Tag Archives: FC Dallas

Four games in: the good, the bad, the ugly

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Official FC Dallas Reporter

By Bailey Brown // @baileystaysposi

Saturday, April 7: 1-1 Draw

If I’m being completely honest here, I didn’t get to watch much of the game even though I was at the game. That meant that I got to go back and re-watch it on Sunday to see everything the FC Dallas vs Colorado Rapids game had to offer. As always, there are things that I liked and didn’t like — this is the plight of the fan. However, I can’t help but think about a few specific things, and for these, I am breaking down the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good – Diaz to Colman

It finally happened. IT FINALLY HAPPENED. We were always told they were supposed to work together. The unicorn was going to magically get Cristian Colman the ball and this was our future. However, this never came to fruition. Mauro Diaz was out on injury or not in form to play a full game. Colman never got the start. If one was on, the other was off.

Fans felt that we were never going to see this connection that was supposed to be there. On Saturday, we finally saw it. Diaz crossed a beautiful ball into the far post and Colman connected with a header to equalize the game. Will we see this again? Who knows. But, for once, we saw this thing that was only spoken of as a possibility.

Our defense is consistent as well. I love the combination of Nedyalkov, Ziegler. Hedges, and Cannon in the back. They’re a solid back line. Hedges is doing his job of communicating and being the captain we need him to be.

Did Colorado score on us? Yes. But, they did what they should have in a 2 on 1 situation. I even think Hedges did well pushing a little more forward once Cannon came off. I firmly believe the consistency and communication from our defense is why we haven’t lost yet.

The Bad – Pareja, Diaz, and Much More…

Can Óscar Pareja command the field as the coach we need him to be? This is the question I find myself asking. I see some of the substitutes he makes and I am left scratching my head. I can say that I no longer can tell if he has lost the team, if he doesn’t have the personnel he needs, or if it is something else.

Pareja has respect in the FC Dallas community beyond measure and the team really seems to respond to him. However, is the relationship Pareja has made with people off the field ever going to come back to the field? I think we will really see by the end of the season.

A Few Quick Takes

  • I am over the Tesho Akindele experiment. I need him to make a difference with the minutes he gets on the field, and quite frankly, he is just another body to me at this point. That’s all I really have to say about him.
  • 2016 pre-injury Mauro Diaz may never come back. Actually, I think he is gone.
  • Carlos Gruezo needs to step up. At this point, I would prefer Jacori Hayes on the field over him every game. I already wrote about my love for Hayes previously, but if you look at the charts from the game on Saturday, you will see that for playing essentially the same spot, Hayes makes a much larger impact.
Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Hayes left, Gruezo right. Courtesy of MLS.

The Ugly

Even though FC Dallas is undefeated, we are 7th in the Western Conference. We have had 4 home games already with only one win. The issue is NOT shooting. Let that be known. The issue is FINISHING.

Out of 17 shots on Saturday, Tim Howard only had to make 4 saves. That is unacceptable to me. We have to get our shots on target and finish. Why does this matter? We are about to go on the road with our first away game against New England Revolution this Saturday.

FC Dallas is notorious for not getting points on the road. If we want to make the playoffs this year, we must connect through the field and put the ball in the back of the net. I’ll be interested to see how we do when we visit Boston (Foxborough… whatever) this weekend. I think it will be very telling of how we will fare on the road this year.

In the “real world”, I am a coach and I preach that offense wins games and defense wins championships. I would like to be proven correct this season by how our defense plays. However, FC Dallas needs more than just defense to be able to compete or we will end a mid-table team. This should not be where we, as a community, should settle.

I hope to see the team connect more in the top ⅓ of the field and hopefully start winning more than drawing.

Featured image of Cristian Colman courtesy: @FCDallas

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Time and Patience: Two qualities FC Dallas fans don’t seem to give, but it may pay off

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Official FC Dallas Reporter

By Bailey Brown // @baileystaysposi

Sunday, March 18: 3-0 Win

I’m going to start this off by saying that I was shocked that we really put yesterday’s game away. My feeling could be very wrong, but I usually feel like FC Dallas doesn’t do a great job of really killing off teams when they’re a man up. However, yesterday was different. I liked it. I liked it a lot. But, I had a lot of other thoughts on things that I liked about the game other than the score.

