Our weekend game is here as FC Dallas is back out on the road this weekend in New York. Nico Estevez and company look for their first road win of the 2022 season here too.
While we could begin to discuss some lineup rotations with next week’s Open Cup game on Tuesday against Tulsa, my gut tells me Estevez won’t rotate all that much for this road game tomorrow evening when you look and see that he still has a fairly healthy roster at the moment.
So with that, here are some things I will be keeping an eye out for in New York.
Arena of horrors
Up until the last couple of seasons, we used to talk a lot about how poorly FC Dallas would be in Kansas City. But a couple of wins away from home against Sporting in their own building has kind of put that to rest. But one place we’re not talking about as a place FC Dallas has struggled in is Red Bull Arena. Since the New York Red Bulls moved there in 2010 and FC Dallas has gone winless there as they have gone 0-4-1.
Add to that, FC Dallas has only one victory against the Red Bulls in their last 14 matches against FC Dallas (L9 D4, including playoffs) dating back to August 2009. New York has won the last two meetings between the sides, though their last three-match winning streak over Dallas was way back in the old MLS 1.0 days of 2002-03 when they were still rocking the MetroStars name.
The motto for this season is that this is a new era for the club. So hopefully that new era also includes putting places like Red Bull Arena on the list of places that they have no trouble picking up points in. Thankfully the group that played against the Red Bulls back in 2019, there are only four players from that day's game (Matt Hedges, Jesus Ferreira, Edwin Cerillo and Brandon Servania) that are still with the club. So this group that is there doesn’t have the same stigma of losing in New York as the pre-covid days do.
Can Jesus stay hot?
I mean, that is pretty dope right? Five goals after a few games is a great thing to see, especially given that they’ve all come in two of the last three MLS games for Ferreira.
But at some point, he’s gotta connect on some goals away from home. So far, FC Dallas has been held scoreless away from home this season in a 1-0 loss at New England, followed up by that scoreless draw in Chicago a couple of weeks ago.
The good news to think about, while the team has struggled in Red Bull Arena over the years, the last FC Dallas player to score there was Ferreira. Sure that goal was three years ago, but he does know how to do it there.
Seriously, what do we make of New York?
In talking about this game with a few folks this week, the one common comment I kept getting was about who actually the Red Bulls are this season. I can point blame to the pandemic for delaying our regular meetings with the Red Bulls, but you could also toss in expansion as a reason why we’ll see them more infrequently too.
I will point out our Scouting Report as a good starting point for tomorrow’s game. Last week the Red Bulls dropped points at home to conference rivals Montreal.
New York tends to play in a 4-2-3-1 type look, something we’ve seen FC Dallas employ over the years too. Defensively, they’ll look to Arron Long to slow down the Dallas attack. Up top, they have new Designated Player Luquinhas on the wings hoping to unlock the Dallas defense. The Brazilian had some good moments a week ago in the loss to Montreal.
Back to the original question, just based on the last couple of game highlights I pulled to get ready for this one, this feels like another draw to me. New York has a good defense, maybe not Chicago good but one that will definitely cause issues for the Dallas attack. In all honesty, I am fine with another road draw at this early stage in the season. We need to continue to see this group improve away from Frisco and that means finding ways to look competitive in the attack while also remaining stout in defense. It is doable this weekend, that is for sure.