2023 Season

FC Dallas Draws 0-0 with Malmö FF at Marbella Football Center

2.3 recap dl

Marbella, Spain – FC Dallas played to a scoreless draw with Sweden’s Malmö FF in the first game of its 2023 preseason training camp at the Marbella Football Center.

“It was a really hard game,” head coach Nico Estévez said. “This is why we came here (to Marbella), to play difficult opponents who play with intensity in tackles and duels, and also have quality. I’m very happy with the effort and intensity of every payer that was on the field today. We have to keep building. We had chances to score goals but we’re lacking something and that often happens in preseason.”

Malmö had the first chance of the game in the fourth minute with a powerful shot from distance that goalkeeper Maarten Paes was able to deflect onto the crossbar before making another good save off the rebound shot. Dallas had another close call six minutes later when Malmö’s forward stormed into the box and chipped Paes but a retreating José Martínez was able to clear it off the line acrobatically.

It wasn’t until the 12th minute that Dallas built a serious attack. Velasco won the ball in his own half before driving 40 yards into Malmö’s final third before laying it off for Brandon Servania. The Homegrown’s first-time cross found the head of Jáder Obrian who made no mistake and knocked it past the goalkeeper before being whistled for a marginal offside.

Ten minutes later, Velasco had a chance of his own when José Mulato played a perfect layoff in Malmö’s box but Velasco’s right-footed effort was foiled by the fingertips of the goalkeeper. Obrian, again, nearly gave his side the lead after some excellent interplay between Marco Farfan and Velasco on the left flank but Obrian’s eventual curling effort was just wide of the far post.

A worrying note for Dallas, 17-year-old Tarik Scott was forced to leave the game just minutes after making his unofficial debut as a sub. The Homegrown landed awkwardly and immediately grabbed his knee before being stretchered off.

Estévez made a line change for the second half: Jimmy Maurer, Sebastien Ibeagha, Amet Korça, Nolan Norris, Isaiah Parker, Ema Twumasi, Edwin Cerrillo, Paxton Pomykal, Bernard Kamungo, Paul Arriola, Jesús Ferreira.

“We wanted to give every player 45 minutes to keep building fitness,” Estévez explained. “It gives an opportunity for everyone to understand what we’re working for and what we’re doing new this season.”

Dallas’ best chance of the second period came early when Paxton Pomykal found Jesús Ferreira with a long ball behind Malmö’s backline. The U.S. international cut the ball back for Edwin Cerrillo at the top of the box but his first-time shot was over the bar.

After nearly 30 minutes of back-and-forth play devoid of chances, Malmö had an opportunity to win it with 10 minutes remaining but goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer made an excellent save down to his left to stop the near post shot. Malmö had another chance from the ensuing corner but a close-range shot flew over the bar.

“It was a really good exercise for us,” Paul Arriola said. “They pressed really well against us. We’re trying out different things as well and gaining fitness on top of that. I thought we had a really good and we need to continue to clean things up. Overall, I’m really proud of the team and of the way we competed and fought. It was a chippy game and I’m glad everyone was able to fight for each other.”