FC Dallas welcomed back former player, Academy Director and coach Oscar Pareja last night and fought to a scoreless draw. The point is fine in the bigger scheme of things: condensed schedule, injuries and recent player transfers but continues this feast or famine style of results that Dallas has been known for the last decade.
When it rains
...it pours and the opposite is certainly true for this team as well. After picking up three consecutive wins for the first time in the Luchi Era, Dallas has now gone two games without a goal and two games with just one legitimate goal scoring opportunity. (Mosquera’s attempt in the 10th minute vs Orlando.)
In 2019, Dallas went 6 games without a win. In 2018, Dallas seemingly got over that mid summer slump, but then ended the season on a three game losing streak. In 2017, aka the season that shall not be named, Dallas went unthinkable 10 games without a win.
Dallas continues with that trend of feast or famine by kicking off the restart of the season with three straight games without a goal then followed that with 15 goals in the next 6 matches. This ride or die mentality and output is certainly fun to watch (when Dallas is scoring) but is brutally frustrating when things are bad.
Disappearance of Jara
Franco Jara is probably the player that encapsulates the Dallas streak more than any other player. After a burst of five goals in five games, Jara has been an anonymous contributor in the Dallas attack for the last two games. To be fair, he was subbed on for 22 minutes against Atlanta, but registered no shots during that span.
With the team trying to get anything going on the offensive side, Jara inexplicably went missing. Nobody is expecting Jara to get on the ball a lot but there is the expectation that he would pop up in front of goal to unleash a shot or that he would put himself in dangerous goal scoring positions. Neither happened as his movements were well tracked and Dallas couldn’t find a way to get him any kind of service.
To be honest, 0-0 was probably the most fair result we’d seen this year out of Dallas. All of that is due to the man who sat across the Dallas bench and the way he’s gotten Orlando to play. Often times it looked like this:
Both sides have one electric winger in Michael Barrios and Nani - daring the opposing fullback to get forward at their peril. The injury to Ruan was really unfortunate as we didn’t get to see how Pareja would push Ruan up and see the symmetry between Ruan and Bryan Reynolds battle it out on the opposite wings with their overlapping runs.
However, Pareja did have the upper hand with more coaching experience and got Orlando to play their style of soccer and forced Luchi and Dallas to adjust. Even when Orlando were a man down, they still looked more likely to score than Dallas ever did and even managed to out shoot Dallas during the final 20 minute stretch 5-4.
Dallas will get a much needed midweek break and not have to face anyone until Saturday. But they will face the Supporter’s Shield leading Columbus Crew and will need to regroup if they hope to salvage anything from that one.