The Breakdown – FC Dallas vs LAFC

As I always say, winning is fun. But I get it, most of this game is boring and FCD often plays a boring style.

“It’s a great feeling, especially because it was a good effort from the team. We deserved to get something out of this. We got the three points tonight at home in front of our fans who we have not seen in a long time. ”

Sam Junqua

Lineups and Tactics

FCD media drew it up as a 4-4-2 but when the game started it was clear Coach Nico Estevez deployed a 4-3-3. With Jader Obrian missing for “personal reasons” – since confirmed by us to be an internal FCD suspensionBernie Kamungo started up top as coach looked for speed.

Sam Junqua got the nod at right wing, more on that down below. Sebastian Lletget returned to the lineup.

FCD XI vs LAFC 7-1-23
The FC Dallas XI vs LAFC on July 1, 2023. (Courtesy MLS)

69th minute, Jose Mulato replaced Kamungo as the young striker tired. 71st minute, Amet Korca replaced the injured Geovane Jesus and Tsiki Ntsabeleng came on for Lletget, the latter was probably a planned minute restriction.

83rd minute, Paxton Pomykal (yay!) came on for Alan Velasco.

LAFC rolled in a 3-4-3.

The LAFC XI at FC Dallas on July 1, 2023. (Courtesy LAFC)
The LAFC XI at FC Dallas on July 1, 2023. (Courtesy LAFC)

At the half, the Champs brought on Kellyn Acosta and Kwadwo Opoku for Timothy Tillman and Giorgio Chiellini.

Then in the 65th, Carlos Vela replaced Ilie Sánchez and in the 80th, Nathan Ordaz replaced Erik Dueñas.


FC Dallas 1-0. 56th minute. A long throw into the box by Geovane Jesus (like a corner) gets loose and Bernard Kamungo pokes it in. Sometimes chaos is good, put it in the box.

“Bernard is a player that has something special about him.” – Nico Estevez

FC Dallas 2-0. 90th minute. Here, I’ll let Sam Junqua tell it himself.

Lo Bueno

My FCD Man of the Match was The Abeleine Kid, Bernard Kamungo. He brought energy and worked his tail off, making runs and fighting for his team right up until he was subbed off. He was on an island in the whole game (12 touches) but took his chances when they came (4 shots). A goal in his starting debut is just wonderful.

Kamungo island
Welcome to Kamungo Island. (Courtesy MLS)

“This is a pretty good feeling, this is fun and we just need to keep working and show people what this team is all about.”

Bernard Kamungo

Sam Junqua also played really well. Yes, there are more talented players but he plays smart and within himself. He reads the game well and works back to give up Geovane behind him, who needs a lot of help defensively.

Nkosi Tafari & Sebastien Ibeagha did a nice job containing the LAFC strikers. They have some real firepower up top and it was mostly contained. Only a 1.1 xG off of 15 shots with that kind of possession reads to me as smart defense and preventing danger options. Maarten Paes had to make just 3 saves out of 15 shots.

Hey, I know that guy with a podcast.

Camino del Medio

Yes, FCD is often boring and very defensive. 70% of the game was dull featuring a mid to low block. LAFC controlled the game with 63% possession and out-shot FCD 15 to 7. But that’s the FCD way. Don’t let ’em score and get ’em late. This is what the Burn do on the road every time. LAFC is a better team so FCD went all road style on them even though they were at home… and won 2-0. It works.

“We were very strong in the first half. We managed to try a different fixture and when it came to the second half we pressed more and continued to attack. It definitely helped us a lot in the second half as we did a better job and managed to score two goals. ”

Coach Nico Estevez

Weird night for Edwin Cerrillo. 71% passing is ok but only 1 for 4 on long balls. Just 2 for 4 on tackles and 2 for 5 on stopping challenges but also 5 blocks, 1 interception, and 10 recoveries. Only 2 of his 27 receptions were progressive, 0 of 27 carries progressive, and 5 of his 29 passes were progressive. He was just kind of… there. Not awful but not good. Yet, that’s not going to keep him on the field as the guys get healthy.

Muy Feo

Sebastian Lleget didn’t do much and when he did it was kinda meh and that’s a problem. FCD needs him to be good this year or it’s not going to be able to compete at the top of the division. Just 28 touches, 72% passing, 0 shots, 1 key pass, 0 progressive carries, 0.1 xA, and just 3 recoveries. He got the lowest grade among the starters in our (returning) player grades.

Geovane Jesus, who wasn’t great anyway, was holding his knee of lower quad right before subbing off. It will be interesting to see if FCD recalls Collin Smith again. Although I have an idea about right back I’ll get into tomorrow in the DC preview.

Instant Reaction – 3 Things

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