FC Dallas Collapse in Leagues Cup Opener
Charlotte FC found a late equalizer, and FC Dallas struggled in the penalty kick shootout to another disappointing result.
FC Dallas fans have plenty of reasons to think this will simply not be their year.
Late goals given up? Check.
Too much reliance on one key player? Check.
Shoddy defense? Check.
Disappointing home form? Check.
In the Leagues Cup, which offered an opportunity for this team to reset against Charlotte FC, a team they have never faced before at home, those patterns came back to haunt them.
Despite playing quite well offensively, a penalty kick and late goal doomed the team’s overall effort. Jimmy Maurer in goal did not inspire. Jesus Ferreira and Bernard Kamungo, who had a scintillating game, struggled to score on breakaways. Sebastian Lletget and Marco Farfan offered pedestrian penalty kicks. Ultimately, it seemed like FC Dallas came out of halftime with little intensity. And in the end, they paid the price.
Christian Lattanzio, Charlotte FC head coach, addressed his half-time performance. “Maybe I am biased. Our boys played really well and controlled the most part of the game. But I think our boys deserve to win the shootou. I am very proud of the ways our boys played away from home. I haven’t seen many teams come in here and play like we did.”
He added, “We played both halves well.”
The tepid home crowd seemed to mirror the home squad’s overall effort, scattered energy but energy that dissipated when it mattered the most. This is one of those games that asks questions of the overall quality of the roster, not discounting the individual talent on display but suggests a team that needs work in a number of areas. It asks questions of the coaching staff too.
Nico Estevez tried to address those questions in the post-game press conference. “Right now, everyone will feel disappointed. But this group is hungry to win. We will regroup on Sunday, and we will go out to win the game against Necaxa.”
Despite having one of the deeper benches available in a while, the coaching staff seemed reluctant to rely on guys who are still working their way back. Fans might question this approach, especially in a crucial moment that led to a tying goal.
“Paxton, last time he played and rejoined the group, he got hurt again. The tempo and rythm of the game was very high. They are doing very much better in training. It is good they are with us,” Nico addressed questions about subs. “If we scored the chances we had, we could use them, give them 10 or 15 minutes. Even with Ema, they need time. We are happy they are back. The level of intensity is much better. They are coming, they will play hopefuly against Nexaca.”
Addressing the half-time performance, Nico seemed without answers. “Charlotte came a little bit with more aggression because they needed the goal. We also used that to counter attack. We didn’t score the third goal. The real difference today was the five or six clear chances to score.”
What will be the edge that kicks this team over into turning those changes into opportunity? Is it already too late?
Those are questions that will linger after anothing disappointing performance at home.
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