Apr 14, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Revolution forward Teal Bunbury (10) warms up prior to a game against Dallas FC at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
FC Dallas went on the road for the first time this season and came back with a 1-0 victory, thanks to a Jacori Hayes goal. Here are three takeaways from the match.
FC Dallas can create without Mauro Diaz
The worry for Dallas fans when the lineups came out Saturday was the lack of a playmaker. Mauro Diaz, the main creator for Dallas, was on the bench but not expected to play on the artificial turf surface of Gillette Stadium.
However, Dallas seemed to create many opportunities, on the counter and on the wing, courtesy of Roland Lamah. Lamah found Cristian Colman open in the box, but the Paraguayan failed to finish the move. Lamah also patiently found Jacori Hayes in the middle of the box, and Hayes slotted it past Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner for the only goal of the game.
The 4-4-2 (or really 4-2-3-1 with Urruti deep) seems to be a formation in which The Huntsmen excel. They played with that formation in their 2017 Concacaf Champions League run and for the beginning part of the 2017 MLS season before Diaz came back into the side.
The question is, how can they adapt to that formation with Diaz, Hayes, and Acosta?
Hayes has performed well, Diaz is the offensive threat and Acosta is a U.S. men’s national team player who connects the offense and defense. The team will probably revert back to the 4-2-3-1 with Diaz as the attacking midfielder, but there could be contemplation of a future with the 4-4-2.
New England can do better in final third
New England was off (and still is) to a great start to the season. First-year coach Brad Friedel has surprised many, but Saturday there was something left to be desired. The Revs started the game with a strong press, which gave FC Dallas problems. But after the first 10-15 minutes, Dallas settled into the match and the press wasn’t an issue.
Jimmy Maurer made some big saves for Dallas, but of the Revs’ 21 shots only five were on target. Multiple efforts were blasted over the crossbar.
Verdict still out for Cristian Colman
Colman made his first start of the 2018 MLS season, and his performance showed how rusty he is. He had a couple of chances and just couldn’t put them in the back of the net. Colman was given a ball on a platter from Lamah and headed it at goalkeeper Matt Turner, who made the save. But the most frustrating play for FCD had to be Colman’s breakaway, where he took a touch when he was 2 on 1. The touch of the Paraguayan was not good enough tonight, although he did provide a presence up top that Urruti struggles to have.
This season could be make or break for Colman. A DP forward needs to score goals in this league.