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What we learned against Minnesota United

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Dallas stumble, but can they find their feet again?

MLS: FC Dallas at Minnesota United FC David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas lost its Decision Day matchup against Minnesota United 3-0. The loss knocked Dallas down to sixth place. They’ll play Portland away in a few weeks. But what can this result tell us about their chances?

Bad luck

First things first, Dallas looked much better than the scoreline reflects. If one of the shots of the post bounces more favorably or Minnesota doesn’t get the goal line clearance, then this is an entirely different game. For that reason, I’m not terribly worried about the team’s play in this one. All in all, this was a pretty exciting match. I feel like I haven’t seen many games this season where teams trade blows. Mostly there’s been a lot of teams beating themselves and not making it past midfield. So to see two playoff teams play attractive, well-composed soccer is a great sign for what lays ahead in the playoffs.

Phelipe

I’ve raved about Jimmy Maurer all season. And he’s had a rave-worthy season. However, fans have been anxious to see Phelipe take the field. He’s obviously a high ceiling guy; it’s not very often we get to see players that are well regarded in the Brazilian National Team set up play in America.

It’s safe to say he delivered on expectations in his first appearance. Despite the 3-0 scoreline, he showed great mobility, range, and reflexes. The result certainly could have been worse with a lesser keeper between the sticks.

Dallas are going to find themselves in a difficult position come the expiration of the loan. There is an option to buy, rumored at $2.5m. To me, Maurer’s been good enough, but I can’t blame Dallas if they want to make the young Phelipe their guy for years to come.

Must improve: Barrios

Very rarely have Dallas hit top form without Michael Barrios contributing. While it’s been nice to get a few goals from Fafa Picault and Ryan Hollingshead on the left, we should have no illusions that Dallas still heavily favors their right side. So when Barrios has performances like this:

Barrios’ passing chart vs MNU
MLSsoccer.com

and makes mistakes leading to goals like this:

We can start to worry.

I’d like to see Dallas use Barrios more directly. He’s not a good finisher, but, right now, he’s not a great crosser either. I’d like to see him work towards the center of the pitch more like an inside forward. Andres Ricaurte has an excellent passing range and I think he could time some nice long balls for Barrios. Even if Barrios can’t take it all the way himself, Franco Jara should be there to provide support.

I wish it were all that easy. But that’s why we pay Luchi Gonzalez. Barrios is the main piece misfiring right now and he’s got to get in harmony with the rest of the team if Dallas are going to come out strong against Portland.


  • Was this result a fluke in Minnesota’s favor or Dallas regressing to the mean?
  • Keep Phelipe?
  • How do you get Barrios back in the game against Portland?