FC Dallas’ trip to San Jose last Saturday did not go as planned. While the team hoped to build on the clean sheet in their home opener, the squad gave up three goals against the Quakes. Among the mistakes in the match that the team knows they must improve upon are two penalty kicks given up by Jader Obrian and Tanner Tessmann, a situation that is hard for any professional soccer team to overcome away from home. Ultimately, it was a disappointing result as they try to build fitness and chemistry to get 2021 going.
On Wednesday during media availability, I was able to ask a couple of questions to Brazilian CB Bressan about the kinds of conversations they have after a performance that did not go as planned.
First, I asked about what he as a veteran player on a young squad says to guys like Tanner Tessmann or Jader Obrian, a newcomer to the league, after both gave up penalties in the first half. Do you challenge them to do better? Do you encourage them?
Bressan was clear. “Of course, we are not happy, but I think we have a lot of potential, especially our younger guys to play in MLS or Europe, like a Tanner, Paxton, Dante, Pepi. This kind of thing is going to happen. You try to talk with them to fix some things but of course it’s gonna happen. The football player has to be ready for everything on the field. Sometimes you will play well. Sometimes you will fix things.”
“Football for me is about mentality,” he said. “Of course, we have to be ready for technique or something tactical, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is the result and the mentality that you have. And I think that Paxton and Tanner and these guys have a high mentality, so I don’t think you need to talk to these guys to be honest because they are ready to go.”
For FC Dallas fans who have such high expectations for their youngsters, it’s a sobering reminder that one of the keys to making it as a pro in any sport is mentality. If you can’t overcome the occasional mistake or pick yourself up after a tough match that doesn’t go your way, your career may not take off. To hear Bressan really compliment these young guys on the mentality they bring to the game and their growing professionalism is exciting.
I followed up with Bressan’s preference on how he takes a tough loss like that on Saturday. Do you go back and look at the film? Is it better to just let it go and move on to the next?
For Bressan, he likes to go back and identify those things the team can do better on.
“For me, I like to see the games. It is easy to see the things outside the field, so something really good for us is to fix things, what we can change,” he responded. “Some movement, some positioning, in the beginning of the play when we conceded a goal, we can fix some things in the beginning of the play. So something I like to do and the staff likes to show for us to watch the last game and see what we can improve for the next game.”
The team has a lot of work to do to turn around this early season start at home against Portland. Elsewhere on the call, head coach Luchi Gonzalez acknowledged that despite Portland having a midweek game there are no guarantees. Portland might field young players who will be just as hungry for a result as the veterans, to make a mark. FC Dallas will need to be prepped and ready.
Throughout the call, Bressan, Luchi, and others acknowledged the disappointing result in San Jose but were still upbeat about the work ahead of them and the potential even in that match to learn from things, correct mistakes, and come out stronger.
A Few Other Notes
- While Phelipe didn’t outright say it, the young Brazilian goalkeeper will likely start in net for FC Dallas, barring Jimmy Maurer being ready to go.
- Luchi Gonzalez was tight-lipped about any formation changes after two games where the 3-4-3 didn’t quite lead to goals like they hoped, although he admitted that he doesn’t want FC Dallas to have one formation and be easy to game plan against. This indicates, especially with Matt Hedges potentially needing to miss the game as he recovers from a sore ankle, that there might be a formation switch against Portland.
- Ricardo Pepi, in response to a question I asked, didn’t seem concerned whether or not his breakthrough goal against San Jose will merit him a start in the up coming couple of weeks. He remains ready to be used however his coach needs.