Discover more from Big D Soccer
Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Necaxa 🔎
FC Dallas hosts their first Liga MX team in over four years.
We all know how the Leagues Cup started on Friday night for FC Dallas. It was a draw that ended up in a shootout loss to Charlotte FC.
Now FC Dallas turns their sights to Liga MX side Necaxa in a game that FC Dallas has to pick up three points if they want to advance to the knockout round of this tournament.
Let’s dive into tomorrow’s opponent to see how they can pick up three points.
Key Player: Facundo Batisa
The Uraguian is the main focal point in the Necaxa attack right now. He hasn’t scored yet in the new season, but last year he scored nine goals between the Clausura and the Apertura.
Key Matchup: Alexis Pena vs Jesus Ferreira
Necaxa has some veterans in their defense, but Pena may be the most decorated of the bunch. He was with Cruz Azul when they won Liga MX in 2021 and when Pachuca won the Concacaf Champions League back in 2017.
Two draws and a loss: Necaxa is only three games into their new season. So far, they’ve picked up two draws (0-0 vs Toluca and 1-1 vs Tijuana) and one loss (2-0 to Chivas). The one goal scored was by one of their starting center backs. They also lost 2-0 last Wednesday in a friendly with Spanish side Athletic Club Bilbao.
American ownership connection: Necaxa has a local tie: former Dallas Mavericks forward and DFW resident Shawn Marion is a part owner of the club. He, along with actress Eva Longoria and MLB pitcher Justin Verlander are among the high-profile investors who have a stake in Necaxa.
Celebrating 100 years: While FC Dallas is old in MLS terms, being one of the originals of the league. Necaxa is turning the big 100 this year. The club was founded way back in August of 1923.
History against FC Dallas: FC Dallas has faced 10 Mexican clubs over 26 matches since 1997. This will be the first meeting between the two clubs since 1997.
International duty: none
So far this season, Necaxa has run a 5-4-1 formation in their games, including their most recent result, a 2-0 loss to Chivas.
Unsain; Rodriguez, Pena, Montes, Formilano, Gonzalez; Mendez, Poggi, Esquiel, Garnica; Batista
Keys To Three Points over Necaxa
Play your game - We saw on Friday against Charlotte that this was very much a Concacaf-style event where the refs let you get away with more, or they make ridiculous calls left and right. FC Dallas has to find a way not to get worked up in those moments and control the tempo of this game. Necaxa is only a couple of games into their season, so they’re still adapting to things. FC Dallas needs spread things out on the wings, strike when the moment is right, and for the love of all things, finish the chances they get in front of the goal.
Feed Jesus early and often - We saw last Friday how important Jesus Ferreira is to this attack. While he didn’t score on the night, his involvement in both goals was a direct result of teams focusing on him and his ability to open the attack for others to flourish. If FC Dallas has any chance to advance it will be from Ferreira’s doing.
Play up to the moment - In a strange way, this game may be a season-defining moment for Estevez and his club. If they get the win and advance, they’ll be able to keep things going in a tournament that they kind of need in order to get guys returning from injuries the proper playing time that they need to get fit again (training sessions won’t do that enough these days). If they don’t get the win, it could start a spiral trajectory downward on the year as they’ll end up with a lot of time off from competitive games before an important stretch of the season.
You can add folks like Kate Upton and owners that formerly owned D.C. United as a part of this group too. Read more about it here: https://www.elfutbolero.us/ligamx/In-addition-to-Mezut-Ozil-which-other-celebrities-own-Necaxa-20220506-0008.html
Steve Davis, the dean of Dallas soccer writing, had a nice history lesson on FCD’s history against Liga MX sides that you can read here: https://www.fcdallas.com/news/the-history-of-fc-dallas-vs-liga-mx
Truth be told, we’re not getting the same information during this tournament on injuries for other teams as we do during the regular season. Seriously, this tournament has a lot of growing pains to go through.