We said this morning in our daily link post that the Monday following an FC Dallas victory is way more enjoyable than Monday’s following a loss. It just is. Simple as that.
Now that the dust has settled on the game and we’ve voted for Ricardo Pepi as our MLS Player of the Week, it is time to get into some nuggets on the game itself as FC Dallas looked pretty damn good in their 4-0 win over the LA Galaxy.
More youth equals more fun
It kind of started with the lineup card for FC Dallas on Saturday. Luchi Gonzalez once again made some changes to his squad’s look and feel after losing three straight on the road this month. Recently we had seen Ricardo Pepi out on the wings in favor of Franco Jara in the starting spot up top. This time around as we know, the move to continue with Pepi as the lead striker at home worked as Pepi ended the night with a hat trick and almost a fourth.
Pepi as the main striker in this attack makes far more sense than Jara ever will. We know that. I think Gonzalez knows that (at least I would hope so by now). Pepi plays a little freer with the likes of Paxton Pomykal on the wings and Jesus Ferreira behind him. While Jara, okay, we won’t get into him at this time because it is more fun to enjoy what Pepi is doing than being miserable about what Jara isn’t doing here.
But while Ferreira remained in his midfield attacking role, Gonzalez did a smart thing by slotting in Andres Ricarute behind him in the midfield. There is something to be said about having a really young attack and a really young defense when you have veteran midfielders in the center of the park to calm things down. While Ricarute didn’t have the greatest of matches (for him) but the partnership with Facundo Quignon is something I want to see more of in the coming weeks.
Lastly, let’s not leave out Jader Obrian coming off the bench for Pomykal with five minutes to go and finding the back of the net for his third goal of the season. Say what you will about the 26-year old for flopping or not staying upright this season, a garbage-time goal like this is a mood booster, a confidence raiser-type of thing.
Schon needs more time and that’s okay
I think it is safe to say we’re all intrigued by what Szabolcs Schon can do in this attack. Seeing the Hungarian get his first start with the club following a pretty good run for his native country at this year’s EURO 2020 tournament, Schon is raw but exciting. In a way, he feels more like a young Homegrown prospect for the club than a foreign talent from South America.
His assist on Pepi’s third goal was proof that not only does he need more time but we need to remain patient as he grows into this role and in this league. He could have easily given up on the play as he rode a tackle by LA defender Julian Araujo. Instead, he beat another defender before finding Pepi, who just continued to do things that Pepi does.
This also shows to me exactly why Gonzalez wanted him in the roster as quickly as he could when the club signed him back in the spring. Some may have felt it was too soon for him but Schon has the ability to be special, and it was only a matter of time before he played like he did on Saturday night.
Home is where the heart is
We know the line about FC Dallas at home right now. Dating back to last season, FC Dallas has now extended its home unbeaten streak to 17 games (9-0-8 record). That is great. It shouldn’t be ignored.
But we’re going to have to ignore it a bit as the next game takes us back out on the road, where Gonzalez has found just one win since the start of the 2020 season, and just four since taking over the club in 2019. In the words of one of my favorite gifs/memes, that’s “not great Bob”.
Whatever formula Gonzalez and the staff used in the training leading up to the win over LA, or however the players handled their pregame rituals on Saturday need to be replicated in some form or fashion on Saturday when the club heads to Kansas City. If it means eating a specific mean, watching a rerun of some motivational show or speech, freakin’ do it. KC won’t roll over for this team.