The Breakdown – FC Dallas at LA Galaxy, May 2024

We all knew this was going to be a really brutal three-game road stretch and the opener at LA Galaxy proved just how though it’s going to be. A 3-1 stomping probably doesn’t even do it justice.

“It’s not good enough. We know we can do better than this.”

Bernard Kamungo

Lineups and Tactics

Coach Nico Estevez played the same 3-4-2-1 with Patrickson Delgado at the 10.

The FC Dallas XI at LA Galaxy, May 29, 2024. (Courtesy FC Dallas)
The FC Dallas XI at LA Galaxy, May 29, 2024. (Courtesy FC Dallas)

FCD triple sub at 67′ again seems planned for management. Dante Sealy, Sebastian Lletget, and Jesus Ferreira come on for Marco Farfan, Liam Fraser, and Paul Arriola. That’s a lot of offense. Delgado shifts to 6.

79th minute, Bernard Kamungo on for Sam Junqua. Is that a leg wrap on Junqua? Good grief. Yes, he started the game with it.

After Nkosi Tafari‘s 2nd yellow, FCD shifts to 4-4-1 for a few minutes then in the 85th Omar Gonzalez comes on for Delgado and the team goes to 3-4-2.

Since the Galaxy PR are cowards and don’t post a shape, here’s the XI from MLS with their 4-3-3.

LA Galaxy XI vs FC Dallas, May 29, 2024. (Courtesy MLS)
LA Galaxy XI vs FC Dallas, May 29, 2024. (Courtesy MLS)

67th minute, Greg Vanney took out his striker on a brace as Miguel Berry replaced Dejan Joveljic while Daniel Aguirre came on for Diego Fagúndez.

79th minute, Jonathan Pérez replaced Edwin Cerrillo. Then in the 88th, Mauricio Cuevas replaced Gabriel Pec.


0-1 LA Galaxy goal. 4th minute. Quality passing goal all the way from the back by the Gals, Gabriel Pec with the layoff to Dejan Joveljic. Easy as you like.

1-1 FC Dallas goal. 22nd minute. Paul Arriola out wide to Marco Farfan, who crosses to Patrickson Delgado… and what a gorgeous one-toch shot that is. Gotta be a tough xG but holy smokes is that good.

“On the first goal, we had a really good play, we were very patient moving the ball side to side before finding Marco (Farfan) for the cross. We have to be more consistent on those kinds of plays.”

Nico Estevez

1-2 LA Galaxy goal. 67th minute. Dejan Joveljic with the PK.

1-3 LA Galaxy goal. 94th minute. Dante Sealy with a poor header to Riqui Puig. Sealy catches up and gets two chances to get the ball back and fails to dispossess the amazing Puig. What a goal by Puig.

Lo Bueno

My Man of the Match was Asier Illarramendi. He was basically playing midfield by himself. From fbref: 103 touches, 89% passing, 11 progressive passes, 10 passes into the final 1/3, 4/5 on tackles, 3 blocks, 7 recoveries, and he drew 4 fouls. 0 dispossessions and 0 flubbed receptions. I’ll be amazed if he renews with this team after this season.

Patrickson Delgado has a real nose for goal and relishes the moment. Watching a 6 play 10 is certainly something but he rises to the occasion. He also makes it difficult for the opposition to play out. I’d love to see him as an 8 in a 4-3-3, maybe in front of Illarramendi as the pivot.

You probably know this but Riqui Puig is good. I’m gonna quote my friend Steve Davis when Mr. Puig was left out of the first-choice Team of the Week…

“Riqui Puig was sensational: 151 touches, opened up the FC Dallas defense for the first goal, made the pass that set up a PK, and scored the final goal on a mazy dribble. Dominated the match.”

Steve Davis

I was pleased to see our old friend Edwin Cerrillo starting for the Gals. Glad to see him doing well. He’s started 10 of 16 for them this year passing at a 96% clip.

I mentioned in my 3-Things, I like the continued offensive improvement happening from Ema Twumasi. He’s fit and still has good defense. He’s recorded the fastest speed by an FCD player this year. I’d like to see some of that offense from Marco Farfan too. It’s important in the 3-4-2-1. Twumasi was 30 for 30 on passes with just 39 touches. 0 for 2 on takes-ons, that needs to improve.

Maarten Paes was again excellent with 6 saves.

This double save is insane.

Camino del Medio

It’s odd, with all those positive comments you would think FCD played well. They did not. two of the bueno comments are about the other team.

