The Breakdown: Inter Miami at FC Dallas – Oct 28, 2020

After the defensive bunker in RSL, I’m sure FCD was relishing getting back home and into their “normal” Luchi-Ball ways.

This was FCD’s first win of 2020 when the opposition scored the first goal of the game. FCD’s record when conceding the 1st goal is now 1-5-1 this year. So that’s better, right?

The feeling in the locker room is great, I mean, obviously, we needed that. That was three points, getting goals, getting a win coming from behind. If we get a few more wins, you know, we could be in a really good spot coming into the end of the season with either total points or points per game.

Matt Hedges

Let’s break it down…

Lineups and Tactics

Of course the 4-3-3 but the interesting bits were Bressan in for Reto Ziegler (I had hoped for Callum Montgomery) and Jesus Ferreira returning to the 10 role sliding Andres Ricaurte to the 8.

FC Dallas XI vs Inter Miami, October 28, 2020.

Ricardo Pepi replaced Fafa Picault in the 72nd minutes.  Then Ema Twumasi came on for Jesus Ferreira in the 82nd minute.

Finally, Coach Luchi Gonzalez went with a double sub in the 87th minutes replacing Frano Jara with Tanner Tessmann and Andres Ricaurte with Johnny Nelson.  This double sub was accompanied by a shift to a 5-4-1.

Inter Miami in what I think is their normal 4-2-3-1.  Disappointingly to FCD fans, Victor Ulloa didn’t start and Brek Shea wasn’t in the 18.

Inter Miami XI at FC Dallas, October 28, 2020.

Inter coach Diego Alonso was forced to make an injury sub in the 28th minute, bringing on for the Dylan Nealis clearly struggling Nicolas Figal.

Then in a defensive move in the 76th minute as Inter looked for the road tie, Victor Ulloa came on for Matías Pellegrini.  

After that didn’t work and FCD took the lead, Alonso changed it up again and went offensive in the 84th minutes as Federico Higuaín replaced Dylan Nealis and Julián Carranza replaced Wil Trapp.


0-1 Inter Miami goal. 33rd minute. A quality combination in midfield leads to Rodolfo Pizarro on a terrific inside cut for the easy slot past Jimmy Maurer. The only thing that might have killed this was some defensive help in the midfield with Thiago Santos who was dealing with two players.

1-1 FC Dallas goal. 60th minute. Franco Jara is the logical PK taker with Reto Ziegler out.  Solid PK, you could tell Jara kind of played it safe.

The PK Foul.  Good combo by Bryan Reynolds and Michael Barrios.  Poor foul though as Reynolds was moving away from goal. The end line is the defender’s friend there.

2-1 FC Dallas goal. 82nd minute. Another Reynolds overload. Bryan Reynolds runs past 4 defenders, beats a 5th with the pass, and finds a crashing Ryan Hollingshead at the backside for the goal.

The ball cut between the center backs and I saw that one of them had lunged in so I aimed for crossing it between his legs and I saw that Ryan and Pepi were in the back post waiting for the ball.

Bryan Reynolds

El Bueno

Ryan Hollingshead was my Man of the Match.  He was the most consistently dangerous attacker all game and played solid defensively too. He led FCD in shots (3) and shots on goal (2). He also had 3 dribbles and 2 blocks.

Bryan Reynolds was also exceptional and was a legit MotM candidate.  Interestingly to me, it seemed he more often overloaded Barrios to the inside channel rather than outside in this game. His second half was better than the first half certainly as Bryan was staying home too much, probably as a hangover from RSL. 75 touches, 85% passing, 3 key passes (!), 4 dribbles, 2 tackles, 3 for 4 on crosses, and 2 for 4 on long balls.

In the first half, I felt like I wasn’t getting forward as much, but also it felt like we were dominating. In the second half, Luchi told me to attack them the way I know how I play and that gave me some confidence. In the future, I need to have more confidence going forward and getting more into the attack.

Bryan Reynolds

Andres Ricaurte as a linking-8 was interesting. You may recall that when I first saw YouTube of him, I said he liked to come from deep and was almost an 8.  Well over time since he’s arrived, Ricarute has slid back more each game and this time was playing as a pure 8.  102 touches, 86% passing, 3 drawn fouls, 2 tackles, 1 clearance, and 9 for 11 on long balls.  There were a few occasions he needed to check back and help Santos defend more, notably the opening goal, but it wasn’t that often he wasn’t helping.

Bressan looked pretty good with Hedges.  This combo worked just as Hedges/Ziegler one does because Hedges has the pace and range to cover. 91 touches for Bressan, 91% passing with 8 for 10 on long balls, 2 tackles, 2 intercepts, and 4 clears. 

I liked seeing Matt Hedges back as captain. He was noticeably vocal and demanding. I loved it. He was a dominant presence.  90 touches, 92% passing, 2 tackles, 2 intercepts, 6 clearances, and 1 block. What a performance.

I never like to miss any games for injury or any reason and I always want to be out there and I’m glad it wasn’t a serious one and, you know, glad to be out there and help the team get three points.

Matt Hedges

Jimmy “Allstate” Maurer was again terrific in net. 5 saves is a heck of a performance. Maurer is such a stable influence and a great communicator. He makes the backline better by just being in there.

Camino del Medio

Jesus Ferreira, despite passing the ball out of bounds twice early, had a great first half. He was working his tail off, covering tons of ground, defending, and showing for his teammates.  Unfortunately, he hit the wall right around the 70th-minute mark and quit moving. He went over and camped outside right in Barrios and Reynolds space forcing Luchi to sub him out.

Muy Feo

Finishing in this one, ouch.  This was the proverbial, could have had 4 (or even 5) by halftime.  FCD’s expected goals and actual goals this season have been pretty much equal, meaning it’s been more about creating chances than not finishing… not in the one. Not in the first half anyway. Often the shot never ever got taken with play being fumble out or turned over in dangerous attacking positions.

Michael Barrios was his usual self.  2 shots, 1 on target, 2 key passes, 83% passing… but one of the biggest problems for him this year has been the fumbled pass, the misses reception. He had 5 of those in this one. That’s got to be better.  Granted Franco Jara and Fafa Piculat had 4 each as well so it’s a bigger, offensive problem and not just Mickey.

Next Game

It’s the Texas Derby as Houston Dynamo comes to town on Saturday. Kickoff is at 2:30 pm CT on Univision.

Instant Reaction – 3 Things

Inter Miami at FC Dallas.

1 Comment

  1. Don’t underestimate Zeus’ involvement in the lead up to the PK call for the first goal. Takes a firm pass in a tight spot, eliminates Matuidi with his first touch, and plays fast out to Barrios. That’s the Ferreira-at-#10 play I think Luchi sees, especially with a distributor like Ricaurte sitting underneath.

    That said, my biggest complaint with Ferreira last night was that he didn’t play that fast enough. Too often he would collect the ball, pause for a second to pick his head up and figure out what he wanted to do, and then act. I think he could be a real contributor in that #10 spot if he can play quicker more often … And get on the end of more service in and around the box since Ricaurte and Santos sit further back.

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