Monday Notes: North Texas Struggles Continue, Hedges to Austin
At home againt SKC II, North Texas hoped to relaunch their season under a new head coach, but the result seemed all too familiar. And could an FCD legend end up back in Texas?
Hey Afterburners, I admit this was a fun weekend of soccer, at home and abroad.
The US Women’s National Team notched their first group stage win, 3-0, in the Women’s World Cup. The question remains on how this team will improve and get even more deadly in front of goal as the tournament unfolds.
Leages Cup action already saw FC Dallas collapse to Charlotte FC, but Lionel Messi scored a game winner in Miami. Unbelievable.
North Texas Continues to Struggle
With Javier Cano dismissed as head coach, front office staff for FC Dallas indicated it was time for a new direction. John Gall stepped in for the first time as a head coach, promising to build on what worked but introduce fresh ideas for this young roster. For a long run of minutes on Saturday night, the home side looked the part after going up with a nifty back heel goal from Jose Mulato to give them the lead.
But the lead wouldn’t last. Sporting Kansas City II would equalize and then earn a penalty kick to give them a 2-1 edge, all before the second half.
The collapse looked similar to other recent results, highlighting the inexperience of this squad especially in crucial moments.
Gall, though, wasn’t distraught about the result.
“Football is about putting the ball in the back of the net, and they did that tonight and got the win,” the interim head coach said to media after the game. “Overall, you saw a different North Texas team tonight. It was a team with a lot of confidence and a lot of belief in what they were doing. They were passing the ball, keeping the ball, and progressing when we needed to. We created a good number of chances in the game, but when you give those couple of goals away at the end of the first half it sticks a pin in it.”
I appreciate Gall’s positivity. There is little to be gained at this point in wallowing in the team’s inability to keep a lead or grab more goals. It will take time, which also has us wondering why Cano wasn’t given a bit more time for such a young squad to grow together and figure it out.
Matt Hedges to Austin FC?
In one of those storylines that no one had on their bingo card, FC Dallas club legend Matt Hedges may be on the move from Toronto FC to Austin FC, as reported by Tom Bogert at the Athletic.
If you recall, FC Dallas allegedly made a contract renewal offer for the longtime defender, but Hedges went with the more lucrative offer in Toronto. In the meanwhile, Toronto FC has been miserable, dealing with numerous injuries, an aging squad, and disarray. Hedges has been one of those injured, unable to steadily perform for the club.
The move is curious for Austin FC. Do they know what they are getting? The deal might include Toronto paying half of Hedges salary, currently at $900k, but Hedges has not looked like the stalwart defender of old. Perhaps returning to familiar soil will help?
Some might wonder why FC Dallas isn’t exploring such a trade, but it doesn’t really make sense. Maybe if Jose Martinez’s injury kept him out longer, you could make the case that a veteran centerback would be a nice help for a second half push. As of now, Hedges might not even start for Dallas.
It would be eerily weird to see Hedges in green, though.
Afterburn Show Tonight
We are working on a live show tonight. Look for a separate post in a bit, but we should be at the same time and place - 8 PM CST.
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