FRISCO - Despite a 1-0 loss in Leg One, we saw several promising signs from FC Dallas during their first competitive match of 2018 against Tauro FC.
Double Winger Threat
Dallas was truly firing offensively over the final quarter hour in the opening half with four of their five shots on target coming in that span of time. Everything was run through the wings with Michael Barrios playing his usual speedster role on the right, but now with an equally fast threat on the left in Santiago Mosquera.
I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility to have those two combine for 15 MLS goals scored this season, not even counting the ones they set up for targets in the box. Defenses can no longer focus solely on one side of the field like they did last year with half of the attack coming down the right side.
Mauro Diaz showed once again he’s almost back to his lethal, MVP-level self as well.
Playing Through the Outside Backs
It was quite the showing from Reggie Cannon and Anton Nedyalkov on the flanks of the back line. The Homegrown Cannon continues to get better every single game and was nearly lethal overlapping down the right side on several occasions.
On the other side, Anton Nedyalkov is the big, physical presence Dallas was looking for to shore up the back line. Early on in the match, his made several strong runs that drew fouls and then stayed poised under pressure to deny a scoring chance the other way off an attacking corner kick where FCD had both center backs inside the 18-yard box.
Aside from the lone goal where both marking and goalkeeping let downs combined for Tauro's strike, I think the Dallas defense showed their veteran poise several times in the match. I referenced Nedyalkov’s play above, but the ability of Reto Ziegler and Matt Hedges to stay organized with either outside back making runs up the field is crucial. It’s something we saw falter at times in the preseason as the four continued to gel on the field.
Tauro was left for much of the night to send in shots from well outside the penalty area.