It stinks that Nkosi Tafari will be missing the next game. But that 2nd yellow at least was totally fair.

Muy Feo

Bernard Kaumgo sums it up well:

“It’s about small details. We lost our minds at the last second and we gave away fouls. That’s how the game goes. Every time you lose the confidence and lose the individual battles you get punished.”

Bernard Kamungo

I think Petar Musa with quality service could be elite. But right now he’s flubbing too many balls into him. Part of the issue is the lack of width (from wingbacks) by FCD so the defense is putting Musa in a box. But 6 mis-controls on passes is higher than I’d like.

Yes, you did see Jesus Ferreira playing right back for a stretch. I just can’t even…

We’re used to the opposition, particularly on the road, having a high number of shots, and this time it was 25. What’s not ok was the 9 shots on target. I can live with 25 shots if they are high and wide, but this wasn’t that. 4.3 xG is stupid bad. See how all these shots are in the middle, or even worse in the middle and inside the box? Yeah, that isn’t good.

LA Galaxy's shot chart vs FC Dallas, May 29, 2024. (Courtesy
LA Galaxy’s shot chart vs FC Dallas, May 29, 2024. (Courtesy

Dante Sealy, again, made a poor defensive play with a flatulent header to no one that Puig recovered and dribbled right into the gap for the goal. Sealy, who is supposed to be fast, chased him with about 90% effort, which is an improvement actually, but wasn’t able to challenge before the goal. That’s two games in a row Sealy has made a late bonehead mistake that gave up a goal.

“It’s just little details and focusing on those details. Those are the things that are going to make a difference. It’s not big mistakes, big differences nor big adjustments. It’s about doing the little things and being disciplined and doing them.”

Marco Farfan

Do these look like the faces of a team that thinks they have a chance to win? Ok, maybe Patrickson Delgado.

The FC Dallas XI at LA Galaxy, May 29, 2024. (Courtesy FC Dallas)
The FC Dallas XI at LA Galaxy, May 29, 2024. (Courtesy FC Dallas)

Instant Reaction – 3 Things


  1. Just found your blog and man, this is amazing. Maybe one day we can link up for some content? Here is a video I did today. Let me know what you think. But great stuff. Left feeling more informed.
    Why is FC Dallas Defense So Bad This Year? (23-24 Season

  2. Alright in an effort to be more positive imma say that there are occasional moments when Sealy has the ball at his feet and you see him dribble and drive through defenders like not many guys on this team can that I understand why there’s interest in him as a winger prospect. But as long as we’re in this formation or anything else that gives him defensive responsibility I feel my soul wilt and die any time I see him check into a game. He’s not just a weakness, he’s actively detrimental to the team and as long as coach is (mystifyingly) sticking with this shape I don’t want to see Sealy on the field again.

    Honestly as much as I hate being the boring vanilla dude, I’d like to see us run out a plain old 4-4-2. Mainly because I wanna see Farrington and Musa play together. Their size could give teams fits if they’re both out there. This team desperately needs a strength they can lean on and I think those guys have the talent to be it. Then Jesus and Arriola can be the wings, Delgado and Iiramendi mid, Farfan & Junqua at FB, and Tafari & Ibeagha CB.

    Even if it doesn’t work it’s gotta be better than this godawful 3-4-2-1 that seems to highlight the worst attributes of our players.

  3. It’s a bit amazing that its taken almost 15 years of Dante Sealy being Dante Sealy for that to catch up to Dante Sealy. But….but…but…potential! In fairness, he’s making a quarter mill a year at 21 and still gets run outs, so maybe it has yet to catch up to him anywhere but in the comments here.

    Sadly I think FCD is going to end up having nothing but a bag of doubloons in a safe at Hunt manor to show for the greatest Academy class (’03s) that the world has ever known.

  4. Whatever instructions or complete lack of confidence Twumasi has is crippling the team. He’s always open, he almost always has a lane to the goal line, but he NEVER takes it to the line, he NEVER crosses the ball. It erases the entire right side of the field because you already know he’s not going to do anything with the ball.

    Press hard, get the ball up the wing and put it in the box…then do it over and over. If creative 1-2 opportunities present themselves, then of course you take them…but you don’t work that possession crap when you can keep the defense under pressure with constant crosses that are there to be made…they just pass out of them.

    The worse part of the possession is the laziness with which we play it. Just slow lazy passes back and forth, not even tiring to the defense. There’s no change to the pattern, no creativity…you can’t make the defense make a mistake like that.

    It’s a shame the manager can see the same game and not think that a change is needed. Same sh!t game after game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *