Away day blues as FCD falls apart in Nashville

Dallas may have found its new bogey team as Nashville SC rolled over FCD with the Huntsmen offering little resistance.

“We can have all the possession we want and volume. We matched their shots, we have more crosses in them, we have more of the ball. But their shots go on target, and ours don’t. Their shots are dangerous and ours are not.”

Luchi Gonzalez

Luchi Gonzalez had one change to make from Wednesday’s win over Sporting Kansas City. Michael Barrios served a suspension for yellow card accumulation with Jesus Ferreira sliding into an otherwise unchanged lineup.

Nashville on the other hand made seven changes from a 3-1 win at Houston. Notably absent was MLS Player of the Week Hany Mukhtar through injury.

The expansion side could have been on the board inside the first three minutes as a Tanner Tessmann clearance dropped into no-man’s land on the edge of the Dallas box with Abu Dunladi easily outpacing 34-year-old Reto Ziegler. Dunladi teed up a shot on the edge of the area, but Jimmy Maurer was able to get down low to make the save.

As Dallas struggled to gain a foothold, Nashville countered off a fantastic sliding block from Walker Zimmerman. With FC Dallas moving the ball upfield through Andres Ricaurte, the former FCD defender read Ricaurte’s through pass to Franco Jara, deflecting it to his center back partner who found Randall Leal immediately. Leal and Derrick Jones exchanged passes down the hosts’ left before the former cut inside and shot from outside the area with the ball deflecting off Ziegler past Maurer’s reach.

Dunladi should have doubled the lead five minutes before the half as he once again tortured Ziegler. The former Minnesota United man collected a header from Jones on the left, backing up Ziegler before curling narrowly around Maurer’s far post.

Dallas failed to get a shot on target through the first half but did cause a momentary scare entering injury time as a Fafa Picault cross found Ryan Hollingshead in the area. Hollingshead attempted to shoot first time, with the balling ricocheting off both Dave Romney and Zimmerman on the way through to Joe Willis in the Nashville goal.

Luchi Gonzalez’s side began the second half with some purpose in its possession. Andres Ricaurte and Jesus Ferreira combined to give Bryan Acosta a shot from out wide. Franco Jara was another beneficiary from a Ricaurte pass, as he seemed to be going one-on-one but for Nashville’s superior pace to count as Romney deflected Jara’s shot.

If Acosta’s earlier shot was a change from the long-range efforts he’s gained a reputation for, a 56th minute chance was an even greater departure. Ricaurte held the ball up before spreading wide for Ryan Hollingshead to cross. Acosta’s late run into the box saw the team’s best chance of the opening hour, but the Honduran was inches wide with his header.

“We were getting the ball into the attacking third but we’re not rewarding ourselves. If Brian Acosta’s header goes on target, it can change the game.”

Luchi Gonzalez

Gonzalez wait until late to begin his tinkering, with Brandon Servania and Ricardo Pepi the first to get their run out at the expense of Tanner Tessmann and Franco Jara. The latter refusing the coach’s hand shake in a show of disrespect and frustration at a sixth game without a goal.

Immediately after the sub, Dallas broke down the left through Fafa Picault in a rare glimpse of normalcy. Picault’s cross evaded Pepi in the center with Jesus Ferreira able to make the late run, albeit only finding the side netting with his volley.

Nashville grabbed a deserved second goal through Jhonder Cadiz, albeit off another deflection off of Bressan.

Daniel Rios should have made it 3-0 as the back line failed to follow his run on a Daniel Lovitz cross. With the goal at his mercy, Rios headed down into the feet of Maurer.

“To be honest, today they deserved it more than us. We need to be smart and try to learn why they played better than us. Try to think about our style, where we can prove, and be more efficient”


The 25-year-old would make it three successive games with a goal ten minutes later as Rios took full advantage of a ball-watching defense to give Randall Leal an option. With no threat of a challenge, Rios left Ziegler on the ground and shot across Maurer to seal the expansion club’s second win over FC Dallas.

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