The Breakdown: Orlando City at FC Dallas – Sept 27, 2020

Club legend Oscar Pareja brought his new team to town on Sunday night and given the numerous connection between Orlando City’s staff and FCD’s it was no surprise the sides were very similar and fairly even.

Nothing but pride and respect. I’m sure it goes both ways. Not just Oscar but (Luis) Muzzi and his whole staff. He has relationships with ours (staff), it was a good celebration of the history of the club and future of the club.

Luchi Gonzalez

Let’s break it down…

Lineups and Tactics

Two teams playing a very similar shape and system, both in a 4-2-3-1.  Coach Luchi Gonzalez went with, what is for him, the first choice XI. That meant Santiago Mosquera at left wing and Bryan Acosta at linking-8.

I’m using a lineup version I made with the players’ ages listed under their names. Just an observation I have been noticing of late.

The FC Dallas starting XI vs Orlando City, September 27, 2020.

Due to injury, Fafa Picault replaced Mosquera in the 21st minute.

Luchi made a double sub of Jesus Ferreira and Tanner Tessmann for Andres Ricaurte and Bryan Acosta in the 66th minute. In the 89th minute, Ricardo Pepi replaced Michael Barrios.

Coach Oscar Pareja sets his team up in the same style 4-2-3-1 although they play it more narrow in syle. His PR team draws it as a 4-4-2 but it doesn’t work like one.

The Orlando City starting XI at FC Dallas, September 27, 2020.

Pareja too had to make an injury sub early, Kamal Miller for Ruan in the 23rd minute.

In the 63rd minute, Daryl Dike and Benji Michel replaced Tesho Akindele and Chris Mueller. Then in the 75th minutes, Andres Perea replaced Mauricio Pereyra.



El Bueno

Reto Ziegler was my Man of the Match.  I thought he was terrific all night with his positioning and game reading. He was particularly good at picking up the extra attacker coming into his zone.  Just 61 touches – that’s low for him – but 84% passing, 1 key pass, 3 for 3 on tackles, 7 clearances, and 1 block.

Bryan Reynolds is consistently one of FCD’s most dangerous players in the attacking phase and his defense continues to improve each game. You might look at Nani’s 9 shots and be concerned but Bryan made him work for it all night and all but one of the shots came from outside the box.  That’s what you want to do, force Nani to shoot from distance (Nani had 89 touches, that’s a staggering amount for a wing). Reynolds timing was a bit off in the first half, concerned about Nani and/or asked to stay home I assume, but in the 2nd he started charging and drew the red card to give FCD the opportunity to win. 77% passing, he can clean that up a bit in the defensive end, but 5 crosses (led FCD), and 1 key pass.

Enjoy Reynolds now, he’s not going to be here long.

While Ryan Hollingshead isn’t a flying 19-year-old game changer but he was terrific as well. He and Reynolds provided the overloads in midfield and wing that make Luchi’s system work.  He only missed 1 pass on the day (96.4% passing), was great in the build, and had some actions into the final third. 1 key pass, 1 shot on target, 4 for 4 on long balls.

Ryan Hollingshead chart versus Orlando City, Sept 27, 2020.

I really like the energy Franco Jara and Thiago Santos bring – it’s so vital in a post-Kobra world. Santos was 5 for 5 on tackles, won 9 aerials, and was fouled 4 times.  He also passed at 85% and was 8 for 12 on long balls. Good game, the squad rotation rest served him well. Jara – minus one topic we’ll get to in a bit – was also playing well. 2 shots, 3 key passes, 83% passing for a striker is amazing, and 3 for 4 on dribbles.

Tanner Tessmann was simply terrific once he came in. 100% passing.  Sure, it was just 16 passes and FCD was up a man, but still really well played.  1 key pass, 2 for 2 long balls, and 1 shot on target.  He did have one moment where he mentally drifted off, but he’s 19 and all. This chart is just lovely, not a single negative action.  

Tanner Tessmann’s chart against Orlando City, Sept 27, 2020.

I loved this moment pregame. Loved it.

Camino del Medio

FCD was outshot at home 17 to 14 and out possessed 53% to 47%.  But, FCD continues to have good shot selection with 57% coming inside the box. They just need a greater volume of shots, which leads me to…

FCD is not getting enough balls into Franco Jara in the danger positions. He had 36 touches but much of his heat map is all over the field. Not that we don’t love his work rate everywhere, but it would be nice to see more touches in the box and atop the key.

Franco Jara’s touches vs Orlando City, Sept 27, 2020.

Bryan Acosta was good, but not great. Not like the two halves we have seen. Partially, perhaps, because he only got 38 touches with Orlando overloading centrally. Still though, 1 shot on target, 2 key passes, and some good defensive work.  That’s solid.  What’s bothered me is he kept drifting around, I’m sure to try and find the game, but I kept seeing him “out of position” and not linking… and it was annoying me. Sometimes a player will reaaly have to work to find the game… but I’m not sure he ever did.

Muy Feo

Up a man for 30 minutes, FC Dallas couldn’t get the winner.

It makes me happy that you recognized the mentality of our team. With only 10 players on the field and 30 minutes left, we kept playing. We were calm with the ball, we had chances and we absorbed the pressure of having one less player and the personality of our team was intact. With five minutes left the players were still fighting to win the match.

Oscar Pareja

While technically he was only fouled 1 time, I feel like Andres Ricaurte is already being targeted and bodied. At one time Santos was counting off fouls to the ref. Ricarute’s going to need referee protection as all the best creative players do.  He is the magician after all.  I also didn’t like seeing him subbed for Jesus Ferreira in the 66th minute. Special players deserve to stay on.

As I predicted he would, Santiago Mosquera started. He proceeded to get hurt and subbed out in the 21st minute.  I’m not a trainer but I’ve come to believe Mosquera doesn’t take good enough care of his body.  With 5 subs a coach will pull a player in this circumstance rather than allowing him to try to play through it.   Santi did run around for a few minutes after first going down.

I’ve talked before about the reputation FC Dallas now has with referees.  The refs collectively don’t seem to like the club, there’s no benefit of the doubt and cards come fast.  I get the distinct impression they come into FCD games thinking, “I’m not going to let those guys get away with anything.”  I’ll leave it to the Captain to say more.

Next Game

FC Dallas hosts top-of-the-league Columbus Crew next Saturday, October 3rd. Kickoff is at 7:30 pm CT with a return to TXA21 for the broadcast.

1 Comment

  1. The “hot-blooded Latins” are in touch with their feelings, Reto. They’re operating with a high emotional intelligence. They speak all the love languages. Don’t knock it.

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