Monday Morning: FC Dallas Playoff Hopes Are Unchanged
Win out, and FC Dallas comfortably makes the playoffs. Continue to draw, and well, maybe they make it?
Over the course of a busy weekend, I had to neglect the ol’ blog here on Afterburn, as I was emotionally exhausted from a whole bunch of things, including my day job and that FC Dallas performance on Saturday evening at home.
Once again, when a single extra goal would have made a massive difference in FC Dallas’ postseason positioning, the team came up short.
And yet, it wasn’t a terrible performance.
Was FC Dallas unlucky? Are they snake-bit in front of goal? Or are they on the verge of breaking out again?
Once again, FC Dallas has a stingy defense. It’s not that they are incredibly dominant and keep their opponents yards from goal. They give up opportunities. Teams are able to find ways into the box, but it’s sort of a bend don’t break mentality. FC Dallas, due to a combination of veteran experience, excellent goalkeeping, and old school tenacity, thwart the juiciest of efforts. That’s good.
I like how Illaramendi has come on as a capable member of this squad. He has shown some quality and may continue to be rounding into form. Nice pickup for Dallas.
The offense, too, is not at rock bottom. The team generates quality opportunities against opponents who want to set up a low block. It looks time and time again that the attackers as a whole are feeling some confidence and trust in each other’s movements. Jader Obrian deserves some credit too for playing out of his mind these past few weeks.
Early goals kill this team, and in particular, against San Jose, it was just this little moment that killed them in the 3rd minute. That kind of goal is the type we saw from North Texas SC throughout their ill-fated season. Take your foot off the gas, and you get punished. Relax a little too much, and a guy like Ebobisse will take advantage.
While the attack got into dangerous spots, this team needed finishers. Jesus Ferreira has been a lethal finisher, but on Saturday night, he missed. Paul Arriola came up short. Even Sebastian Ibeagha couldn’t get the header past San Jose. Close is not good enough. Is this a mental thing? Do they need a sports psychologist or a meditation session before this weekend’s huge match?
I’m not a fan of the subs that Nico brought on, largely because they were probably too late. I get that the team felt like they were cooking, but if you have guys miss point blank shots, you have to think about rotating somebody in or adjusting the formation.
Finally, I want to see Jesus up top, not in the midfield or out wide. If he ends up there in the course of movements and makes a play, great, but I don’t want to see Jader Obrian as our lone striker up top in crucial moments. I love the guy, but the team needs more, and that starts with Jesus higher up the pitch.
The Big Picture
A point is better than zero, and FC Dallas remains in the driver’s seat as far playoff contention. If they can get a win this weekend, they are likely in, and they could still mess things up with a huge match at Los Angeles to close the regular season out.
But, it is possible that this team will find a way to give up another draw. It is still possible for this team to be on the outside looking in as the postseason draws near. That’s unfortunate… but sadly possible.
We will be live again this evening at 8 PM CST to break down the result.
What did you think about the match? What would you do in Nico’s shoes?
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