2023 Season

FC Dallas Falls to Minnesota United FC

  • Sebastian Ibeagha, Geovane Jesus and José Mulato made their FC Dallas debuts.
  • MLS Box Score

FRISCO, Texas (Feb. 25, 2023) – FC Dallas (0-1-0, 0 points) fell 1-0 to Minnesota United FC (1-0-0, 3 points) in the 2023 MLS season opener on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium. 

FC Dallas’ unbeaten run in season-opening matches came to an end after the 1-0 loss to Minnesota United FC. The 13-match unbeaten streak (W7 D6) dated back to the start of the 2010 season. Dallas’ last loss in a season opener was a 3-1 decision to the Chicago Fire in 2009. 

Defender Sebastian Ibeagha made his FC Dallas debut as a starter. Geovane Jesus made his MLS and FC Dallas debut by subbing on in the 67th minute of the match. Former North Texas SC forward José Mulato also made his debut by coming on the 82nd minute.

Forward Paul Arriola sported the captain armband following the departure of Matt Hedges. He was voted captain by the FC Dallas players with Jesús Ferreira and Paxton Pomykal voted as vice captains. 

FC Dallas hosts LA Galaxy for 80s night, presented by UnitedHealthcare on March 4 at Toyota Stadium. The match kicks off at 7:30PM and will be streamed on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. 

FC Dallas — Maarten Paes; Ema Twumasi (Geovane Jesus – 67’), Sebastien Ibeagha, José Martínez, Marco Farfan; Facundo Quignon (Edwin Cerrillo – 67’), Sebastian Lletget (Tsiki Ntsabeleng – 67’), Paxton Pomykal (José Mulato –82’); Paul Arriola, Jesús Ferreira, Alan Velasco.

Substitutes not used — Jimmy Maurer, Isaiah Parker, Nkosi Tafari, Nolan Norris, Bernard Kamungo.

Minnesota United FC — Dayne St. Clair; Zarek Valentin, Michael Boxall, Miguel Tapias, Kemar Michael Lawrence; Wil Trapp, Kervin Arriaga; Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Robin Lod (Tanitoluwa Oluwaseyi – 89’), Franco Fragapane (Joseph Rosales – 71’); Mender Garcia (Hassani Dotson – 63’)

Substitutes not used — Cameron Dunbar, Patrick Weah, D.J. Taylor, Eric Dick, Fred Emmings.

Scoring Summary:
MIN: Mender Garcia — 48’

Misconduct Summary:
MIN: Wil Trapp (caution) — 24’
MIN: Miguel Tapias (caution) — 50’
DAL: Marco Farfan (caution) — 62’

Weather: Cloudy, 48°F
Attendance: 19,096 (sellout)

Head Coach Nico Estévez
General thoughts on the match… 

"Typical first game of the season. A little bit crazy, you can see some of the results that have happened and how some games have turned a little bit. I think, we did everything that we could on the side of effort, the fight, the desire to fight this game. But I think we rushed in the worst moments. I think we had some patience, building up when we broke lines then we rushed a little bit in the last pass, the last cross, the last decision. We didn’t do well."

"Usually in the first games (when) this happens, there’s a lot of anxiety on the players. We had the post from Paxton, a couple crosses in the first half that didn’t finish in anything. We won the game on expected goals, 1 to .06, but at the end of the day, it’s to score and execute and we didn’t today."

"For us, it's to get better because we had 11 shots but only one shot on target and we had eight shots from inside the box. Usually, you have to do better. I think we lack a little bit on quality on the last third today and this is why we couldn’t score goals. Sometimes it’s not like you have to play the perfect game. It’s just to have the right execution up top and we didn’t have the day today."

Execution on corner kicks...
"We were very dangerous. We had the Lletget header, the Paxton post, the direct one that almost scored Olimpico from Alan that I think it was the deflection went to Paxton and was the shot. I think we were better in the first half than in the second half on the set pieces. But I think we were very dangerous in those actions. I think they were having a difficult time and it’s something that we have to keep working because it’s (an) important part of the game that can give us points."

Forward Jesús Ferreira 
General thoughts on the match…Defender Marco FarfanOn looking forward to facing LA Galaxy…
“We are at home for the next match, and the goal is always to get three points. We need to have a short memory and forget about this game. We have another important match coming up against LA Galaxy and we will fight to get the three points at home against a difficult team.”

