FC Dallas began the challenging run of five road games from the next six with a collapse in Southern California.
There were a pair of surprises in Luchi Gonzalez’s team selection as Ema Twumasi and Edwin Cerrillo were thrust into the lineup at the expense of Jader Obrian and Facundo Quignon. Bryan Acosta had been listed as out by Major League Soccer, but played with FC Dallas a final time before heading to prepare for Honduras’ Gold Cup Campaign.
Beyond that, the 4-4-1-1 remained as FC Dallas sought to consolidate the positives from the past two home games, and turn those into the first road points of the season.
The LA Galaxy were without MLS’ leading goalscorer, Chicharito, but did retain the services of Sebastian Lletget with the midfielder granted a late start with the USMNT camp.
Jimmy Maurer had a few spectacular saves against LA’s other team, and kept that record up in the eighth minute after Kevin Cabral got his head to a Victor Vazquez ball from deep. Maurer did well to not only palm the ball away, but keep the ball in play in a non-threatening area.
Vazquez was provider again in the 17th minute as Dallas conceded a second goal from a corner in a week. The former Toronto midfielder played the dead ball from the FCD left, with Rayan Revoloson easily beating Johnny Nelson to head the ball beyond Maurer’s reach.
The Galaxy doubled the advantage just ten minutes later off the back of a 20-pass sequence starting back at the goalkeeper. The five-time MLS Cup winners brought the ball down the Dallas left with Sebastian Lletget cutting the ball back from the end line for the late run of an unmarked Kevin Cabral and a first time finish low into Maurer’s goal.
Samuel Grandsir rattled Maurer’s crossbar moment later as Dallas struggled to show any resistance towards the LA attack.
FC Dallas struggled to find any energy in the half, frequently sitting players behind the ball and experiencing great difficulty in possession. What had previously worked with the 4-4-1-1 no longer did. Jesus Ferreira and Ricardo Pepi’s link-up play was non-existent with the pair only exchanging six passes in the first half. The early press replaced by a mid block, letting the hosts dictate the tempo. Nkosi Tafari’s passes out of the back minimized without the lateral movement of Facundo Quignon creating openings.
Luchi Gonzalez used the break to modify his lineup changes, with Quignon replacing Bryan Acosta, and Jader Obrian subbing in for Johnny Nelson to force Ryan Hollingshead to slide back to left back.
Despite the changes, it would only take six minutes for Ethan Zubak to add to the Galaxy score,- and in the most baffling of ways. An innocuous ball came over the top with Ryan Hollingshead comfortably in position to clear or shepherd the ball back to Jimmy Maurer. Hollingshead attempted a diving header that only served to slow the ball up and give Zubak a run on goal. All the while, Jimmy Maurer was caught far enough of his line to allow Zubak to round the Dallas stopper, after failing to step further out and attempt to smother the ball.
Dallas’ first hour lacked a single positive, until the team’s first real opportunity to score – albeit from some comedic defending from Greg Vanney’s side. Dallas worked the ball around the edge of the LA area, stumbling through with Jesus Ferreira able to get a shot off after taking a touch around a weak attempt from Jonathan Bond to claim the ball. Nick DePuy held firm to comfortably deny Ferreira and deflect the ball back to the waiting hands of Bond.
Gonzalez felt that Franco Jara replacing Ema Twumasi was the solution to kick start the offense, making that switch in the 65th minute, and it took just five minutes to show some effect as the Argentine got FCD on the board.
Jesus Ferreira spotted the run of Jara, playing a neat ball over the top that Raveloson tried and failed to clear. The former Pachuca man knocked the ball past Bond and slipped the ball into the empty net for only Dallas’ second goal on the road in 2021.
The goal was Jara’s first from open play since October 2020, ending a run of 710 minutes.
Jara had a good chance to turn provider just minutes later, feeding a ball through for Ferreira, but Bond was able to rush out and claim the ball ahead of the Homegrown.
That would be Ferreira’s last involvement, being pulled for Paxton Pomykal while Szabolbcs Schon replaced Ricardo Pepi in the off-striker role. The Hungarian came closest to turning offense with a shot blocked as Los Angeles comfortably held off Dallas to leave the Hoops without a point on the road.
The defeat leaves Dallas still only two points ahead of its franchise-worst 2003 season, and as the only team in the Western Conference yet to claim points on its travels.