FC Dallas had what was arguably the worst fallout of a season in 2017. I feel that going into 2018, fans were wary of what we would see on the field. We had some great offseason signings and the promise of playing some of our kids. Dallas fans are notorious for not being patient and wanting to see changes and improvements: looks at watch… like, yesterday.

One thing we could definitely benefit from is seeing that time on the field for some of these new players and being patient with them. It will benefit everyone involved. I feel like we finally got a glimpse of what we can see from some of these players and it may just pay off.

Anton Nedyalkov: I didn’t know what to expect from this man from Bulgaria when we signed him. I liked what I saw in film and some Dallas podcasts interviewed fans from his former team and we liked what we heard. However, the transition to MLS can be a lot for someone and may take some time. Let’s just say, in the short amount of time he has been in Dallas, Nedyalkov has definitely earned his new nickname, “The Bulgarian Butcher”.

This man is a blessing to our defense. He really seems to not care if he puts someone on the ground and I love every second of it. I tend to feel that MLS usually is about speed and Nedyalkov is there to literally stop someone in their tracks. Not to mention, he is not afraid to completely push up and just throw another team’s defense off. He actually did this yesterday and set Lamah up for his second goal. It was beautiful and I can’t wait to see more.

Paxton Pomykal: Pomykal is one of those Dallas homegrowns I have been waiting to see really get some time. He came in for Jacori Hayes and only played 26 minutes, but he showed us a lot. Paxton has the speed down the side, but also the skill to make defenders look dumb.

There are two plays of Paxton’s that really stand out to me. One of the first runs he had was dribbling down the field and what seemed to be around five different Seattle Sounders players. I was impressed and the crowd seemed to be as well. The next play that stood out to me was when he kept control of the ball and made a great through to Barrios.

Something I think Dallas has struggled with is getting balls to Barrios for him to make the runs we know he is good at. Pomykal can deliver those and it sets us up for success on many levels.

Jacori Hayes: Jacori Hayes supposedly almost didn’t get the start, but I’m sure glad he did. This kid has impressed me. One thing I like about him is that he is just consistent. The FC Dallas midfield is just not as strong as we want it to be. There just seems to be a missing piece.

While Kellyn Acosta is out, we seem to be lacking depth as well. Hayes can hold it down. We still need that connecting piece that makes the ball movement from defense to our forwards more fluid, but I really think Hayes could be a part of that puzzle. With a little bit more experience and time, I think Hayes will take more chances and really make it his own. Not to mention, he took some hard hits yesterday. He is definitely tough physically and mentally.

Our game against Seattle was everything I wanted it to be. Were they without some key players? Yes. Did Dempsey go out on a red because he can’t keep his hands to himself? Yes. But, defeating Seattle always feels sweet. We had some solid plays from Urruti, Lamah, and Barrios, and I hope the team we saw yesterday continues to jell together and puts games away.

Also, congratulations to Oscar Pareja on becoming the winningest coach in the modern FC Dallas era!

#DTID

Featured image of rowboat celebration courtesy: Bailey Brown

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Soccer is a part of my life, always

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale
Official FC Dallas Reporter

By Bailey Brown // @baileystaysposi

Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to play soccer. My parents always said, “You can only play sports that we are willing to watch.” I guess that shows one the generational sports gap.

Dallas, my hometown, has always had a rich soccer history. Starting with the Dallas Tornado in the NASL, the Dallas Sting, Tatu and the Sidekicks, and finally, the Burn which is now FC Dallas; one simply cannot ignore the impact Dallas has had on soccer with Lamar Hunt’s influence in the United States. I guess all along, this resonated with me whether I realized it or not.

My best friends growing up were all soccer players and we would wear our purple Dallas Sidekicks jerseys. If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t realize that there was another soccer team in Dallas at the time, the Dallas Burn. My soccer journey doesn’t really start until my senior year of high school.

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale

My senior year of high school brought a lot of changes in my life. I quit volleyball and started taking German. With my love for the language also came their men’s national team in the 2006 World Cup.

I was hooked and I didn’t want soccer to stop being a part of my life. I started researching some of my favorite players. At the time, Bayern held claim to Lahm, Ballack (who transferred to Chelsea that year), Kahn, and Schweinsteiger. That’s when FC Bayern Munich became my team of choice.