On what was missing today…
“We had a decent game tonight and we tried our best to come away with the three points. Our link up play today was not at its best like we showed last season and during this year’s preseason. It’s the first game and the only way going forward is to improve and work hard.” 

Midfielder Tsiki Ntsabeleng
On tonight’s performance…
“I think we have to go back and review the game to see what we did wrong and what we did right. We need to improve on that (performance). It’s still early but that doesn’t mean we should relax. It’s a wakeup call for us. I’m glad it came so early so we can bounce back and pick it up from there.”

On Minnesota’s defensive shape…
“The space was mostly in front of their lines so it was tough to play in between them. That’s why I had the ball when I was in front of them as opposed to where I like to be—in between the lines. But you have to adjust to the demands of the game and I think I adjusted pretty well. Obviously, I would’ve loved to help the team more and create goal-scoring opportunities and be more dangerous but, like I said, they were really compact and made it difficult.”

On the lack of goal-scoring chances…
“I think it was a combination of them sitting so deep and it being early in the season. In preseason, we showed glimpses of being able to get the ball into dangerous areas. And when we do, we need to take our chances.”

Defender Ema Twumasi
On tonight’s performance…
“It’s the first game of the season, emotions were running high and obviously we wanted to get the win. Unfortunately, we didn’t play up to our ability tonight. We felt like we dominated most of the game. It’s just tough we didn’t get the result we wanted so we just have to look forward to next weekend against LA, go back to the drawing board and fix what we can to get a win.”

On the inconsistency in the final third of the field…
“I think we got in good positions but the final ball was missing most of the time tonight. The final run was missing. It’s early in the season and we need to figure some stuff out. I’m sure it’ll be better next weekend.”

Midfielder Paxton Pomykal
On tonight’s performance…
“We need to do better. There wasn't a lack of effort tonight, I think just the quality wasn't’ what we know we can bring to the field and to the game. All the guys in the locker room afterward knew that, that’s not how we need to play to win games. That's what we can take to the next game.”

On Minnesota’s defensive shape…
“I felt like they had compact lines, played really well defensively and made it really difficult for us to play between them. Defensively, we had more of a 4-4-2 and they had two holding mids so naturally, when we won the ball, I was a little deeper so maybe that was why. But I think I need to get a  little bit higher up the field and get on the ball in more dangerous spaces and create more chances going forward.

On the chances created from set pieces…
“It’s a positive thing going into the rest of the season. Set pieces are a huge battle. Typically, teams with a positive goal differential on set pieces do really well in this league. Last year, we were one of the best teams in the league defensively. We tried to capitalize and score more goals offensively from set pieces. It’s something that I think we need to work on a little bit more this year and its i mean the amount of chances we created from set pieces tonight was good so but at the end of the day we gotta put it in the back of the net so. I thought mine was pretty close but that guy headed it obviously but. 

Head Coach Adrian Heath
On the win…
“I was just so pleased with the effort from the boys, we've had a difficult off season with a lot of things that have gone on. We had three players who haven't trained, Kervin and Josif. And obviously, Luis is not back. Obviously, we've had the disappointment of the Reynoso situation. So to come here and put on a defensive display. I thought the shape and the structure was outstanding. I can't really think of Dane having much to do, made a big save, I thought it was a magnificent display from the guys, and I can't fault him for their effort and desire and enthusiasm, everything that we asked for.” 

On the effort from his team…
“Well, we worked hard, obviously, I always knew the game was going to be tight either way. And I thought that if we don't beat ourselves by giving anything away, I thought we'd have a chance on the counter attack and that's how it played out. And I thought Tapias was outstanding for his first game. The actual back four were magnificent. And the understanding that we've been working on, because this is a difficult place to come play. They've got good attacking pieces. And we knew at times, we'd have to weather the storm, which we did in the second half. It's a big win for us.” 

On Kervin Arriaga…
Yeah I thought Kervin was at his best tonight. Last year, he started the season the first eight or nine games he was outstanding. And then he had a high ankle sprain. And he never really got himself going but tonight was like the proper curve, covering loads of loads of ground, getting in good spots. Obviously he's back. So he wins. Good. But I thought he was composed and used the ball very, very well. He has the ability to be one of the better players in the league for sure.