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Big D After Dark Podcast: Open Cup Post-Mortem & LA Beatdown

What went wrong with the Open Cup? What went right against LA Galaxy? We go live tonigh to discuss.

MLS: FC Dallas at LA Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 9 PM CST/10 PM EST, Big D After Dark, our official video podcast, is live on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter to talk about a road weekend in Kansas City. FC Dallas had an up and down week. After nearly gutting out a result to continue their Open Cup campaign in Kansas City, the mostly reserve squad went down a man and gave up a late disappointing goal. In extra time, the team looked exhausted, and both goals were the results of unfortunate mistakes. What can the squad learn from the brief Open Cup campaign?

On the weekend, winning ways returned. FC Dallas crushed the Los Angeles Galaxy behind a three-goal flurry and were unlucky not to score more. Jesus Ferreira moved into the lead of the Golden Boot race. More importantly, the first away win of the year for the squad. Are they for real?

North Texas SC also grabbed a big win away at Vancouver Whitecaps FC II.

See you tonight as we break down these results and what they mean for Dallas!

Here are a few discussion points to begin.

Open Cup: What can we learn from this short run?

The US Open Cup is a fun tournament that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Games are on weeknights, which can be tough for attendance, and those same games can come at difficult times for MLS teams beginning to deal with injuries, fixture congestion, and slumping runs. Plus, if you love David vs Goliath stories, you can’t beat lower league teams making remarkable runs.

The first question to gauge any MLS head coach, including first-year FC Dallas coach Nico Estevez, in how they approach Open Cup is the lineup they field. Against Tulsa FC, it made sense that Dallas would run out a reserve-heavy lineup, giving guys key minutes. Against Sporting Kansas City, Nico faced a conundrum. Start more key players and risk injury or running tired legs down? Trust the reserves?

For the first 40 minutes or so, Nico seemed to win against a likewise reserve heavy SKC side.

But as Sporting Kansas City turned to some key substitutions and got their home field headwinds to their advantage, Dallas ran out of ideas. Jose Martinez earned a red card on a professional foul, and Sporting Kansas City found a gut-punch of a late goal to send things into extra time. At that moment, it felt like Dallas was hoping to just get to PKs. Their reserve-heavy squad, without seasoned depth off the bench, just struggled to match up and did themselves in with some unfortunate mistakes.

Can we learn anything positive about these two matches?

Maybe, maybe not. The one positive is that FC Dallas has some depth. That depth may be a work in progress, but Franco Jara is scoring goals. Young guys are getting minutes. Those minutes meant something helpful as both Tafari and Maurer got starts against LA.

Ultimately, FC Dallas can be disappointed with how short their run was, but at the same time, be a bit pleased with the quality the reserves showed in limited minutes. It’s something to grow from and build upon. And you can’t wish for more to run out a young lineup and still have it come down to a final couple of minutes.

LA Galaxy Beatdown: What does this away win mean for Dallas?

During our last show, Ismael Belkoura made a strong claim - FC Dallas’s ceiling is limited by its ability to win on the road. While we have witnessed some solid results on the road already, a departure from last season, the elusive three points has remained out of reach. Until Saturday evening that is.

LA Galaxy had no answers for an FC Dallas attack and movement that worked their backline again and again. Jesus Ferreira has earned the accolades coming his way. Paul Arriola is getting more and more comfortable in the attack. The team is continuing to gel, and to get solid performances from Tafari and Maurer in a key moment was impressive.

Heck, Jader Obrian served a perfect assist.

The away win really does expand the horizon. Dallas may still be a playoff team if they can keep grabbing points on the road. If they can get more away wins though, who knows?

Could this be a special season?

Will the squad slump?

One nugget we picked up from this match is that the team was able to put a tough midweek game behind them while missing some key players like Maarten Paes and Alan Velasco. That bodes well for a tough week ahead.

North Texas SC Bounce Back

Another weekend, another win for North Texas SC.

The goal was special too. Take it away, Jose Mulato:

Head Coach Pa-Modou Kah deserves the praise he is getting for finding the talent in this team and trusting them. This too is a team that might have a bigger ceiling. They are young and they are hungry. We are witnessing a few players make their case to step up to the senior team if they keep things up.

Where do you think North Texas ranks in the MLS Next Pro league?

What else would you get on board with MLS Next Pro beyond a better camera setup?

See you tonight!