FC Dallas went back to the basics on Tuesday.
After Saturday night’s loss to the Dynamo, head coach Oscar Pareja held a “brutally” intense practice in the team’s first training of the week – all in the name of preparing for Montreal.
“We had a tough practice today,” midfielder Kellyn Acosta said of Tuesday’s extended video and on-field sessions. “We just need to flush that game out of our system. We reviewed the film earlier today. We saw we had 20 minutes of lapsed concentration and I think, like Oscar was telling us, we just need to get back to the fundamentals and stick to what we’re good at – be compact, be solid defensively and good things will happen.”
“The boys came back eager to just move on,” Pareja said. “We tell them all the time: the only way you can guarantee that you aren’t in that mode is training and working and trying to do better than last time.”
Despite a disappointing performance, spirits around the club are not down with 32 games still to play in a young season.
“It is early and we are getting our organization right. We are fixing and tightening things up,” defender Walker Zimmerman said. “We shouldn’t have 5-0 losses. Period. And there are no excuses for that, but I think with it being so early on in the season, we’re fine mentally to bounce back and have a successful season.”
And they’ll look to start their bounce back at home Saturday, where Dallas posted the best home record in MLS in 2015. Against an Impact side that looks to debut Didier Drogba for the first time in 2016 to go along with Ignacio Piatti, who has three goals and two assists in Montreal’s opening pair of games.
“They’re off to a hot start,” Zimmerman said. “We know they’re a good team and they beat us last year at their place so we still have that sour taste in our mouth a little bit and they’re dangerous.
“At the same time, we’ve got to have confidence. We need to get back to our identity, know who we are and be solid defensively with our back four and two defensive midfielders and just stay organized, keep our shape and get back to the fundamentals of who FC Dallas is. We’re ready to do that.”