Apr 7, 2018; Frisco, TX, USA; FC Dallas goalie Jimmy Maurer (14) makes a save against Colorado Rapids Joe Mason (10) in the first half at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Here are three things we learned from FC Dallas’ disappointing 1-1 home draw with the Colorado Rapids at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, Saturday.
FC Dallas came into this homestand hoping to get as many points as possible to start off the season. The end result? Six points out of 12. In a league where home matches are of the utmost importance, dropping points in three matches can be devastating. Two of those three matches were come-from-behind draws (Real Salt Lake, Colorado) and the other was an inability by Dallas to take advantage of being a man up (Portland).
Dallas has lacked an offensive spark, getting in dangerous positions but not scoring or even threatening goalkeepers. The team needs to find answers in the offensive third by adding players in the transfer window or making some changes tactically. The problem has prolonged for over a year now, since the departure of Fabian Castillo, who provided a threat opposite Michael Barrios on goal.
Another Good Result for Colorado
People may not like the way Colorado plays, but it gets points. Anthony Hudson’s men absorbed pressure and hit Dallas on the counter, with Dominique Badji finding Joe Mason for their only goal of the match. It was a good result for Colorado on the road. Getting a draw on the road can be considered a victory for the team, although that late goal was disappointing to concede.
The system Hudson runs is considered a three-man back line, but defensively it was a rigid five-man back line with offseason signing Edgar Castillo and Kip Colvey dropping into defensive roles. The wings seem to be an issue, as Dallas’ game plan was to attack the wingbacks — predominantly on the left side through Roland Lamah and Anton Nedyalkov. Colvey did get beat a couple of times but on the night he had a solid outing as did Castillo.
These are the type of grind-it-out results the team needs to get back into the form that got them to the conference final two years ago. Hudson will look to continue it next week against a potentially tired Toronto FC side.
Decision Time is Approaching
Kellyn Acosta likely won’t play this weekend against the New England Revolution, but a major decision at his position is coming for FCD and Pareja. Jacori Hayes has been outstanding during Acosta’s absence. Carlos Gruezo, on the other hand, has struggled at times in playing a role that doesn’t suit him and he was pulled early against Colorado for Harold Mosquera.
With Acosta needed in the lineup and the team not looking to change its formation anytime soon, who will be moved to the bench? Do not be surprised if it is Gruezo, even with his experience and his designated player status. Pareja has benched DPs before and had two on the bench for this week’s match. Hayes has been a surprise, and maybe it’s time to pair him with Acosta and see how it works. Gruezo has completed 81.9 percent of his passes, compared to Hayes’ 90 percent.
Acosta provides that link from the defense to the offense. Pareja must determine who is better suited for that more defensive role. Gruezo has been a key part of Dallas’ team for the last couple of seasons but it seems harsh to keep him in the lineup over Hayes, who has been better. It won’t happen this week, but come one hour before the match against Philadelphia, the team will show what direction they want to go in that holding midfielder role.