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What we learned against the Colorado Rapids

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Behind the play of Mosquera and Ricaurte FCD look like a new team.

MLS: Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

A hat trick from Santiago Mosquera secured the win for FC Dallas propelling them into fourth place in the Western Conference. Dallas look to be in top form currently, but they’ll be put to the test with three games in the next ten days.

Mosquera can stay... for now

I wish I was equally supportive of all our players, but when Mosquera scored the first goal I remarked, “Why did it have to be him?” Santi succeeding is a double edged sword.

We’ve seen him at this level before. When he’s confident, he’s tricky, decisive, and can carry the entire team. We’ve also seen him every other game when he isn’t in-form. You’ve got to recognize that this probably isn’t going to last and enjoy it while you can.

Maybe I’m being too pessimistic. Maybe playing alongside Andres Ricaurte takes the pressure of Mosquera and pushes him into a role in which he thrives. Maybe the fellow-Colombian gave his junior countryman a career-changing pep talk. We just don’t know yet.

Santi seems to catch fire every season until an injury inevitably derails his progress. Given the packed schedule ahead, I hope Luchi can use him tactically to prolong his impact.

Substitution and squad rotation

There are three games in the next ten days. But already key players like Michael Barrios, Franco Jara, and Thiago Santos are showing signs of fatigue. Dallas undeniably need them healthy and at their best to maintain this run of form.

I don’t think Luchi has used his five substitutions effectively. By the 60th minute, players are dragging and Dallas are up 3-0, but Luchi hesitates to make large scale changes. I understand he doesn’t want to disrupt the flow of the game, but Ricardo Pepi needs to see the field earlier than the 83’ minute.

The match congestion in this abbreviated season is unprecedented. Luchi cannot afford to continue being conservative with his substitutions or the team is going to get overrun and players will get injured. Along the way, he’s going to have to figure out how this team reacts to player rotation. He makes six changes to the lineup and Dallas gets thumped at SKC, what impact does that make on the team’s spirit? Do they recognize that it was a strategically punted game or does any loss derail form?

Set piece success

FCD has been getting bigger and it’s paying off.

Heights of Recent Additions

Player Height
Player Height
Andres Ricaurte 5'10"
Bryan Renolds 6'3"
Dante Sealy 5'10"
Franco Jara 5'11"
Nkosi Burgess 6'4"
Ricardo Pepi 6'1"
Tanner Tessman 6'2"
Thiago Santos 5'11"

Two goals from corners in the last three games is not a lucky coincidence. It’s clear that Luchi and the FO are prioritizing adding bigger players. When you couple big bodies with solid deliveries from Reto Ziegler (from both sides on corners I might add), then teams are going to have to dedicate more time to training set piece defending in practice.

I don’t think we’ve seen corresponding changes in open play, for example, hoofing it up to Tanner Tessman, but it’s clear that Dallas have a build in mind for their players.


  • Who is the real Santiago Mosquera?
  • How can the team rotate and maintain form in the games ahead?
  • Are the set-piece goals sustainable?