Honestly, the difference between the DC United loss and the LAFC comes down to one thing: finishing. Against LAFC Kaumgo got the goal and FCD won the game, against DC United he (and several others) failed to convert and they lost. Otherwise, the games were almost identical.
“It just wasn’t our best performance. I know and believe we could do way better and just push for the next game.”Amet Korca
Lineups and Tactics
FCD rolled with the somewhat rare 3-4-3 giving Amet Korca his debut start at the right center back spot. Sam Junqua was at right mid, Jader Obrian returned at right wing, and Alan Velasco was playing as a false-9, putting Bernard Kaumngo at left wing. So the graphic is slightly off on the front line.
In the 63rd minute, Paxton Pomykal and Sebastian Lletget replaced Facundo Quignon and Kamungo shifting the team into a 4-3-3.
In the 75th minute, Tsiki Ntsabeleng and Herbert Endeley replaced Vleasco and Korca. Junqua moved to right back.
DC was also in a 3-4-3 but since, like a lot of clubs they are too chicken to draw a shape, we have to go with the MLS version.
DC went with the triple in the 68th minute with Mateusz Klich, Andy Najar, and Nigel Robertha replacing Yamil Asad, Ruan, and Kristian Fletcher.
Two more players came on after DC took the 1-0 lead. Cristian Dájome and Chris Durkin replaced Taxi Fountas and Lewis O’Brien.
DC United 1-0. 73rd minute. Taxi Fountas‘ initial shot is blocked by Sebas Ibeagha, who unfortunately falls down in the process. The ball rebounds directly to Fountas who gets off the shot for the goal. Neither Amet Kirca nor Edwin Cerrillo was able to close Taxi down on the 2nd opportunity.
My FCD Man of the Match was Nkosi Tafari. I thought he was superb defensively. According to fbref: 2 intercepts, 5 clears, 1 block, 7 recoveries, and 4/5 on aerial duels.
Sam Junqua again played above his talent level. He’s a very smart soccer player in a way becoming the new Ryan Hollingshead showing he can fill in all over the field. Very solid roster piece. 2 key passes, 5 passes into the final third, 7 progressive receptions, 3 crosses, and 4 shot-creating actions. Heck, a lot of the play came through him. He could easily be a Man of the Match choice as well.
Facundo Quignon was also excellent. The difference in a double is just crazy. He’s been one of FCDs best players over the last month, if not the best.
Camino del Medio
Better game from Alan Velasco. Still not great, but I saw some improvement. Maybe it was just being in a different position on the field? Woke him up a little? Yes, we’re demanding of him. But he’s high-priced and very talented. He needs to be more impactful.
Amet Korca showed some raw talent. Some recovery pace, athletic enough. Soild in shape and defending. He’s still reading the game about half a second slow. But he looks like one of the best 4th center backs we’ve seen in a few years. Something to work with.
“Amet was solid today. He played a really good game and we know it’s not easy to start games in the MLS. He showed he’s a confident player that can help the team. We’re glad he’s on our roster and that we’re able to count on him.”Coach Nico Estevez
Finishing. 11 shots for this team is fine, yes even at home. 73% of shots came in the box, also good… But just 1 shot on goal and no goals is NOT good. FCD works when they are clinical in shooting. This wasn’t that. Only 1 block as well, 9 shots were “off-target.”
Watching two teams who don’t want the ball, playing on long grass that is still growing in, in the sweltering Texas summer heat… was ugly. Lots of turnovers ugly.
I don’t care who you are, that’s funny.