May 19, 2018; Frisco, TX, USA; Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert (31) heads the ball against FC Dallas midfielder Santiago Mosquera (11) in the second halfat Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
FC Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps played to a 2-2 draw Saturday afternoon in Toyota Stadium. Reggie Cannon and Maxi Urruti both contributed to the score sheet, as Dallas allowed two late goals to give up the home draw. Here are three takeaways from the match.
Reggie Cannon was impressive on offense
During the week, Cannon talked about knowing the right opportunities to push forward and stay back, something coach Óscar Pareja has stressed to him during the season. He’s had the rein to attack but has struggled in his decision-making. Saturday was a different story, with Cannon bursting up the wings with confidence, attempting to take on defenders. That was the case on the opening goal of his Major League Soccer career, which was an absolute beauty.
The minute before his goal, Cannon was involved on the offensive end, with Roland Lamah finding him open on the wing. That play stretched the defense and even though the play eventually amounted to nothing, it showed a glimpse of Cannon pushing more and more forward. The next minute, the play begins the same way, except deeper. Cannon makes the run and Lamah finds him again, around midfield. A foul is drawn and on the quick free kick, Cannon makes a quick run and is through. Lamah finds him for the third time in a span of a minute and a lazy kick-out attempt by Brett Levis gives Cannon the space to get off a shot and the end result was the goal.
Cannon’s involvement in the offense was an emphasis for Dallas. The fact that the team looked at him for that space on three occasions in a span of a minute in game shows that. Pareja’s confidence in Cannon will continue to rise as he gets more and more comfortable going forward. He’ll be a threat on the overlap that can cause issues.
Disappointing Michael Barrios
It has been a rough season for Michael Barrios, who had 14 assists last season and was one of the league’s most lethal threats on the wings. He was the subject of transfer talks between Dallas and Argentine side San Lorenzo, who put in a $5 million bid for both the Colombian and Maxi Urruti. That was ultimately rejected by Dallas, but it showed that eyes were on Barrios.
This season, it can not be more opposite. Barrios has one assist in 10 matches (seven starts) and has been a shadow of his productive self at the moment. His pace still remains, as evidenced by his runs to burst past defenders and get crosses off. Saturday, he had a chance to give Dallas a 3-1 result in the 87th minute. Ryan Hollingshead won a key header from his wingback role off a Jimmy Maurer goal kick and found Santiago Mosquera, who made a run to the byline and squared a ball across goal. Barrios had beaten his man, which was Alphonso Davies, and was open in the middle of the box. Barrios then skies the effort over the bar. Around 10 minutes later, Anthony Blondell draws a penalty and Vancouver equalizes.
Barrios has also been guilty of giving up on on a couple chances early, including one against NYCFC, where he could have had a shot — and probably a goal — if he’d continued going at full speed. Mosquera and Lamah seem to take his place in the lineup.
Will Barrios ever find that lethal form again? It’s still early in the season, but if he can’t, Dallas might be thinking about that offer they rejected from San Lorenzo.
A draw out of nothing
Credit to Vancouver for fighting and scratching for three points, something Pareja mentioned during the week as a key attribute of the team. The Whitecaps created a draw out of pure effort and hard work, sending players into the box late to try and force a mistake.
Vancouver did not threaten all game and its lifeline came from a Dallas own goal, created out of nothing. Then a reckless play from Maurer led to a penalty drawn and FCD’s lead disappeared. This is a result Dallas will look back at in disappointment if those two points end up being crucial in the playoff race. Just last season Dallas lost a tiebreaker to San Jose and missing the postseason.
The team must learn how to grind out results. It’s something every top-ranked team at the moment as done: Atlanta did it on the road against Minnesota and Orlando; The Red Bulls did against Colorado; Sporting KC has done it against D.C United and Colorado. That’s the next step for Dallas. Giving up a 2-0 lead at home is not good enough.