Three Reactions to Dallas' Preseason Loss Against Houston
You may have missed it, but FC Dallas wrapped up preseason with a game against Houston in Houston. Catch the replay on AppleTV. Here are some thoughts.
Preseason is a tricky thing for teams.
On one hand, it’s crucial to begin to build a sense of camaraderie, integrating new players and implementing fresh ideas in preparation for a long, grueling season. Head Coach Nico Estevez decided to take the squad to Spain for an extended run of games and practice to do those things and to perhaps help the team see some different kind of opponents than just domestic squads.
On the other, there is a lot that can go wrong - injuries, distractions, disorienting travel. FC Dallas has done international trips before, and it’s been a mixed bag.
The biggest mistake is to take too much from preseason, expecting that a team’s preseason form in any fashion will dictate how the season is about to go.
So when FC Dallas closed out its preseason with a 2-0 loss against Houston Dynamo, fans should probably not be too hard on the squad. Sure, we saw what may look like a starting lineup get an extended run together (around 80 minutes at least), but there are still plenty of question marks. The team did not have a full bench, as some of the reserve players participated in a scrimmage before hand.
A good preseason is about getting players fit, beginning to develop patterns and communication, and implementing some ideas (that will continue to be worked on in weeks ahead). I think Nico and his staff will be judged on those goals as the season kicks off next Saturday.
With that said, here are three quick reactions to the match yesterday which saw FC Dallas waste two clear break away chances and give up two disappointing goals.
No Reason to Panic: While we saw a strong starting XI, Sebastian Lletget is still working back to full fitness, and it’s a question whether Geovane Jesus will be the starter at right back (though maybe he has the edge). Alan Velasco and Paxton Pomykal looked ready to go. The two goals given up came on the kinds of concentration errors that you don’t mind messing up on in preseason, because the team is rounding into shape. Jose Martinez has to be more careful with those back passes to his keeper, and the weak clearance by Jesus Ferreira that allowed the opening goal can likely be addressed. Other than that, the team didn’t give up other clear cut chances. Jesus and Velasco will have an opportunity to put some balls in the back of the net soon and get going.
Defense Is a Question Mark: Geovane Jesus was active on the day, but he is going to need to adjust to the physicality and speed of Major League Soccer. Let’s hope he does sooner rather than later. Sebastian Ibeogha started at center back, and while he wasn’t terrible, there will be a drop off after losing Matt Hedges. If Ibeogha is just a nice veteran option of the bench, we will be fine. If he is the starter, it’s okay to wonder if he is the right signing to pair with Jose Martinez. Marco Farfan wasn’t as effective as I was hoping he would be too. All in all, not a bad showing for the defense, but if there is a drop off, it could be tough ahead.
The team needs someone to push Jesus: Jesus Ferreira can be so effective, but let’s be real - since the World Cup, he hasn’t regained the scoring touch we want to see. If he can’t get going, I don’t know if it is enough to count on Arriola and Velasco providing the goals. The team needs someone to push Jesus, a backup striker with some experience. Is FC Dallas looking for that player? Are they going to wait til the summer?
One final point to make - the AppleTV coverage was pretty solid. High quality. Interactive. Familiar voices and faces. It’s going to be a fun season.
What were your thoughts on this last preseason match of the season for FC Dallas? Were you able to watch the game on an Android device? Would you improve anything?