A pair of teams seeking bounce-back wins collide in Frisco on Saturday when FC Dallas looks to deny the New York Red Bulls their first road win of 2019.
FC Dallas (5-3-2) is coming off a 2-1 Texas Derby road loss to the Dynamo last Saturday. Substitute Dominique Badji claimed a late consolation goal for the Hoops, who fell behind in the 20th minute on a questionable penalty awarded to the Dynamo after Carlos Gruezo fouled Alberth Ellis.
They also had a potential game-tying goal in stoppage time chalked off for offside. The Hoops had a lion’s share of the possession and put six of their nine shots on target, but the low number of shots shows Luchi Gonzalez’s offense is still a work in progress.
FC Dallas has scored just one goal in the last two matches, and it appears Pablo Aranguiz’s best spot may be as a playmaking midfielder in the middle compared to on the wing where Gonzalez started him last Saturday.
“It’s a process that might take some time,” midfielder Michael Berrios told the Dallas Morning News about the offense. “I don’t think we’ve been able to do exactly what the coach and the team want in such a short time. We need to continue to work day-by-day for what is next. We know it’s not easy, but we all have the enthusiasm and the willingness to fight for what we want, which is the title.”
Berrios’ streak of 96 MLS matches played – the second-longest in league history by an outfield player – will end Saturday when the winger serves a one-match ban for yellow card accrual. FC Dallas will have some big holes to fill in the attack without Berrios and Paxton Pomykal, who is out with a hamstring injury.
The Red Bulls (3-2-5) were denied a third straight victory Wednesday when they suffered a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Impact. Aaron Long staked New York to a lead in the 36th minute with his downward header after meeting Marc Rzatkowski’s free kick at the top of the six-yard box, but the Impact equalized in the second half via a set piece of their own and Long’s push on Anthony Jackson-Hamel in the penalty area resulted in a 79th-minute penalty converted by Maxi Urruti.
“I think we kind of gave that game away on a bad free kick for them and obviously the penalty is just terrible and can’t happen,” Long said. “We should have won this game and taken care of business at home.”
Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips could miss his fourth straight game due to a groin injury. Prior to Wednesday’s loss, the team signed forward Tom Barlow, who had scored eight goals in eight matches with Red Bulls II in the USL, and gave him a full start for his MLS debut.
The Red Bulls – who are 0-2-2 on the road this year – made short work of FC Dallas in the lone 2018 meeting, winning 3-0 at home on goals by Wright-Phillips, Kaku and Sean Davis in the first 48 minutes. New York is 4-0-2 in the last six meetings versus the Hoops and 8-1-4 in the last 13.
(Bryan Acosta photo courtesy FC Dallas official Twitter account)
(Aaron Long photo courtesy New York Red Bulls official Twitter account)