A stoppage-time goal from Diego Hernandez saw FCD’s MLS Next Pro side come out victorious versus the 2022 UPSL champions, DKSC, on Saturday. North Texas spent the lion’s share of the game in DKSC’s half, who were organized and defended very well.
NTXSC was without the help of 2022’s standouts as Bernard Kamungo, Jose Mulato, and Isaiah Parker were all rostered with FC Dallas for the Minnesota United match.
Yes, that’s FC Dallas’ newest singing Sam Junqua at left back. Obviously, the organization wanted to get him minutes after signing late last week.
A few North Texas players stood out, but Amet Korca stood above the rest in the scrimmage. The “Arlington Eagle” was heavily involved in all set piece opportunities and connected with a few. Korca had great anticipation and poise as well, snuffing out all chances that came his way.
Midfielder Andre Costa’s remarkable poise and distribution were unmissable. He rarely put a ball wrong and was able to stand up to intense pressing from DKSC. With FC Dallas’s bench being light on midfielders, Costa will want to stake his claim to be an FC Dallas depth piece.
On loan right back Yeicar Perlaza handily controlled the right flank, getting forward often and effectively, He troubled the opposing netminder with a laser just outside the 18-yard box.
Anthony Ramirez and Trialist 3 were both very involved in the match on the right wings, with Ramirez finding good shooting lanes and Trialist 3’s close control being critical in assisting Diego Hernandez‘s winner.
Dan Crooke: “Presumably Trialist 2 is Kevin Gonzalez and Trialist 3 is Tomas Pondeca.”
Antonio Carrera was quite vocal throughout the match, calm under pressure, and made a few impressive saves to keep DKSC off of the scoreboard.
It was a mixed bag for NTSC returners Santi Ferreira and Pablo Torre. Ferreira has the potential to be a quite lively and productive midfielder, but often gets caught in possession. Torre struggled when playing with his back to goal but was able to be more effective when in-between spaces.
North Texas SC will continue to prepare for their season, with 3 more scrimmages ahead before the regular season for MLS Next Pro kicks off.