Musings on the FC Dallas Match: Third (sorta) Time’s a Charm
by Jason Goodbody
After 80 minutes St Louis CITY SC finally figured out Dallas' unique "go down a man and then cram every player in the defensive third" style of play and still came away with a 2-1 victory. But join me for some additional thoughts to consider.
This was the third tussle with FC Dallas played across 180+ minutes. The first game was cut short by bad Texas weather and so the first 50 minutes ended in a tie, which didn't count. The second 40 minutes did count and ended in a 2-0 loss for CITY, which doesn't seem fair. And this last 90 min ended in a win, which did count. At least this is how I like to think how it all happened.
Dallas is known for having an anemic offense, among the worst 5 in MLS. Being without top scorer, USMNT star, and most recent product off the FC Dallas talent factory line Jesús Ferreira didn't help. Also known for their stingy defense, being a man down due to a red card ejection in the 12th minute makes this reputation difficult to maintain for nearly 80 minutes of play, especially against the top goal scoring team in MLS (that would be St Louis CITY SC at 52 and counting)
Speaking of "just the worst thing that can happen to a team in the course of play", Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes was shown a red card in the 12th minute due to a handball foul outside the box and was summarily ejected. As a former keeper myself, once the flashback-induced anxiety subsided, I now feel comfortable commenting. Like all avoidable disasters, it all started with a miscommunication. When Paes and defender Nkosi Tafari awkwardly "your ball"-ed each other in an attempt to clear out an errant back pass by fellow defender Marco Farfan, CITY's Rasmus Alm leapt on the opportunity to deliver some Carnell Chaos Ball and pressed the wayward keeper who was waaaaay out of his box. Paes then slid into the ball, touching it with his left hand. So this wasn't just a garden variety handball rewarded with a free kick, nor even a yellow card handball. No, this was a professional-grade handball foul after referee Guido Gonzalez Jr determined that Paes was trying to deny an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (OGSO is an actual real term that I didn't know before and will use many times in the future). And look, Rasmus Alm was on the attack and so apparently like all 22,423 attendees in CITYPARK, Gonzalez held Alm's scoring acumen in such high regard that he figured that a goal was inevitable were it not for Paes' desperate attempt to illegally goaltend. So there you have it. This is also what subsequently led to 70 minutes of "why can't we score?" anxiety among CITY faithful.
João Klauss has been out so long I had forgotten which diacritic goes over the "a". Is it a tilda or a forwardy accent or a backwardy accent? As you can see, I figured it out. But this does speak to Klauss' preference to go by just a single moniker. Thanks for making it easy on us big guy. With Thórisson's signing, my poor diacritic game will get some much needed workouts. On to the umlauts and such.
Loved seeing Nökkvi Thórisson from Belgian club Beerschot and Anthony Markanich from the Colorado Rapids fit in so well with CITY style of play as each was brought on to fill specific roles; Thórisson as a versatile attacker and Markanich, who is a defender by the way, also acting as versatile attacker and has already contributed to two goals. Note: It's weird that after two games, even though and probably because of his limited minutes, we still don't know if defender Anthony Markanich is a good defender. Thank you Colorado Rapids for letting this kid go. Carnell and team will take it from here and, I don't know, maybe turn him into an MLS All-Star.
This 30th of August match honored patients, families, survivors and health care professionals at Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children's Hospital who are battling cancer every day. The event kicked off with a matchball delivery by Peter Mantovani, accompanied by former St. Louis Rams Tackle Orlando Pace. Fans then participated in a card mosaic immersing the stadium in bands of yellow and white. It was a sight to behold.
This week we learned from Klauss as he reflected on his quad injury that this was the first time he had ever been injured and missed games since he was 10 years old……….. WHAT!? If you are as taken aback as I am I hope you joined me in saying "What!?" out loud. How is this possible? Who here among us has played organized sports and never missed playing time? Someone in CITY human resources should have told him he can't accrue a lifetime of injury time and use it all at once, like carrying over vacation hours. That's got to be in the personnel handbook somewhere.
In a world where paternity leave is not always available but always appreciated….but also not always used, Tim Parker returned to the pitch after he and his wife Kelsey welcomed Rory Parker to their family this weekend. If his experience is similar to mine (x2), I can imagine the words "Just go to work. please just go. You are driving me crazy. We are fine," being yelled from the family room at some point. And so as a result we get Tim Parker in the starting XI. Now go home Tim. You have a long list of errands to get to. Incidentally, Parker played really well, exhibiting some additional "Dad Strength" as Ben Hockman of St Louis Today described it. I totally wish I had written this line, Ben. Well done Ben. You won this time.
So next is Sporting Kansas on Saturday where I hear St Louis fans will flood Children's Mercy Park with CITY Red. I'll be riding the bus with the Louligans. Come tailgate before the game in the Kansas Speedway orange parking lot.
Until next time. #AllForCity