What’s Wrong With FC Dallas?


DISCLAIMER: to those searching for a silver lining: keep looking.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around what happened Friday night in Frisco. I wasn’t able to watch the game live, but I had it recording at home and was checking the score periodically throughout the game.

When Colorado went 1-0 up seemingly before the game had even started, I knew something was amiss. This is a Colorado team that hadn’t won a game in 18 matches and hadn’t scored an MLS goal all season. Surely it wasn’t going to be against us that the streak ended.

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Then I looked at the team sheet. I saw no Matt Hedges. I saw Michel and Ulloa paired together in the center of the pitch. Before I can break down what I think might be happening, it’s halftime and it’s 2-0. At the end of the night, I’m left wondering how in the world my FC Dallas ended up on the wrong side of a 4-0 thrashing to a team with an 18 game winless streak.

Sometimes you see a 4-0 score line, and you can highlight a few key moments where the game could have shifted in the other direction. There’s typically a crucial moment where one team’s missed opportunity fritters away any impetus they had going forward and invites the other team to take control of the game.

Unfortunately, that was not the case in this game. Colorado looked the better team the entire way through.

When I finally got home and watched how the dismantling took place, it was more upsetting than just seeing the final score on my phone. I imagined a number of wasted opportunities from Dallas and Colorado taking full advantage of every chance they got.

What I witnessed was the most lackluster display I’ve seen from this FC Dallas team over the past two years. I know that we normally have a mid-spring slump after starting hot in March (it happens every year), but the past two games have seemed catastrophically low considering the astronomically high ceiling they appeared to have a few games into the season.

From top to bottom, the team just looked “flat” – Oscar Pareja’s word of choice. Colorado completely smothered Fabian Castillo and rendered him useless on the wing. When he doesn’t have space to run into, Castillo can appear very pedestrian.

The back line was far from stellar. Anytime you give up four goals, you’re not having a good defensive game. It wasn’t entirely their fault, but the center back duo of Walker Zimmerman and Zach Loyd paled in comparison to the latter and Matt Hedges. In case you haven’t realized, Hedges is pretty important to the mettle of this team. Without him as a rock in the back, FCD struggles.

Like the last loss against the Timbers, there wasn’t much to gain from a performance so abysmal. I was a bit more optimistic about the last loss though. In fact, Pareja fixed many of the problems I thought were still present after that first loss of the season.

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  • He put Texeira on the bench, he played Watson at right back, and he gave Diaz a much-needed break to see if he could find some form. The troubling aspect is that I don’t think there were many tactical decisions that Pareja got wrong in this one. The problem seems to be rooted in the psyche of the team, which is far worse than a strategic switch here or there.

    If FC Dallas wants to go forward with the same ambitions that they had after the first few games, something has to change. Much to my chagrin, I don’t know exactly what it is this time. There’s something deep-seated that you can’t find on the team sheet. Two losses in a row, both in rather embarrassing fashion, certainly don’t help.

    Both the positioning and body language of the team were off kilter Friday evening. The former of those might be tactical, but the latter signals a deeper issue. All in all, it has me much more worried heading into what could be a very crucial stretch for FC Dallas.

    Next: The First Loss For FCD