get more from Picault?