The Breakdown: FC Dallas at Minnesota United – Sept. 9, 2020

FC Dallas went up north in a relatively positive mood having come off a 3-1 win over the Loons back on August 29th.  Los Toros were probably even looking forward to the cool temps that dropped into the 40s.

Unfortunately, some early gaffs in the back put FC Dallas in a hole and they struggled to come back. The second half was much better but there wasn’t enough and Dallas fell 3-2.

Lineups and Tactics

FC Dallas Head Coach Luchi Gonzalez rolled out a 3-4-3, which I actually expected. What I didn’t expect was Ryan Hollingshead in the middle center back spot with Bressan at right center back. More on that later. Bryan Reynolds started at right wingback with Ricardo Pepi at left wing.

FCD starting XI at MNUFC in a 3-4-3, September 9, 2020.

Halfway through the first half, Bressan swapped spots with Hollingshead.

Then at halftime went 4-2-3-1 by bringing on new signing Andres Ricaurte for Johnny Nelson and moving Hollingshead to left back

FC Dallas 2nd half 4-2-3-1- at MNUFC on September 9, 2020.

Then chasing the game, Luchi brought on Tanner Tessmann for Brandon Servania in the 62nd minute and Santi Mosquera for Ricardo Pepi in the 68th minutes both in straight swaps. Then finally a double swap in the 87th minute of Dante Sealy and Jesus Ferreira for Thiago Santos and Ryan Hollingshead which made the team kind of formation less and just overloaded on offense against 10 men (82nd-minute red card on Romain Metanire for a tackle on Ricaurte).

Minnesota United under coach Adrian Heath in their normal 4-2-3-1 as well.

MNUFC’s starting XI vs FC Dallas, September 9, 2020.

Jacori Hayes came on for Emanuel Reynoso in a protect-the-lead sub in the 73rd minute.  Then Raheem Edwards came on for Mason Toye in the 81st minute and Bakaye Dibassy for Kevin Molino in the 87th minute.


1-0 Minnesota United goal. 11th minute.  Ryan Hollingshead with a colossal gaff, hands the Loons a goal by Mason Toye. Robin Lod cut out the pass and assisted.

2-0 Minnesota United goal. 28th minute. A fantastic team goal by United.  A lovely sequence of passes is finished by Kevin Molino on a trailing run.

2-1 FC Dallas goal. 42nd minute.  Bryan Reynolds overlaps Michael Barrios and plays a hard cross to the back post for Ricardo Pepi to finish. Choo choo!

3-1 Minnesota United goal. 70th minute.  Kevin Molino gets his brace with a PK.

Here’s the foul when Ryan Hollingshead goes to ground for a tackle at a poor time.

3-2 FC Dallas goal. 77th minute.  An FC Dallas corner is headed on by Bressan, both Franco Jara and Santi Mosquera are there but Santi gets to it and puts it into the net.

El Bueno

Andres Ricaurte playing just half the game was electric and was my Man of the Match.  45 touches, 75% passing (that’s fine for an attacking mid), 2 key passes, 1 shot, drew 2 fouls, 4 tackles, 2 intercepts, and 3 crosses.  But it’s not simply the numbers, he was sparkling. Movement, pressing, vision, touch, and some silky passes. I’m so excited about what he’s bringing to the table.

Andrés is a special player. You saw Andrés’ quality coming in the second half, he gave us possession, he gave us creativity, diagonal balls, balls between lines and service. So he’s absolutely going to help this team and this family.

Luchi Gonzalez

Bryan Reynolds was terrific at wing back and outside back.  71% passing is lower than we are used to from Cannon, but a lot of those were into the box (Ziegler was the only defender to pass at a rate over 80%.)  65 touches, 3 (!) key passes, 7 crosses, 1 dribble, 4 tackles (tied FCD high), 1 intercept, and 1 clearance.  Check out his passing chart in the first and second half (I split them because of the formation change and added Nelson to 1st half for comparison) and look how much action is in the final third. Look how high Reynolds’ average position is. It’s higher than Servania and Pepi both. That’s what FCD needs for Luchi-Ball. Plus his recovery speed when he does make a mistake is amazing.

