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What we learned against Minnesota United: An offensive outlier

Dallas scored three, but could they do it again?

MLS: Minnesota United FC at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas broke their dry streak and put three goals past Minnesota United to grab three points. The 4-3-3 propelled by Fafa Picault looked menacing. Dallas got solid performances out of John Nelson playing left back while Ryan Hollingshead shifted to the right. Is this the new normal?

Sustainability questions

That’s the question on every fan’s mind after a return to enjoyable soccer. Dallas bags two goals within minutes of each other after not scoring in the previous three games, they have to be back! Right? But there’s one analytic has me concerned.

Key passes against MNU

Week after week we’ve pointed to zone fourteen (the spot in the middle of the field outside of the opponent’s 18 yard box) and said, “that’s where the chances need to come from.” Those are where you get high quality looks. Dallas had a fantastic conversion rate, scoring three out of seven shots on target, but chances from out wide usually don’t come with such efficiency.

It was nice to see Luchi Gonzalez stretch the field, play more direct, and get the right people on the field. But with Paxton out, Dallas are going to need Ricaurte to acclimate quick or have a youngster step up for some production in the middle of the field.

Barrios the super sub

At various points in his career, Barrios has seen stints as a sub, but always crawls back into the starting lineup. His performance this week emphasized a different part of what makes him an attractive late game sub—his experience.

Michael Barrios is a one-dimensional player—he’s fast. We all know that, but one thing that he doesn’t get credit for is his maturity. He’s one of FCD’s longest tenured players on the roster. He knows this league and this team as well as anyone.

By the time he was subbed on, there wasn’t much need for him to stretch the defense as Dallas were bunkered, however, he still brought maturity, experience, and shape to the right wing. As Dallas transitions from Reggie Cannon to a new right back, Barrios is going to be an valuable choice on the right wing to accommodate the new fullback.

Looking ahead

Man, I hate SKC (and Portland), but as far as I’m concerned those are our two biggest rivals. SKC games are never easy. They play a hard-nosed brand of soccer that always seems to give FCD fits. This is far from a regular season, but I don’t have any doubts that the SKC game is going to be a rough one. Consequently, is Dallas going to roll out in a confident 4-3-3 or turtle up in a 5-3-2? I have my suspicions, but we’ll have to see how Luchi takes on the biggest road challenge so far.

  • Were the three goals a fluke or the start of a revitalized attack?
  • Can Ricardo Pepi stave off Barrios for the right wing position?
  • Can Dallas get a result on the road against SKC?