FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – FC Dallas headed north to face the New England Revolution Saturday. A chilly evening would welcome Dallas as they played their first road game of the season. Both sides would make several formation and personnel changes to start the match. Dallas’ Jacori Hayes would earn his first goal of his MLS career to give the Texas side all three points.
Jacori Hayes, FC Dallas Victorious in New England
FC Dallas would come out quick, attacking early and often. The first few games of the season, Dallas looked to try and control possession and tempo. But tonight, Dallas seemed to get back to their usual bait-and-switch style of luring teams into their half and then quickly counter with speed on the wings. Doing this with a new formation and with Mauro Diaz on the bench was a challenge, but it paid off.
Fouls, Fouls, Penalties, and More Fouls
There were some questionable no-calls in the match in both halves. New England accounted for 10 fouls in the first half alone, but not a single card was shown the entire match. Dallas petitioned for penalties twice in the first half, once with Colmán seeming to be tripped from behind just as he entered the penalty box. But, fourth official Mark Geiger never required an official review, and both sides pushed on.
New England would be up in arms in stoppage time as Matt Hedges appeared to clip Krisztian Nemeth while going for a clearance. Again, nothing was called. The match would end with over 20 total fouls.
Weak Foot Winner
Both sides would have plenty of goal-scoring chances throughout the match. Both keepers, though, were up to the task. Dallas keeper Jimmy Maurer would have six saves on the night, while the Rev’s Matt Turner would be forced into some great quick-reaction saves. Over 30 total shots combined for both sides, with 11 of those being on target. The match was pretty open and physical on both ends throughout the 90 minutes, but Dallas would find a winner late.
New England turned it over in their own half with 15 minutes to play. Jacori Hayes would find himself about 35 yards diagonally away from goal and laid it off to Santiago Mosquera. Mosquera took a touch and curled in a cross, just missing Colmán in the box, but the ball would bounce out to Roland Lamah. As this was all happening, Jacori Hayes drifted into the box and waited. As Lamah took a touch and looked up, Hayes sprinted about 15 yards across the top of the six-yard box. Lamah played it square, and Hayes finished it first time near post.
New England would have several good chances late on, but it was to no avail. Dallas allowed the Revolution to push forward with waves of attack, but the match would end 1-0 to the visitors.
Quick Thoughts: Diaz, Colmán, and Formation
Dallas lined up in the 4-4-2 for the first time this season. Both Mauro Diaz and Carlos Gruezo, key midfield components, started on the bench. Only Gruezo would see the field out of the two, as Dallas likes to avoid using Diaz on turf fields. Dallas would switch up late when Urruti came off, and the Texas side seemingly reverted back to their normal 4-2-3-1 formation.
According to longtime FC Dallas news source 3rd Degree, Dallas trained with different personnel and formations mid-week. Of course, those specific details were left out, but it had to be final touches to the 4-4-2 we saw Saturday evening.
If Dallas choose to move forward with the 4-4-2, one has to wonder how and where Mauro Diaz comes back into play. Both he and Gruezo are the usual midfield starters and neither was in the Starting XI tonight. Also, Kellyn Acosta seems to be back to full strength. Let’s also not forget the goal scorer Jacori Hayes who has been superb for Dallas this season in place of Kellyn. Oh, and some kid named Paxton Pomykal who is recovering from knee surgery (potential heir of the #10 for Dallas).
And finally, we have to bring up Colmán again. The Paraguayan striker has well under-performed for Dallas since his record signing back in January 2017. His ability to make good runs off the ball and find space is great, but he has really struggled with his finishing. He has a knack for getting chances in the final third, but he has to find a way to start scoring goals like everyone thought he would. If Dallas can piece together all of this in the coming weeks, we could see the resurgence of the team we saw back in 2015.