FRISCO, Texas - FC Dallas started its 25th season on a positive note with a 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon at Toyota Stadium. Dallas extended its unbeaten season-opener record to 11 games and put three early points on the board. Here are my three takeaways from FCD's 2020 home opener.
Kobra Strikes Early
The start of 2020 couldn’t have been more different than the beginning of 2019 for Zdenek “Kobra” Ondrasek. Last year, Kobra barely saw the field for the first few months of the season and didn’t open his FCD account until August. This year, however, Kobra struck just 61 minutes into the new season, giving Dallas’ its first goal of the new year. His well-taken half-volley from outside the box turned out to be the winner in the 2-0 victory over Philly. It's the first sign that Kobra has maintained his goal-scoring form through the offseason which is a huge boost for FCD's attack.
New Faces Shine in Frisco
Luchi Gonzalez opted to start three offseason acquisitions in Saturday’s opener. Fafa Picault, Thiago Santos and 18-year-old Tanner Tessmann all stood out in their official FCD debuts. Picault was a threat in behind the Union’s defense and nearly created the opening goal in the first half with a dangerous low cross after beating his defender on the left wing. Tessmann and Santos created a formidable double pivot in the midfield behind Jesus Ferreira, combining for 10 successful tackles to disrupt Philly’s offensive progress. Tessmann – who signed his Homegrown contract only three days prior – looked incredibly calm for a teenager on his debut and made sure he’d be in the starting conversation even once Bryan Acosta and Brandon Servania return from injury.
Paxton's Still Got it
Paxton Pomykal returned from offseason surgery in style by scoring his first goal at Toyota Stadium. Although he didn’t play a single minute of preseason, the American international looked as sharp as ever and sealed the 2-0 victory after picking up the ball near midfield and driving at Philly’s backline before playing a quick one-two with Tessmann and slotting calmly into the bottom corner. While he may not start for a few more weeks as he continues to build fitness, his 15-minute cameo was vintage Pomykal and a promising start to the new campaign after a stop-start preseason.