FC Dallas Preps for Minnesota
Nico Estevez spoke with reporters ahead of a match in the Upper Midwest with the Loons and briefly touched upon Taty Castellanos' performance against Real Madrid.
As FC Dallas prepares to travel to Minnesota this week and bounce back from a disappointing result in New York, Nico Estevez joined reporters to discuss the team’s focus.
First up, I asked FC Dallas Head Coach Nico Estevez about how the team hopes to get more out of Jesus Jimenez, who has been active in the past few games but yet to score.
“His performance, he’s always had chances to score. It’s important about being a striker to be in a position to score goals. In this recent game, he had three chances to score a goal. It is good that he is getting into those positions. Two from a cross. The other coming from a set piece,” Nico said. “In that sense, the team is doing a lot of things to help him score goals - it’s more about the final execution.”
The head coach also recalled the opening game loss to Minnesota at home, something the team will no doubt want to avenge in some way. While Minnesota may not have won at home recently, dropping points, the assignment will be difficult. Add in a mid-week game for the Loons, and while you might like the odds, Dallas will have to battle for any point.
“They haven’t won recently at home. They are a difficult team. We experienced that this year at the opening game. They defend very well. They have speed for counter-attack and set pieces,” Nico said. “It is going to go back to a good defending performance, being solid in the back line in order to not concede clear chances. We have really good resources in ways to hurt them, either through transitions or set pieces or speed.”
FC Dallas will have to be wary though.
“From any long ball, any second ball, any transition, they can be dangerous,” the coach said.
The good news is that Alan Velasco has improved each day and had a full training. If he continues to show well, he should be available this weekend.
Nico and staff have also analyzed what went wrong against New York City FC, the space and deep balls that stretched the team out. The hope is to return to a strong defensive unit with everyone on the same page.
Beyond this upcoming match, rumors have swirled up to the deadline that Paul Arriola was a target for Los Angeles Galaxy. I asked the coach if he could comment on those rumors and if that is a situation where you sit down and speak with a player if an offer materializes.
Nico shrugged. “FC Dallas has really good players. Any team in the league wants our players because they are good. Paul is happy here. He feels really good with the team, the community, and how the club is treating him and how he lives in Frisco. We were happy that there is interest.”
In addition, I asked Nico about Taty Castellanos’ four goals scored against Real Madrid and what that says about a league that is often underrated.
“He is a really good striker - he was here in NYCFC. Every time I talk with sporting directors in Europe, I tell them - the players that play in this league are good and good enough to make an impact in one of the five big leagues on the road,” Nico smiled. “It is great for MLS and for the teams that are making acquisitions that have that high level to see Taty’s success. It gives confidence to every player that if they do well, they can achieve other challenges and different stages.”
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