FRISCO, Texas – Play better.
That’s been the message this week for FC Dallas – simple, straight-forward and, frankly, expected. Six points from two games to start the season is within reach, provided they hit their marks on Sunday at Chivas USA (5 pm ET; UniMas).
One of the most obvious aspects that needs improvement, and something head coach Schellas Hyndman has been stressing to his players all week in training, is getting the ball more consistently to former league MVP David Ferreira.
“We’ve been working all week on areas we thought that we needed improving and what we learned from the Colorado game is exactly that – we didn’t get enough passes to David,” Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. “What we want to do now is moving the ball quickly trying to keep possession, find David and get him in between the lines and not just stagnant on the left side of the field.”
There were always going to be growing pains as FCD shift from their customary 4-1-4-1 into a more flat 4-4-2 formation this season, and one of the changes has been moving Ferreira out to the left. While the new strategy worked wonders in preseason, the season opener against Colorado was a different story with the Colombian completing just 13 passes, according to the OPTA Chalkboard.
The rest of his measurable stats were lower than normal as well, but it’s those passing numbers that make a good argument for why the Dallas offense was stagnant.
“[We need] a lot more moving parts around him,” said midfielder Andrew Jacobson. “He’s great when he can kind of pick spots and holes to get into and that requires us to move a lot more and be a lot more active … If they’re not guarding us, we can get the ball, but if they’re guarding us, they’re going to have to give up David.”
While the focus is to get the ball to their captain, for that to be accomplished, FCD must retain the ball better than they did against Colorado, a game in which they conceded over 60 percent of possession.
“We need to improve a number of things that didn’t happen against Colorado,” Ferreira told MLSsoccer.com through a translator. “And it has to start with keeping possession of the ball and not losing the ball like we did against Colorado.”