Reporting: Garrett Melcer

FC Dallas Defeats New Mexico United 4-1 in Preseason Friendly

1.27 FCD NM Dl

FRISCO, Texas - FC Dallas continued its winning ways in the 2024 preseason, defeating USL Championship side New Mexico United 4-1 at Toyota Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Head coach Nico Estévez fielded a 5-2-2-1 formation for the second-straight game, utilizing Herbert Endeley and Marco Farfan as wingbacks either side of a back three.

"We tried different things today," Estévez said on the formation after the game. "In the second half, we pushed our right wing back slightly higher to be more like a 4-4-2 in moments. It’s something that we learned from last year and are working on this preseason. I think we’ll take a lot of information from this game."

Offseason signing Enes Sali made his FC Dallas debut, starting as one of the wingers opposite Sebastian Lletget.

"He had good moments, he has that ability to turn quickly," Estévez said. "He's a very vertical player but sometimes you could see the excitement from him and rushed a little bit on the last pass. But we were seeing what we saw from his tape when we were following him and this is why we brought him here. He has that energy and dynamism to make an impact going forward."

Sali had an excellent opportunity 12 minutes in when he collected the ball on the edge of the box following a New Mexico mix-up but his left-footed shot was saved by the goalkeeper.

Second-year wing back Herb Endeley opened the scoring in the 26th minute with a fantastic curling effort into the top corner. Lletget found Endeley down the right wing before the IU product cut onto his weaker left foot and put Dallas into the lead from the edge of the box.

New Mexico equalized 3 minutes later when Zico Bailey unleashed a strike from outside the box that found the side netting of Jimmy Maurer’s goal. Dallas had a chance to take the lead just before halftime when Lletget forced a save from the New Mexico ‘keeper following clever build-up play from Logan Farrington and Endeley down the right wing.

Second Half Lineup: Antonio Carrera; Sam Junqua, Nkosi Tafari, Amet Korça; Isaiah Parker, Tsiki Ntsabeleng, Liam Fraser, Bernard Kamungo; Paul Arriola, Diego Garcia, Eugene Ansah

Diego Garcia almost scored with the first chance of the second half but his shot from eight yards out was deflected just wide following strong approach play from Bernard Kamungo, who was deputizing as a wing back. Eugene Ansah had a good look at goal in the 64th minute when he carried the ball from midfield, bypassed his defender, and saw his low shot blocked out for a corner.

Dallas re-took the lead in the 71st minute when Tsiki Ntsabeleng won the ball in midfield before playing a through-ball to Ansah who poked it past the ‘keeper and into the net. Midfielder Liam Fraser added to the lead two minutes later when he found himself completely free on the edge of the 18-yard box before stroking it home with his right foot.

Less than a minute later, Paul Arriola made it 4-1 when he connected with Ansah’s cross from the right and passed it into an empty net.

“We got some more reps on the field that we want to implement," Estévez concluded. "We’re building fitness and building the ideas of how we want to approach our game. We had some good plays, some good moments, and now we want to be more consistent on that.”