FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas defeated Austin Bold FC 1-0 at Toyota Stadium Sunday morning in its first preseason match since returning from training camp in Chula Vista, CA.
Dallas controlled much of the first period and opened the scoring in the fourth minute through Zdenek Ondrasek. Cannon found Michael Barrios on the right wing and the Colombian’s cross was cleverly finished off by Ondrasek with a backheel flick into the far corner. FCD nearly doubled the lead minutes later when Mosquera and Ondrasek combined in the box but the ensuing shot was saved by the Bold goalkeeper.
"It was a really good experience for the guys," said Cannon, who recently rejoined the squad after spending January with the USMNT. "I think some guys are getting fit. But I think the guys are starting to get the tactics down and everything is starting to come together. Luchi and Gregg’s (Berhalter) tactics are pretty similar. They both play very possession oriented, love to switch the point of attack. There’s a lot of offensive principles that Gregg and Luchi adopt from each other, so it was an easy adaptation for me."
The second period saw multiple lineup changes. Dallas’ starting backline replaced by John Nelson, Nkosi Burgess, Callum Montgomery and Bryan Reynolds. The midfield remained the same except Ferreira made way for Thomas Roberts. The front three was replaced by new signing Fafa Picault, Ema Twumasi and Ricardo Pepi. The number of changes disrupted FC Dallas’ rhythm to an extent and the second period saw fewer chances for either side.
"It was a good test for us," Picault said. "It was very important for the group, obviously for training purposes, but also for newcomers like me. I got to know a few of the guys off the field. I think it is important to bond together as a group. It is exciting to be here and get to know the field. There’s things that I want to add to the team and help on the offensive and defensive side. It takes a little bit of time but I definitely see it coming along and I’m excited for what is to come."
New Homegrown signing Eddie Munjoma, first-round draft pick Cal Jennings, Dante Sealy and Kyle Zobeck entered in the third period to finish out the game. Second round pick Derek Waldeck also subbed in at left back which saw John Nelson move into midfield. Again, there were few chances except one initiated by Roberts who won a tackle on the edge of his own box then carried the ball to midfield before finding Dante Sealy in behind Austin’s defense. Although Sealy rounded the ‘keeper, a Bold defender was able to block his goal-bound shot.
"[The game] gave us a lot of value to work on our concepts [and] our fitness," Luchi Gonzalez said postgame. "We want to make sure our players are challenged and out of their comfort zones. We want to perform much better and create a lot more, but there were some nice things that I did see. Getting a shutout is important. Sometimes playing ugly and winning are signs of a team that finds a way and has resilience."