FRISCO, Texas — Welcome to Keeping Score: Your complete FC Dallas match day experience.
With "Keeping Score," throughout the 2023 season, we're striving to bring you complete FC Dallas match day coverage, covering everything from the game itself, to the food, to the fans that make the game so great, our "Becky G forecast" (yes, really) and everything in between in a fun, digestible way.
FCD returned to its winning form last week, lighting up the goal (and the sky) on 80s night against the LA Galaxy, 3-1.
I watched this road match from the comfort of my own home using the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+. Here's how it went:
So, Vancouver has had FC Dallas' number in recent past, winning the last three matchups, but the Toros struck first early on into the match.
Center backs Nkosi Tafari and Sebastien Ibeagha connected for a goal in the 4th minute. WATCH:
In the 34th minute, FC Dallas forward Paul Arriola -- attempting to clear a deflection in the box -- scored an own goal to tie the match 1-1. FC Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes kept his team in the game by not allowing a go-ahead goal seconds before the halftime whistle.
FC Dallas dominated possession (57%-44%) in the match, but the Whitecaps found a way to survive the rush from the Toros. The match was very competitive in the second half, but neither side could execute in the final third of the field. Sergio Córdova nearly missed a cross to give Vancouver the lead with a minute left in the match.
In the end, each team left with one point in the standings. FC Dallas moves to 1-1-1 and Vancouver remains winless in 2023 with a 0-2-1 record.
FC fit check
The club kept it all business on this international road trip.
(Not) Frisco Foodie Fun
Instead of not doing this section at all for the road match, I decided to be adventurous and try something that is popular online. My childhood best friend (and best man from my wedding) suggested this: a Big Mac from McDonald's ... but replace the meat patties for fish patties.
I got quite the reaction when I ordered it.
"Uh ... OK," was the response I got.
I wasn't sure how to feel about it going in, but don't knock it 'til you try it! It's actually not that bad. With that said ... I'd much rather gave some concession food from an FC Dallas match.
#DTID Man of the Match
He set the tone with the opening goal, nearly scored another with a header off the post and stopped numerous runs in transition. Contributions from the backline on the scoresheet are few and far between, and his production helped the club get the result. Also, it was his first MLS goal in his 97th appearance.
Central defense was a big proponent of the match for FC Dallas, and Ibeagha played a big part in the effort.
What they said
Head Coach Nico Estévez
General thoughts on the match…
“We had a very good game, playing away and dictating the tempo. We knew that they were a good team, they have quality. We had a good start and scored a goal. And then it was a moment there that we should have been more aggressive, we should be more determined to score the second goal. And even though we were having the possession, we were dominating, we weren't creating those goal scoring opportunities.”
On the second half…
“In the second half, things started better. We tried to modify to defending to a 4-4-2. But that didn't didn't work well. And then we switched to a three in the back and it helped us. Sometimes people think that switch which introduces a center back, it means you want to defend - it was the opposite. We were looking to give more forward players the ball, to have more width with our winbacks and then trying to exploit the wide areas to score goals. And we did a good job on that, we created some good chances to score the second goal. But we couldn't and at least we got a point.”
Defender Sebastien Ibeagha
On scoring his first FC Dallas goal…
“It’s been a long time since I scored a goal, so it is good to be back on the score sheet. For it to be assisted by Kos (Tafari) is great because he’s my guy. We looked at each other and I told him to put the ball in the box and that is exactly what he did. It was a good goal and it makes it a little extra special that Kos assisted it for me.”
On the change formation mid game…
“Switching to a back three means we will be more aggressive and attack more. We missed the chance to get in the lead in the first half and Nico saw that. We tried to push the game more and go forward in the second half. Changing us to three at the back allowed us to go more forward and that is exactly what we did.”
On the different pairings at the center back position…
“José (Martínez) and Kos (Tafari) are two different players. Kos is similar to the athletic play style I have, while José has that technical play and is very good on the ball. It’s about knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses so we can push each other and become better. We always rotate in training and try different pairings because we don’t know what could happen in a game and we need to all be on the same page.”
Arriola limped off with what Estevez described as soreness in Arriola's Achilles area. Estevez said he did not believe the injury to be serious.
Becky G forecast match score
Each week, I'll rate the entire match day with one cumulative score of 1 through 5 "Becky Gs."
Matchday Three gets 2.5 Becky G's. FC Dallas shot themselves in the foot and gave away two points. The kryptonite that is Vancouver continues, extending their unbeaten streak to seven in a row, dating back to September 2008.
The Apple broadcast was a tad glitchy here and there. My "meal" I got for myself was above average, but that's on me.
What's next/8 ball prediction
FC Dallas returns home to host Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, March 18. TV information: Apple TV+ – MLS Season Pass – 7:30 p.m. Ticket information: Attend the game and buy tickets here.
"8 ball" bold prediction tracker:
FC Dallas will have three players score 12-plus goals this season: Jesus Ferreira, Paul Arriola and Alan Velasco.
- Ferreira: 2/12
- Arriola: 0/12
- Velasco: 1/12
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