Throughout college, I would wake up and watch them however I could stream the game. This continued to 2012 when I finally got to visit Munich for the first time. This solidified my love of the team who I now have in ink on my right arm. However, even bigger was this was a Euro Cup year. I got to experience watch parties with German fans in Munich and Frankfurt. When I came home, the streaming wasn’t enough. I needed to be in the game.

That’s when I found FC Dallas.

Bailey Brown - FC Dallas/mlsfemale

I went to my first game in 2012, saw the Garden, and instantly bought season tickets for the next year. I didn’t know a lot about the team, but I knew I wanted to be a part of the growing soccer community in the United States. Fast Forward six years: I am now in my third year serving as President for the Dallas Beer Guardians and in my second year of leadership for the Independent Supporters Council serving as Vice President for the 2018 season.

Giving female fans and supporters a voice in the game is a passion of mine. We are a growing audience who don’t just show up because of a significant other. We are fans. We are leaders. We are role models.

I look forward to giving you write-ups from games that not only showcase FC Dallas but how females are impacting the fan culture in the United States every single day.

Featured image: 1984 Dallas Sting Team – Photo credit: Dallas Morning News

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @baileystaysposi

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Colorado Rapids v FC Dallas

Jess Houwen - Colorado Rapids/mlsfemale
Official Colorado Rapids Reporter

By Jess Houwen // @jesshuh15

Saturday, October 7:1-1 Draw

With Tim Howard (USA) and Mekeil Williams (Trinidad & Tobago) called away for international duty and Michael Azira still out with a questionable ankle, the Colorado Rapids had a new lineup this past weekend against FC Dallas. They played their standard 4-2-3-1 formation with Alan Gordon starting up top for the first time since May. Nana Boateng started the game as a center midfielder, and I have to say that I really liked him there. He was decently physical, though he does still need to learn a little restraint.

 

From the first whistle, both teams played fairly lackluster which was surprising considering Dallas needed points to move into playoff contention. The Rapids struck first with Stefan Aigner getting his second goal of the season in the fifteenth minute. Nana Boateng drew the first card of the match when he slid in hard and late on Dallas’ number 37, Maximiliano Urruti. Atiba Harris got the first yellow for Dallas when it looked like he had a late tackle on Stefan Aigner. The card was overturned once it was evident that Aigner dove and Harris never touched him. Aigner lucked out here because he didn’t get carded for simulation. Several attempts and a minute of stoppage time later, the first half ended.

Jesse Gonzalez proved himself vital to FC Dallas’ defense during the second half by making some incredible saves. I couldn’t help but wonder if he’s going to be in the MLS much longer with his talent.

At the 53rd minute, Atiba Harris headed in the equalizer off of a corner kick and that would be the score for the rest of the game. Dallas uses their first sub, and Badji gets the second card of the game in the 67th minute. (It should be noted that this is the third game in a row that Badji has started an argument of some sort with the opposing team. With his contract being renewed for another two years, I wonder if this is something that will be addressed or not.)

Atiba Harris gets his true first yellow of the game when he elbowed the Rapids keeper, Zach MacMath, in the face while going up for a header. The contact was truly accidental as neither man saw the other coming because they were so focused on the ball. Once again, Nana Boateng shows just how much power he has when he kicked the ball from the halfway line into the 18 yard box. The tie would stand though, and move Dallas just above the line, while keeping Colorado ahead of L.A. Galaxy.

The Rapids face Real Salt Lake on Decision Day 2017 (Sunday, October 15, 2017) for their last home game of the season.

15’ – GOAL: Stefan Aigner (COL) – 1-0 Colorado

21’ – CARD: Nana Boateng (COL) – yellow

53’ – GOAL: Atiba Harris (FCD) 1-1

66’ – SUBSTITUTION: FCD (1/3) – Roland Lamah replaced by Tesho Akindele

67’ – CARD: Dominique Badji (COL) – yellow

69’ – CARD: Atiba Harris (FCD) – yellow

70’ – SUBSTITUTION: COL (1/3) – Alan Gordon replaced by Mike DaFonte

82’ – SUBSTITUTION: FCD (2/3) – Maximiliano Urruti replaced by Cristian Colmán

83’ – SUBSTITUTION: COL (2/3) – Stefan Aigner replaced by Shkelzen Gashi

88’ – SUBSTITUTION: FCD (3/3) – Mauro Diaz replaced by Victor Ulloa

Featured image courtesy: Colorado Rapids facebook

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A Tale of Two Goodbyes – Colorado Rapids

