Monday Morning Hangover: FC Dallas Draws at Home, North Texas Dominates Austin FC 2
In a busy weekend, FC Dallas held on to a draw at home against the red hot Columbus Crew, and North Texas finished their season strong. What did we learn?
Happy Monday, friends.
Consider this your appetizer as we look ahead to an Afterburn Soccer Show this evening at 8 PM CST to look back at a 4 point week for FC Dallas and the close of the season for North Texas SC.
Now, to the good stuff…
FC Dallas Draws at Home Again
I have been pondering FC Dallas’ draw against the Crew all weekend. When the final whistle blew on Saturday evening, I was disappointed and also strangely satisfied. I think that feeling has lingered.
Playoff teams find ways to win their games at home, so the disappointment was that FC Dallas couldn’t do more. They certainly showed up and played a fairly solid game against one of the best offenses in the Eastern Conference. I liked the defensive performance against the way the Crew attacked. The offense, while not perfect, generated enough opportunities and was unlucky not to tally at least one more.
Jesus Ferreira will be thinking back to the decision or indecision that did not have him square a ball to Jader Obrian for an easy finish.
So, yeah, this is a game that FC Dallas should have won.
At the same time, the Columbus Crew had at least two chances (maybe three if you count Julian Gressell’s mis-hit on the back post) that should have gone in. Cucho’s shot that bounced off the cross-bar was a particularly huge bit of luck for Dallas. This game could have gone the way of the visitors. It was fascinating that Wilfred Nancy relied on his first team, a sign that the team wanted to push hard to secure a high seed in the brutal East.
A draw is a solid result for both teams considering the back and forth play and general energy expended in the match. Dallas can fortunate or unfortunate. The Crew can feel the same.
The away win earlier in the week at Real Salt Lake dampens also some of the disappointment. If you had told me we would get 4 points out of this week ahead of time, I would have taken it. It’s the kind of clip that Dallas needs to hold on to if they want to punch that ticket to postseason action.
What did you think about the draw at home? Could this be a preview (if Dallas gets hot) of a potential MLS Cup final?
North Texas Win to Close Out 2023
John Gall was proud of his team after the final whistle, despite a long weather delay, that saw North Texas dominate Austin FC 2 3-1 at home.
“We worked really hard throughout the last six-eight weeks to make sure the players know what is expected from them. We knew it was going to be difficult because we were anticipating a delay with the weather as well. At the end of the night we got the goals, and we deserved the win,” Gall said to media after the match. “We wanted to finish the season on a strong note. The team definitely grew more during the second half of the season.”
Jose Mulato got his 11th goal of the season, a really stellar stat considering how he often he was with the senior team this year. Herbert Endelay, playing as a right winger, got his fourth goal of his rookie campaign. Hope Aveyevu has done enough to at least earn a camp invite for FC Dallas with a goal and an assist.
North Texas is a different team, although the questions will linger as they face a long offseason and important decisions over who sticks around.
Two players to watch for immediately - Hope, as I already mentioned, and Carl Sainte. Is this offseason a chance for them to take their next step?
Even before those decisions are made, does Coach John Gall get the head coach position? Does the team look elsewhere? We’ll do some thinking about that later this week.
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