FRISCO - Before we move on to Wednesday's Texas Derby finale with Houston, let's take a look at three things we learned from Dallas' 2-0 in Kansas City on Saturday night.
Crossing Has to Improve
For all the chances Dallas has created in recent weeks, a troubling trend has been the lack of solid options created from the run of play down the wings. After several good looks in Philadelphia, the club had one successful open play cross against Colorado last week and six failed attempts this week in Kansas City with two connecting. Look at the successful passes (left) and unsuccessful passes (right) below.
FCD has heavily relied on the right side and looking to create through Michael Barrios with nearly 50 percent of the attack on the right as opposed to around 25 perfect in the last two games. For a team that is built to attack down the flanks, the difficulty creating from the wings could help explain the opposing clean sheets in back-to-back weeks.
Aside from the momentary lapse allowing Diego Rubio to be left alone on a run inside the box off Sporting a corner, Dallas' set pieces at the other end have been lackluster in creating scoring chances. Dallas had two successful crosses off corners in KC, both directly into the backfield with three misses into the box and a look off a short corner. We've seen the use of Kellyn Acosta, Michael Barrios, Victor Ulloa and Mauro Diaz in recent weeks to take corners and other threatening free kicks as we discussed in last week's Mailbag, but for a team that last season made opponents pay with size and power in the box, we haven't seen a near chance from a set piece in awhile.
One of the benefits of the three-games-in-eight-days window is FC Dallas gets right back to work on Wednesday night. Sometimes when you're in a rut or struggling for answers, your best bet is just to get out there and play the game. Sitting around all week analyzing another disappointing result could lead to over-thinking when trusting your natural instincts as a player is sometimes all it takes to relax and let the game come to you. Dallas will still get plenty of preparation before Houston visits Toyota Stadium, but they're eager to get back on the field and get it figured out in just a few days.