Three Intriguing Quotes from Nico's Recent Press Conference
As usual, it's a lot of fun being on a call with FC Dallas Head Coach Nico Estévez and hearing his thoughts about the team and their progress.
On Wednesday, FC Dallas Head Coach Nico Estevez had his regular weekly call with a variety of reporters.
In an unusual move, Nico started with two announcements - first offering the team’s love and support to the Nashville community after the shooting at Covenant Christian School. Then he addressed concerns about Sebastian Lletget not being with the team over the weekend and ongoing mental health care. In both cases, Nico exhibited the care we have come to expect from him for his team.
Moving on then, he took questions, and a few quotes stood out.
On the slow start:
“The thing is we are working with the players and the staff to find a plan that helps us in these first minutes, mostly when we play away, to come into the game with a different mindset. We are a team that is brave, and we want to be brave at home and away. We will come out with a plan that helps us when we play away to start in a way that is different.”
On the mentality of the team to bounce back after that slow start:
“But I think after watching the game again, every time we had an issue in the game, we responded in the right direction. This means a lot for our staff and for our team like us. It says a lot about how strong of a mentality we have as a group.”
On Velasco in the middle:
“The thing about Velasco… he likes to be wide when there is space wide and be inside when there is space inside. For this specific game against LAFC and the way they wanted to press us, we thought it was good to have him in that position. Have him drop into spaces to get the balls and create dangerous plays.”
This early in the season, FC Dallas’ weakness has been giving up early goals and then having to fight their way back into the game. You wonder what might happen if the team could clean things up and keep a clean sheet. If teams score first, they are more likely to sit back and make FC Dallas break them down, hard to do for any team.
However, FC Dallas has responded in the games when they have gone down, which is a sign of something special with this squad. The fact that they outplayed Los Angeles FC for most of the game in an away match is something to point to as far as that mentality. But let’s hope the team can figure out how to start stronger and shore up the defense, especially those goofy mistakes they have been prone to make.
Finally, the interesting wrinkle with Velasco is that with both him and Jesus on the field, it could be like playing with two No. 10s. It does open the door to some complications to throw at teams down the road if players need rest. Velasco was pretty effective against LAFC, earning a number of fouls that slowed down the play or gave FC Dallas a chance to work a free kick or two. One of those free kicks led to the tying goal.
As usual, a lot of fun listening to Nico.