Jess Houwen - Colorado Rapids/mlsfemale
Official Colorado Rapids Reporter

By Jess Houwen // @jesshuh15

Wednesday, September 27: 2-0 Loss

This week has not been an easy one for the Colorado Rapids. Wednesday night’s loss combined with wins around the league has put the Rapids mathematically out of playoff contention. The tie between LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo means we are still in last place of our division, behind by two points now. Again, we are faced with needing the Galaxy to lose while we win in order to not come in dead last in the West. To top this off, the Rapids lost a center forward when Kevin Doyle retired on Thursday.

A win in Frisco would have meant that the Rapids still had the chance to challenge for the playoffs, however, FC Dallas had no intent of letting us off that easy. Like Saturday night, the Rapids again played in a 4-2-3-1 formation against Dallas’ 4-3-3. This match up saw the return of Bobby Burling and Dillon Serna to the starting lineup, and Stefan Aigner’s first start with the Rapids.

The Rapids played half-hearted nearly the full game on Wednesday night as if they had already given up any hope of ending the season with a win or two. Maynor Figueroa (FCD) started the game off with a goal five minutes in after Eric Miller missed a clear opportunity to clear the ball out of the box. Not four minutes later, Miller was beat once again, this time by Roland Lamah (FCD) for the second and final goal of the game.

Bobby Burling drew the first yellow card of the game after channeling his inner hockey player and hip checking Lamah. Colorado got their first opportunity at putting the ball in the back of the net when Matt Hedges drew a card after getting tangled up with Dominique Badji. Two more yellow cards came for the Rapids before the end of the first half when Stefan Aigner mouthed off to the ref and Mohammed Saeid threw the ball at Javier Morales’ head.

The frustration was evident in the second half of the game as the Rapids missed multiple opportunities on goal and, as a result, could not put together a comeback. The Rapids saw a bit of pick up in speed and goal opportunities late in the game after substitutions were made. Marlon Hairston came in for Stefan Aigner and his first touch was an attempt on goal. After being warned about time wasting in the 38th minute, referee Ricardo Salazar finally issued a yellow card for time wasting to Jesse Gonzalez in the 83rd minute.

The Rapids need more central players.

At one point in Wednesday’s game, the entire midfield was left open while players were either at the top of the box or at the midfield line. Kevin Doyle was one solution to that problem and was known for closing down the middle during games. Sadly, he announced his retirement from soccer on Thursday following medical advice from his doctors due to concerns about the risk of permanent damage from further concussions. He had not been seen on the pitch since the second half of the September 2nd game against the Galaxy after getting his second concussion of the season.

Doyle first came to Colorado from Crystal Palace in 2015 and had been a fixture on the Republic of Ireland national team since 2006. He finishes his 16 year career with 63 international caps, and the appreciation of Rapids fans everywhere.

Colorado next faces Montreal Impact at home on Saturday, September 30. Let’s go ‘Pids!

5’ – GOAL: Maynor Figueroa (FCD) 1-0 Dallas

8’ – GOAL: Roland Lamah (FCD) 2-0 Dallas

11’ – CARD: Bobby Burling (COL) – yellow

21’ – CARD: Matt Hedges (FCD) – yellow

44’ – CARD: Stefan Aigner (COL) – yellow

45’ – CARD: Mohammed Saeid (COL) – yellow

54’ – SUBSTITUTION: COL (1/3) – Marlon Hairston in for Stefan Aigner

63’ – SUBSTITUTION: COL (2/3) – Alan Gordon in for Dominique Badji

69’ – SUBSTITUTION: COL (3/3) – Shkelzen Gashi in for Mohammed Saeid

74’ – SUBSTITUTION: FCD (1/3) – Victor Ulloa in for Mauro Diaz

83’ – CARD:  Jesse Gonzalez (FCD) – yellow

86’ – SUBSTITUTION: FCD (2/3) – Ryan Hollingshead in for Roland Lamah

89’ – SUBSTITUTION: FCD (3/3) – Luis González in for Javier Morales

Featured image courtesy: @ColoradoRapids

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