Practice makes perfect: Michel's second olímpico in three seasons is the result of many practice sessions

FRISCO, Tex. -- Just three days after scoring his second olímpico goal in three seasons, Michel stood on the corner stripe at FC Dallas training on Tuesday morning describing to fellow midfielder Fabián Castillo on how to curve a goal in from the corner.

Michel even tried sneaking one past goalkeeper Chris Seitz during the drill, pointing and smiling at him cheekily after Seitz swatted it back. Castillo’s ensuing attempt wasn’t even close. But regardless of his result, it goes to show that Michel’s olímpico last Saturday against New York City FC was not a product of chance.

“Michel may say no, but we train it,” head coach Oscar Pareja said. “We know he has that power […] we know that Michel can do it. That’s something that gets involved in our repetitions.”

After the 2-1 win over NYCFC, Michel jokingly attributed the rare feat to luck. But considering he has now scored two olímpicos in slightly more thantwo years' time, the Brazilian veteran admitted it is something he spends time crafting. 

“Twice a week I stay with the coaches after practice to practice that type of cross,” Michel said. “It’s one of the most important free kicks that we have.”

Even before delivering the perfect ball, Michel said the perfect set-up must also be in place. He noted that opposing defenses adjust their set-piece defense based on research and earlier deliveries from the same game.

In the case of Saturday’s olímpico, however, Michel noticed a deficiency in the NYC defense.

 “I saw that their zone was a little unorganized,” Michel said.

Even more than the way defenders are aligned on a set piece, Michel credited his teammates for forcing NYCFC into an unfavorable position.

“They know if they open space there, I will put the ball there,” Michel said. “It depends on my players and how they move and how they run for the ball. At that spot, I’ll put the ball there always.”