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FC Dallas: The Bourne Identity

Eight games in and, apart from our very impressive back four and keeper, we haven’t nailed down our starting eleven and formation. I didn’t write a blog last week because I couldn’t put my finger on why. So, instead of just repeating what I wrote before the NYCFC game, I waited another game to get some thoughts together. Here are those thoughts.

With player forms being in flux and a lot of new faces in the mix, it’s hard for players to figure out the various roles and the tactics Oscar expects of them. Mosquera (who was signed this year) has played THREE different positions, left wing, right wing and forward. Like our outfield players, he has played well as an individual, but that hasn’t translated to performing well as a team.

Dallas is struggling to figure out what sort of team they are: Do we high press? (Urruti and Hayes both do this well) Do we hold possession? (Gruezo and Ulloa are good at this) Do we sit back and hit a fast counter? (Diaz excels at starting a counter attack with great vision, and Barrios is the ideal outlet with runs in behind).

Looking at our goals and our best chances, you can see our lack of team identity play out. They come from great individual efforts, but they aren’t team goals. If you want to see a great example of team play, watch the highlights of NYRB vs NYCFC. All four NYRB goals are the result of a team that is completely in sync. To get our team to work together, Oscar must cement his squad selection. And I think the formation should be 4-4-2, as that’s generally the best formation for new players to learn how to play together.

The upcoming games are going to be difficult, but hopefully the team will find its identity and get in sync. At the very least we can rely on our defense to be solid.

In other news….

To address Antony the Yorkshireman’s final point, I have decided to respond across two blog posts, due to the complexities involved. Here is part one of my response.

I don’t identify with MLS teams the way I do with teams back home. Football has so much to do with identity for me. I really don’t identify with any MLS team. For most Premier League games, I have strong feelings (positive or negative) towards at least one of the teams playing. That’s due to a lifetime of experience watching those teams play. Very rarely do I watch a game when I don’t feel like I have a dog in the race. For me, that’s what makes the game exciting.

During my time in the States, my love for the Premier League has waned. Crazy amounts of money being spent on players is resulting in the corruption of the league. The big clubs are no longer representative of their cities or areas. Instead, they’re brands that encompass the world. (Look at how they are marketed in Austin, for example). I identify with the era of the Premier League when youth development was the driving force behind success, not money. Liverpool’s ongoing relationship with Southampton is a great example of how things have changed for the worse, in my opinion.

FC Dallas caught my attention because they have made their team identity local. The FC Dallas academy has shown homegrown talent can compete with global talent in various youth tournaments, and the DFW area is rich with capable youngsters that are being nourished by FCD. Ipswich was/is an academy-driven team as well, but unlike with Ipswich, MLS policies prevent bigger teams from relentlessly poaching talent from smaller teams. FC Dallas will not become an MLS Southampton. We will keep our talent, and we will create our own unique identity.

The next FC Dallas Fans ATX watch party will be at my house in North Austin. Email me for the address.

Start: 1:30PM

Kick Off: 2:30PM

After the game, we will be showing the New York Cosmos documentary. Any questions, feel free to email me.

Busca La Forma,

Marcus Aurelius Wrightus

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