2023 Season

Estévez on FC Dallas' First Preseason Test: “I think the intensity and tempo was really good"

1.25 Scrimmage

FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas completed its first 90 minutes of the 2023 preseason, falling 1-0 to Ecuadorian side Barcelona S.C. in an international friendly at Toyota Stadium Wednesday night.

The first big chance of the night fell to FCD’s Bernard Kamungo when Brandon Servania’s corner bypassed every Barcelona defender but the 21-year-old’s shot was blocked on the line. José Mulato had another opportunity shortly after with a bouncing effort from the top of the box but it sailed over the crossbar.

Dallas nearly gave up a penalty in the 24th minute but Collin Smith’s tackle but judged to be just outside the box by the referee. Jimmy Maurer made a good save at his near post from the ensuing free kick. Barcelona nearly took the lead five minutes before the break when Fidel Martinez connected with a cross but his glancing header was just wide of Maurer’s near post.

Dallas had a great chance of its own in the 45th minute when Kamungo nearly found Mulato on the edge of the six-yard box but the ball was just out of the Colombian’s reach.

“I think the intensity and the tempo was really, really good,” said head coach Nico Estévez after the game. “I think our numbers are going to look really good and this will help us to keep growing. We tried different buildups today, different types of shapes. There were some issues in some moments that didn't let us  have that flow to progress the attack.

“The guys fought and were little bit nasty in a good way. We were against a physical team and there was a lot of contact, and we didn’t shy away from that. I liked that mentality.”

Estevez made major changes to his lineup for the second 45.

Alan Velasco had the first shot of the half when his initial free kick rebounded back to him but his volley attempt was easily saved.  The Argentine helped create FCD’s best chance of the game when he found SuperDraft pick Herbert Endeley on the right wing overlap. The Indiana University product squared it for Sebastian Lletget but the midfielder’s shot was saved by the keeper.

Barcelona opened the scoring in the 76th minute when Facundo Quignon’s pass was intercepted and Barcelona forward Agustin Rodriguez capitalized on a rebound after Paes’ initial save to give the visitors the lead. Dallas fashioned a few more half chances but was unable to find the breakthrough before the 90 minutes were out.

“It's a different experience in the motivation for the players,” Estévez said on facing Barcelona S.C. “Ecuador is a huge producer of talent. The national team is doing really, really well. Barcelona is a big team in Ecuador, it has a lot of history. Facing them and showing that we can dominate the game is good. I liked the mentality that we had, we don't mind who we’re playing and we tried to play within our identity.”