Heading into last nights match, the Loons were without three starters from the previous week in Darwin Quintero, Francisco Calvo and Collen Warner. Accompanying those three on the injury list was also Maximiano, who didn’t travel with the team due to an injury sustained in training. The match was tipped to kickoff at 7pm, but due to a severe lightning delay, which totaled 154 minutes, the match did not kickoff until 9:40pm.
Going into this match, Minnesota United should have been confident that they could get three points. Dallas had lost two of their last three, and they seemed to have been in a slump - something they are not used to. Adrian Heath rolled out with a 4-3-3 formation, which was a surprise to most, myself included.
Heath chose to go with a back four consisting of Miller, Kallman, Boxall and Mears - a combination that has not worked together in a back-four this season. In the midfield, he inserted Collin Martin to replace Warner while winger Frantz Pangop was given his first career MLS start. Pangop’s inclusion was a bit of a surprise, given that he has rarely made a sub appearance over the past week. Pangop was chosen over the likes of Alexi Gomez and Romario Ibarra.
Both teams came out of the tunnel to a short warm up starting at about 9:15, and it was fairly evident that the weather delay took a toll on them, not only physically, but mentally as well. The squads entered the game fairly slowly, with strings of passes being completed and then intercepted. Nothing had happened that was particularly exciting to open the game, but it did seem as if Dallas was more prepared to take the pitch than that of Minnesota. Frantz Pangop registered a shot attempt in the 12th minute, which was followed by an FC Dallas goal kick. The Loons earned two corner kicks, in the 24th and 26th minutes, but Tyrone Mears had overshot both crosses, and the opportunities were lost.
Any Dallas attack was usually led by new attacking midfielder, Pablo Aranguiz, who was signed to replace Mauro Diaz after he completed a transfer to play in the Middle East. At 21 years of age, Aranguiz had shone brightly for Dallas, and he was the core of their pressing attempts in the first half. Accompanying those attacks was young designated player, Carlos Gruezo, whose key passes were ultimately beating Minnesota in the midfield. Right befire the stroke of halftime, Dallas struck, through midfielder Maynor Figueroa. Figueroa had appeared to be offside on the goal, but after Video Review, it was noted that defender Michael Boxall had headed the ball at Bobby Shuttleworth, who then punched the ball away, but it was straight at Figueroa who tapped it in. A very, very confusing play that ultimately caused a disarray on social media during halftime. Loons fans seemed to be upset with the call, and it took a while to find the right camera angle, but the decision was correct. Take a look for yourself:
Here's the Dallas broadcast replay. pic.twitter.com/0GgqupNLTr— Big D Soccer (@BigDSoccer) August 19, 2018
To Adrian heath’s distaste, the Loons were down at the half. The second half began, and Minnesota didn’t look half bad; they were stringing passes together while keeping a calm mannered composure. In the 57th minute though, Minnesota realized it was all but over. Forward Michael Barrios had run down the left hand side of the field, cut in, and rocketed a shot to the far corner to put his side up 2-0. In another world, he probably called “game” before the ball left his foot.
That was that, nothing else really happened minus a few yellow cards to Dallas players Matt Hedges and Carlos Gruezo. Minnesota had chosen to sub on Romario and Mason Toye in the 2nd ha;f, but it wasn’t enough. The Loons travel back home for a week of training before they head to Kansas City to take on Johnny Russel and company next weekend. until then, we will hopefully see Darwin Quintero and Jerome Theisson return to training, and the looming possibility of signing free agent, Fernando Bob. The midfielder was training on trial with Minnesota last week.