FC Dallas falls short chasing the Loons

FC Dallas fell to its first defeat on the road in 2020 as Minnesota grabbed their revenge from Dallas’ 3-2 win in Frisco 11 nights ago.

Dallas’ growing injury list meant that Luchi Gonzalez was forced to bring in MLS pool goalkeeper Charlie Lyon to back up Kyle Zobeck. With no Matt Hedges, Ryan Hollingshead started in the middle of a back three as Gonzalez sought to emulate the 3-4-3 low block that shut down Minnesota in the home fixture.

It wouldn’t take long for Hollingshead’s inexperience at center back to be exploited as a poor attempt of a pass was hauled in by Robin Lod. Hollingshead was caught watching the ball in the immediate aftermath as Mason Toye slipped behind ready to receive the ball with a finish through the legs of Kyle Zobeck.

Much like FC Dallas in the reverse fixture, the hosts went 2-0 up in the first half and once again from a Dallas possession. A Johnny Nelson throw in was flicked straight back to the Loons’ midfield with Roman Metanire bringing the ball down the right flank. With the Dallas defense failing to mark up, Kevin Molino was afforded plenty of space in the box to receive the pass and shoot low beyond Zobeck.

Dallas struggled to gain any foothold in the game, but began to put passes together with five minutes until the half. Franco Jara had a fantastic opportunity for a first-time shot from a deflected Michael Barrios cross, but the Argentine forward took several touches before running himself out of any shooting position.

“Once we got penalized with my mistake [on MNUFC’s first goal], I think the players realized we’ve got to start breaking lines and as soon as we did – which was the game plan the whole time, to break lines and to push higher. As soon as we did that the game change momentum shifted, everything changed into our favor.”

Ryan Hollingshead on the team’s slow start

Almost immediately after Barrios was the one to let the goal go begging as a Jara shot was blocked into the path of Bryan Reynolds. The wing back slipped the ball to Barrios with Dayne St. Clair struggling to get back on his line, but Barrios’ shot could only find the crossbar.

Barrios and Reynolds would combine again in the 42nd minute, as the latter overlapped before playing a low cross to the far post for Ricardo Pepi to slide home his second goal of the season.

After Luchi Gonzalez told media that Ricaurte would have made his debut but for the rash of injuries in Kansas City, the new playmaker took to the field for the second half in place of Johnny Nelson as the team shifted to a more familiar 4-3-3.

Ricaurte didn’t take long to put his stamp on the game, playing a beautiful curling ball off the outside of his right foot for Barrios to run onto, only to see his fellow Colombian dragged down. As more of an attacking 8 than a traditional 10, Ricaurte showed a keen defensive game making several important stops.

“He gave us possession, he gave us he gave us creativity. He gave us diagonal balls, balls between lines, and some service. He’s going to help us, absolutely going to help this team and this family.”

Luchi Gonzalez on the impact of Andres Ricaurte

Barrios spurned another chance to bring Dallas level shortly after the hour, intercepting a poor pass into the Minnesota defense and racing clear only to mishit his shot wide when one-on-one with St. Clair.

Disaster for FCD as the Loons pushed out a 3-1 lead with 20 minutes left on the clock. Ryan Hollingshead slid in an attempt to clear a loose ball in the box, but it turned into a clumsy challenge on Metanire. Contact was minimal but enough to prevent any hope of VAR overturning the call. Molino shot down the middle for his second goal on the night.

Dallas chased an equalizer as Luchi threw every offensive sub he had at the game including a debut for Dante Sealy. It only took seven minutes to bring the lead back down to one as an Andres Ricaurte corner was flicked on by Bressan ready for another substitute – Santiago Mosquera to volley home.

The Loons were visibly agitated that Dallas would not fade away, picking up three yellow cards and with eight minutes to go, a red card. Ricaurte and Metanire slid in for a 50-50 ball, only Metanire failed to pull out once the ball had gone catching Ricaurte with both cleats off the ground. An easy decision for a referee who was in favor of letting play continue through the night.

Dallas fought and clawed against the ten men of Minnesota United, with Mosquera close to forcing an own goal in added time. With Dallas playing the ball around the edge of the area, Mosquera saw an opening with Bakaye Dibassy forcing a save out of his own goalkeeper to preserve the three points.

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