Bryan Reynolds passing chart by half – 1st half left includes Johnny Nelson – and FCD’s average position chart.
Bryan Reynolds all-touch video vs MNUFC by 3rd Degree contributor Mr Kranks.

Once again I liked Coach Gonzalez’s in-game formation and tactics changes.  The recognition to swap back Bressan and Hollingshead to stabilize the back. Then the switch to the 4-2-3-1 to get control of the midfield. I like them both.  Just maybe let’s stop over-thinking the before game stuff so much. 

Dante Sealy looked bright (while FCD was a man up, admittedly).  Congratulations, kid, on the MLS debut. He needs a bunch of North Texas SC playing time and he can’t get it right now.  But it’s still exciting to see his talent.

I’m really proud of him because he’s evolved and grown, not sure physically, but matured. What a talent. But he’s adding tools to that talent, work rate, tactical understanding, and being a great teammate. I’m so proud of him. Whatever role he has on the field, he’s got energy, excitement, and no fear. He can absolutely help this roster. 

Luchi Gonzalez

Camino del Medio

Other than handing the Loons 2 goals, I love Ryan Hollingshead in this game as a leader.  He was a big part of the team getting back into it, elevating them with his intensity.  After the game, he owned his mistakes as a good leader does. No question he had an overall bad game but there’s also no question he helped lead FCD to get back into it.

Really if it wasn’t for my giveaway in the first, kinda early stages of the game for their first goal, I think the game would have been completely different in terms of the way it opened up after that and the way we had to respond and push forward. With a mistake like that and then a cut back ball on the top of the 18, then the PK. I think you look at those goals and you think [big picture] we’re fine. 

Ryan Hollingshead

FCD did an ok job of making MNUFC shoot from outside the box. All of the Loons goals this year leading up to this game (but one) had come inside the box.  Check out this Loon shooting chart vs FCD… all three goals (one was a PK, duh) and all the shots on target (except for one) are from inside the box.  All the shots not on target (but one) or blocked are form outside. Lesson: keep the Loons out of the box.

Minnesota United shots against FC Dallas, September 9, 2020, broken up by on target and off target.

Santi Mosquera – who was listed as out on two of the three locations for the MLS injury report – was on the bench and played. He was pretty good in bursts and moments. It’s come down to him being an attacking-sub option for 10 to 15 minutes and that’s about it.  He scored, made a good run, but Jara was there too.

Muy Feo

My only real bad thing was the Luchi lineup choice to put Ryan Hollingshead at the middle center back.  I really don’t get why you would think that was a good idea. Ryan has never looked good while playing centrally.  All I can come up with is trust. Luchi trusts Ryan. I’m not putting Ryan’s garbage first half on Ryan. The PK, sure, that’s on Ryan.

I have to be critical of myself there, I believe in every player that we put on the field and in every formation. We put them in and we put them in there so they can be successful and, in some, we hope that that is going to be more successful than not. But, you know, you obviously saw, in the beginning, it was not maybe clear enough.

Luchi Gonzalez

I’m almost surprised I only have one negative thing to say on this game. Overall it was a pretty solid performance and FCD could have taken this one. We keep talking about games FCD could have won, though. At some point you have to win them.

There’s no excuses here, whether we have our full roster or not. You can see at the end of the game, how we pushed. We’re disappointed not to get at least a point but we look in the mirror first.

Luchi Gonzalez

Next Game

FC Dallas hosts Houston Dynamo this Saturday (September 12) at 7:30 pm CT.  TXA21 has the game is you decline to attend.

1 Comment

  1. Ricaurte – Drew two fouls. Should probably be pointed out both of those resulted in cards, yellow and straight red. With his defensive ability/willingness he may be the ultimate pest in the center of the park. Will get under the skin of the opposition just enough to push em over the edge.
    Not that I’m placing him on Mt. FCD just yet, only one game. But certainly an impressive debut.

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