FRISCO - FC Dallas wrapped up a two-game set with a 1-1 draw against USL affiliate OKC Energy FC on Thursday morning at the Toyota Soccer Center.
Homegrown Brandon Servania scored the lone Dallas goal in the second half converting a rebound off the woodwork, before Energy FC scored an equalizer in the dying minutes off a header sent in from the right flank.
It was the fourth straight 1-1 result of the preseason for FCD.
Spreading the Load
Dallas opened the game in a traditional 4-2-3-1 formation with some of Wednesday night’s late subs - Cristian Colman, Jacori Hayes and Ryan Hollingshead - earning a starting nod. Trailists Kyle Zobeck and Kevin Ellis were given time to make a case for themselves, as were SuperDraft picks Ema Twumasi and Amer Sasivarevic (Twumasi is already under contract for 2018).
The match again began a little slow for both sides. I’ll get more into the outside backs in later on, but I’m becoming a bigger fan of Kris Reaves at right back than in the middle. His ability to get forward and create on the right is exciting to watch.
The individual pieces of the central midfield each showed their individual talent over the course of the match, but are still working on the chemistry as a unit in the middle. Hayes and Ulloa have a natural defensive mindset that works well, but so does Servania despite his ability to play more advanced. At times it seemed the trio were occupying some of the same space, a natural instinct with three similar positional players. Working out that chemistry is exactly what preseason is for.
Jordan Cano, Noah Franke and Chris Lema all earned starts, but for the opposition, giving the FCD coaching staff an opportunity to see more from them while also letting OKC coach Steve Cooke see how the trio worked with his early group of camp invites. Franke completed a mid-game trade to finish the day with FCD after a very strong showing at right back.
After an hour of playing for OKC, Noah Franke has subbed out, done a full kit change on the sidelines and is now subbing on for FCD. Peak preseason.— Carter Baum (@CarterBaum) February 8, 2018
For as much as I’ve been impressed with Sasivarivec over the first few matches, Noah Franke was on the same level of impressive today. He was lethal down the right flank for OKC, drawing a PK in the opening half and several fouls over the course of the day with his speed. He told me after the match the Dallas coaches wanted to sub him out from OKC’s lineup so he and Sasivarivec didn’t injure one another in one of the most exciting positional battles on the day between the physical, overlapping wingers.
More of the 3-5-2
In the second half, Dallas continued to experiment with a new 3-5-2 look, just as they did on Wednesday night.
Jesus Ferreira subbed into the match to start the second half, while Victor Ulloa began the second frame sitting deep as a third center back between Ellis and Maynor Figueroa. Sasivarevic pushed into the defensive midfield along with Jacori Hayes, while Servania maintained a No. 10 role with Ryan Hollingshead and Reaves working as wing backs on the flanks. Ferreira and Twumasi served as dual strikers.
We’ll have to see how that continues to evolve over the coming week-plus.
Dallas will continue preseason action against CS Cartagines on Saturday at 4PM at Toyota Stadium before the reserves face off against another USL opponent, San Antonio FC, on Sunday at 1PM at the Toyota Soccer Center.