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What we learned about FC Dallas in the draw to Nashville SC

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Digging into Luchi’s newest tactics and personnel following a winless week at home against Nashville SC.

MLS: Nashville SC at FC Dallas Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas disappointed again in a scoreless draw against the expansion side Nashville SC. FCD was outshot at home by a startling 21-12 (7-1 on target). Again, after dominating possession Dallas aren’t able to create looks on goal. Let’s dive into some talking points for the week.

Does Barrios belong?

Michael Barrios is not the player that needs to be in fans’ sights after the disappointing result, yet his level of play is indicative of a different problem for FCD. We’ve set Michael Barrios as our ceiling. Don’t get me wrong, he’s had some success. Since Mauro Diaz’s departure, he’s been the most productive attacking player, but that overlooks his weaknesses.

He’s one dimensional, inconsistent, and hasn’t improved in years. Nevertheless, he’s a stalwart on Dallas’ right wing and it would be a shock to see someone else in that spot. Dallas continues to invest in the midfield for players that fit a system that we can’t seem to decipher, but seem content rolling with Mikey B.

The fact is, right wing is one of our most shallow positions and more often than not it’s where attacks go to die. FCD fans are going to have to question the quality of long-time fixtures in the team like Barrios if they want to imagine a system that can routinely create chances and execute them.

Warrior mentality?

The first half of the game looked like a CONCACAF blood bath. I’ve never seen Dallas’ players so quick to take to the ground for a slide tackle. Is that Luchi Gonzalez’s solution for Wednesday’s struggles?

Fouls conceded by FCD in the first
MLSSOCCER.com

FCD committed fouls they didn’t need to in places they shouldn’t. Maybe they were just fired up and wanted to prove themselves, but it seemed to be a team-wide philosophy that flying into tackles is encouraged this week.

Dallas are struggling to find an identity for this short season and it’s not hard to see that this week they were playing a physical brand of soccer. As Luchi brings in more height in the midfield and chooses to start Ondrasek up top, it’s clear that size and strength are priorities for him. I don’t think it’s going to be what saves Dallas from mediocrity this season, but it appears to be Luchi’s new idea.

Will a 10 help?

Going forward, FCD just doesn’t look like they trust anyone to get the job done. If a team sets up a low block, then Dallas are completely unable to create an attack. Their only chances come from chaos and disorganization. They cannot methodically pick teams apart in the final third the way that you have to in this system. If Andres Ricaurte is going to help the team be able to do that, then I don’t care if he’s forty. That being said, if Dallas is going to put another veteran in the midfield, they’ve essentially blocked out a handful of their most promising players from the XI.

Does Bryan Acosta leave to accommodate Paxton? Does Paxton leave to accommodate his career? Which one is the team better off with? Can you even count on Ricaurte to make an impact this season?

I don’t envy Zannotta for the hard decisions he has to make. Front Offices are pulled between winning now and building a dynasty and I’m not sure Dallas has the piece for either yet, but perhaps Ricaurte can change that.


What do you see the role of the right wing as in Luchi’s system? Can physicality be Dallas’ route to success this season? Should we hold our breath for Ricaurte?