FC Dallas looked to turn the tide after their first loss last weekend in New York. Los Angeles FC looked to find their second win in as many chances in their new stadium. One of the best attacks in MLS versus one of the best defenses in the league. Steven Beitashour and Maxi Urruti would find the net for their sides, and each would settle for a point.
Maxi Urruti Strike Salvages Point for FC Dallas
A warm afternoon in Los Angeles would welcome FC Dallas into Banc of California Stadium. Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja continued to play the 4-4-2 formation, looking to work the two-striker attack. But it didn’t take long for problems to arise, and changes were made.
LAFC Take An Early Lead
The home side would come out strong and on the front foot. Despite missing key player Marco Ureña with an injury, LAFC didn’t miss a beat. Quick defensive pressing and splitting offensive passing by the home side caused Dallas trouble early and often. Dallas were unable to clear their lines, allowing corner after corner for the LAFC inside the first five minutes.
But it was Diego Rossi dribbling at the defense and finding Steven Beitashour through on goal that really opened it up. Dallas allowed Rossi to split a few players, and fed Beitashour, who was just on the back leg of the Dallas defense. He took a touch into the box and finished past Jimmy Maurer to put the home side up inside 10 minutes.
FC Dallas Adjust
It seemed like it would be a long night for Dallas, as LAFC continued their attack. The midfield pairing of Carlos Gruezo and Victor Ulloa didn’t seem to be connecting like normal, as the home side ran rampant through the midfield. Ulloa would pick up a knock late in the first half and never seemed to fully recover. Dallas were forced to use their first change just before halftime, sending in Jacori Hayes for Ulloa in the 44th minute. Dallas would hold out and head to the locker room down only one.
Oscar Pareja would lead his men into the locker room looking to change course. FC Dallas reporter and digital media manager Carter Baum reported at half time that Dallas would look to move into a 4-1-4-1 formation in the second half with a new strategy.
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) May 5, 2018
Dallas would look more balanced in the 4-1-4-1 on the attack. Despite not having numbers in the box for crosses, they were able to exploit the wings better with the speed of Michael Barrios and Santi Mosquera.
Maxi Urruti Does it Again
It only took 10 minutes into the second half for the changes to pay off. Santiago Mosquera would cut in from the left and pass two LAFC players as he entered the final third. Just before being tackled, he played the ball into the middle as Maxi Urruti was coming across. Urruti allowed the ball to come across his body instead of taking a touch in front first, and defender Laurent Ciman was immediately beaten. Urruti turned and measured up a beautiful low-hit strike that sizzled past Tyler Miller to tie things up.
Dallas would bring on Kellyn Acosta to make his 2018 debut just after the hour mark. The U.S. National team player had been recovering from a sports hernia for the last few months and looked good for 30 minutes. But Kellyn and his teammates would struggle to contain the LAFC attack and nearly gave up several good chances late on. But it was all for not, as each side would earn a point.
FC Dallas head back home as they prepare to face the other Los Angeles team on the 12th – LA Galaxy. Dallas will need to really focus on containing attacking opposition as they’ll face one of the greatest world players of our generation in Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
LAFC will face a very tough week ahead. Bob Bradley and company will need to focus on recovery and rest as they face Minnesota at home in just four days. LAFC will then need to recover quickly as they’ll host Eastern Conference leaders New York City FC that following Sunday. NYCFC will be looking for the net, as they are coming off a big shutout loss against their in-state rival New York Red Bulls.