FC Dallas scored in the 4th minute and rarely looked threatened through out notching a 1-0 win against USL Championship club, Austin Bold. The game was broken up into three 30 minute periods, and it looks like you’ll be able to catch a repeat of the match here for the immediate future.
Here’s Dallas started out:
Of note, Mark Followill mentioned Jesse Gonzalez being unavailable due to a family issue, and Bryan Acosta was out with an illness. Matt Hedges, Paxton Pomykal, and Brandon Servania are also nursing injuries, so we still haven’t seen what many would consider the ‘ideal’ starting lineup, but we still learned a few things from this match.
Ondrasek’s form from last year has carried over.
Zdenek Ondrasek closed last year on fire for club and (surprisingly for the first time at age 30) for country. He’s been scoring in preseason, but today is the first time we actually got to see it.
Now, that’s the good stuff. If the Kobra stays hot going into the games that count for points, then Dallas should start off well even with the schedule tilting a bit road heavy. It does seem more likely than ever now that he’ll be gone for the month of June with the Czech National Team side though, which brings up a legitimate concern.
Who’s going to be the go to on the left wing?
You would like for Santiago Mosquera to bury that, and although he didn’t look bad in his 30 minutes on the field, you would also hope that he would have looked more dominant against a USL-C team in their first real preseason match. You could say much the same for Fafa Picault who flashed good speed and crossing but didn’t dominate under the circumstances, either. One thing of note is Dallas did press a lot more when Picault came into the match, and that portion of his game is advertised. All other things being mostly equal, that could be the thing that sees Picault end up being the main starter at left wing this season. Speaking of pressing...
Thiago Santos is going to help this team press higher
The central midfielders and Maurer were the only players not to come out after the first 30 minutes which means we got an extended look at Santos for the first time. Santos showed great range, was tidy in possession, covered well for his teammates, and showed excellent awareness with few exceptions during his minutes today. As advertised, he offers a lot of the same characteristics that were missing after Carlos Gruezo was sold to Augsburg last summer. Austin was barely a rumor while he was in the game.
That should allow FC Dallas to press more aggressively up field this year more frequently and, in theory, will lead to higher quality chances over the course of the season. Santos definitely looks like a good signing and a regular starter as of now which is very impressive since he’s barely played yet.
What were your thoughts? Starting to get excited for the season or are you more nervous that Dallas didn’t blow Austin’s doors off today? Let us know.