- Matthew Laboissonniere
FC Dallas Match Preview
Well, I’ve been away for a little bit of time. I graduated college on Saturday in 90-degree heat and the whole thing could have been an email. So I missed the pre-match and post-match articles of Austin FC. The Lions saw an early lead fall and walked out of Texas with only 1 point, drawing 2-2. In midweek, it was the Battle of Florida against Inter Miami, with a Torres goal sending the game to penalties, where the Lions walked away victorious. Now, they face FC Dallas, who is also in 3rd place in their respective conference. It’s the first home game Orlando will host in the month of May. After that, they’ll be up in New England in a couple weeks (I will be at this game in person, depending on work schedule). Let’s hope the Lions can bounce back against another Texas opponent.
Orlando City Stats
6-4-3, Top Goal Scorer: Kara, Top Assister: Pereyra, WDWWL
FC Dallas Stats
6-3-4, Top Goal Scorer: Ferreira, Top Assister: Obrian, LLWLW
1. Run FC Dallas Off the Pitch
If there’s one thing that Orlando might have over FC Dallas, it’s depth. I know what you’re thinking, that the Lions don’t even have that much bench depth, but it definitely could be worse. Not a lot of other teams have fullbacks you can sub on to score game winning headers in stoppage time, or a center back who can play like a starter after a big injury. Jara and Obrian aren’t amazing quality starters, and just like Orlando, their defense has had injuries across the backline. If Orlando can make this a very physical game with lots of pace and ground covered, it could force Dallas to go to their bench often. From there, our stars will exploit their weaknesses.
2. Torres Has His Moment - And I Hope It Continues
Throughout the season, you can sense the danger Facundo Torres can present when he’s on the ball. He’s been more passive than you’d like, but he hardly gives it away, and if he does it’s because he’s playing more final third passes that hardly come off. Against Inter Miami, he had a breakthrough moment, sliding across the top of the eighteen to even the game before it went to penalties. Those moments of individual stardom are what Lions fans want to see from Facundo. If there is any player on the pitch who can risk things, it’s him. I hope moving forward Torres continues to be aggressive in his playmaking; it will take Orlando far.
3. Controlling Jesus Ferreira
It’s going to be hard to stop a guy whose name is literally Jesus. So far, he’s already got 9 MLS goals this season. It makes me a little nervous when I think of Jansson and Williams defending him. Jansson in particular, with his aggressive style of play. I fear Ferreira will be able to roll right off of him and create chances for himself, so it’s going to be a big job by the midfield to prevent the ball being played to his feet. Ferreira can create out of nothing and is very clinical when close to goal. Last season, he struggled a bit having to carry the entire attack but now he’s just finishing off the moves, as Dallas has a good midfield to start the offensive movements. On Saturday, the defensive unit needs to keep an eye on him.
A Look at FC Dallas
~ Ferreira leading scorer on the team and in MLS, leads in scoring attempts and on-target scoring attempts
~ Like to capitalize on teams that push high up the pitch with quick counter attacking play, try to take advantage of fullbacks who push high
~ Limit the opponents chances and have one of the best defense in the MLS, conceding only 12 goals so far
~ Have a very efficient offense, tied for sixth in goals scored (21) and tied for fourth in assists (23)
The Lions will win this game for a couple reasons. One, the offense is going to click, I just have a feeling. Two, while it hasn’t been the safe haven it should have been in the past, they’re going to protect home field. Three, you can’t go winless against two straight Texas teams. Vamos!