What we learned in FC Dallas' preseason win over New Mexico United
A preseason win is nice, right?
FC Dallas wrapped up the first portion of their 2024 preseason camp with an emphatic 4-1 win over USL Championship side New Mexico United on Saturday afternoon.
While this was a closed door friendly, the media, including myself were able to be on hand for this early look at the club as they build toward the new season starting in a month against San Jose.
Here are some items I took away from my first in-person1 look at the team in 2024.
A new formation is a work in progress
The 3-4-3 or 5-2-2-1 is definitely a work in process for head coach Nico Estévez. But I think for now this is where he is heading with this team in 2024. He mentioned after the game that he wants to see more players in the attack this year and this new formation allows him to achieve that.
As the team heads to Spain this week for more friendlies, it will get worked on more. The key will be getting the right guys to play in those wing positions as well as the center back pairings. Which is why FC Dallas is rumored to be looking at more center backs at the moment. You need the right mix of athletic and skilled center backs to not give up too much space. Or give up the ball in their own defensive end (that is something that led to the lone New Mexico goal).
At time though, this new look worked well. It created more space for FC Dallas along the wings and with the right pairings up top, it created a lot of chances. Eugene Ansah had a goal and two assists within a five minute span. Yes, that is what you want to see but I would not get worked up over it. New Mexico looked really gassed by the 70th minute and when they brought in former FCD keeper Jesse Gonzalez for the second half, that is wildly when all the goals came pouring in.
The surprise for me was seeing Bernard Kamungo lineup along the wings in that 5-man back line. Is Kamungo a future wingback? No. I think Saturday was an experiment for that out of Estevez.
Some young players shined
Being a preseason game, there was a lot of rotation. Both teams were cycling in full lineup changes at a time. New Mexico for one thing swapped lineups three times I believe. They’re only a couple of days into their preseason camp and toward the end of the second half, they even had a few North Texas SC players suiting up for them.