FRISCO – Heading to Minnesota this weekend, FC Dallas will look to bolster its confidence as they face a team that has conceded fifty-eight times, with Dallas looking to get its first win in nine league matches and recover its playoff spot in the table.
Last weekend, FC Dallas managed a clean sheet for the first time in five games against the defending MLS Cup-champion, Seattle Sounders FC. While the result and defensive performance was an improvement, Dallas was unable to capitalize going forward. If the team hopes to clinch a playoff spot, it will need to score goals.
“The team in this moment should reach to find more balance in order to allow us to play very good defensively, and I think the guys have shown that against Seattle,” said head coach Oscar Pareja. “But at the same time, we want more attacking sequences in order to be stronger in finishing. At the end of the day, it’s the goals that give you the points, and we hope to turn things around.”
Like Pareja, FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele also thinks confidence has been an important factor of late, and believes that he and his teammates have the confidence necessary to turn the situation around.
“I think [the attacking situation] is just confidence," he said. "We have the players, and we've been up and down with that, so we just have to have the confidence that we can do it and not be scared of taking a chance.”
FC Dallas has not scored in either of the last two matches, and have scored just nine goals in their last eleven games compared to the team’s bright start in the league with 15 goals over the first eleven. As the team dropped to 8th place in the standings over the weekend, and are currently outside of playoff territory, the team, players, and coach Pareja, will have urgency on their hands as they will look to improve offensively for the final stretch of the regular season.
“We need to be more calm when getting into the final third,” leading assist-man Michael Barrios said. “When we step in [the final third of the field], we know its fundamental to look for the opening, to be calm in front of goal, in front of the goalkeeper. We know those are the fundamentals, but to win, we need goals, but we also need to maintain the zero in the back and be focused. We know we will get out of this and fight in the playoffs, and why not for the MLS Cup?”