From Bad to Worse: FC Dallas Run Out of Oxygen Against Colorado Rapids
I went with a quirky title, only because I know FC Dallas fans are feeling pain tonight. Is this the summer swoon? What will change FC Dallas' luck?
With fireworks waiting, Colorado Rapids’ fans had reason to celebrate - the first home win of the season.
Yes, you read that right. The Rapids have been so bad that even their home form, typically as strong as any in the league due to the altitude and travel, has suffered.
For teams struggling then, what seems to be the antidote? A visit from FC Dallas.
FC Dallas too has been struggling. I’ve written at length about the numerous injuries that have made life very difficult for the team. Guys like Sam Junqua, a depth piece brought in for his veteran presence and versatility, are forced to score goals while Jesus Ferreira is away at the Gold Cup. It’s not good right now, and it hasn’t been good for a while.
But for the first time, I think we can ask questions of the coaching staff as well, as they lined up in a conservative look to begin the game. Was it a 3-4-3 or a 5-3-2? Did you plan to lock down things at the back and take your chances going forward? Did the staff scout enough to anticipate a wide open game that ended up stretching and exploiting the team?
Sebastian Lletget is working his way back from injury, but despite signing a contract extension, the guy hasn’t been very good this year. Tonight, he was invisible, deployed as a winger or as a striker? It’s uncertain.
Amet Korca is a young project, getting the bulk of his minutes with North Texas SC as he adjusts from time in Croatia. He did decently in his last appearance, but tonight, he was poor enough to get yanked at halftime for a young guy who is still figuring out the right-back position. The first goal from Colorado was on his poor marking too.
Alan Velasco gets to the end line, but without a striker in sight (and the ones available on the bench), there is no one to cross it to.
Jader Obrian is who he is at this point in his career, a decent speedster who can give you some offensive opportunities but isn’t quite talented enough to serve as the focal point of an attack.
Sam Junqua is your best player of the match, scoring off of a ricochet shot that gave FC Dallas an unlikely early lead.
Youngsters like Dante Sealy and Herbert Endelay made energetic appearances and boosted the team. That’s something.
Maarten Paes did legendary work in goal once again but couldn’t perform miracles.
After the match, Nico answered some of our questions. I’ll give a snippet but expect more during the Afterburn Soccer Show on Monday.
“I think we were flat. Even after we scored a goal, the team was very flat,” Nico said to reporters. “Something we have to address and improve. In the second half, we started out better. We were very unlucky with the PK. Through Facundo, we were better at controlling the game. They were more uncomfortable than in the first half. We made three subs. They gave us a lot. We created some dangerous situations. We are unlucky that we didn’t finish on goal.”
I asked Nico why he kept the particular formation for this match, something the team has used for the matches against Los Angeles FC and DC United.
“With this quick turnaround, we wanted to present something very simple with the players. This is why we kept that.”
Fans are upset about this run of form, which threatens FC Dallas’ playoff hopes if they don’t find ways to get healthy and turn results around. Nico had a word for fans too.
“There is no one more disappointed than us,” Nico said. “We have the issues now but also the solutions are inside of this locker room. We will find the solutions for this result that we had against DC and Colorado.”
What are your reactions to this disappointing result?
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