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FC Dallas knocks off SMU 3-1

2/19/2011

Ed note: please welcome a guest writer today, Harlan Bowling, the FCD blogger over at the TheOffside.com. - Buzz

Just a few days after making the trek up to Frisco to catch FCD against Houston Baptist University, I once again found myself on that familiar field 4, this time for a night scrimmage that saw FCD cruise past SMU 3-1. During the Schellas Hyndman regime, SMU has become a sort of minor league farm system for FCD recruits, so I was interested in catching this one. The turn out from those supporting both FCD and SMU seemed to bring out the energetic atmosphere in fans and players alike. Here's how it panned out:

Final : FC Dallas 3 -1 SMU

Goals:

15' SMU Goal

18' Rodriguez Goal on header (Shea assisted with cross)

56' Luna Goal (unassisted)

77' Ogunyemi Goal (Luna assisted)

Lineups:

FIRST HALF (4-1-4-1)

GK: Hartman

D: Jackson - Loyd - Pradie - Benitez

DM: Hernandez

M: Chavez - Alexander - Ferreira - Shea

F: Rodriguez

SECOND HALF (4-4-2)

GK: Seitz

D: Weidemen - Warshaw - Gordon - M. Hernandez

M: Avila - Guarda - Martins - Lleyva

F: Luna - Galindo

The changes in the second half at the 70th minute were expectedly wholesale, but they also changed the formation back to the 4-1-4-1, so here's how it moved around:

SECOND HALF VERSION 2 (4-1-4-1)

GK: Seitz

D: Ulloa - Pradie - Gordon - M. Hernandez

DM: Warshaw

M: Merosovic - Avila - Guarda - Ogunyemi

F: Luna

OBSERVATIONS:

- Chavez looked especially strong in the first half, darting up and down the field chasing transfers most players would give up on. He also made quite a few nifty moves on defenders, using his speed to go around them, or just as easily straight through them. It will be nice to see if he can bring that sort of work rate a full 90 minutes.

- On the defensive side of the ball, Dallas is obviously trying to find any sort of chemistry in the back four. Hard to blame them, considering the absence of George John in center and Heath Pearce out wide. Nonetheless, Alexis Pradie is making a case for himself as a bench player, and Zach Loyd's maturity seems to be helping, even if his first touch fails him on occasion.

- Speaking of Pradie, it was interesting to see him come back on in the 70th minute after being subbed at the half. It's apparent after 90 minutes on Tuesday, and 65 minutes Friday, Hyndman's wanting to see what this guy can do. In my opinion, he handled himself quite well.

- Hernandez doesn't seem to be too troubled by the knee at this point. He was solid in linking play from the back, and got forward as a disrupter often.

- Of course we can't make any post regarding FCD without mentioning the striker situation, and this won't be the first. While FCD remains committed to finding a top caliber striker, it's becoming apparent that both Rodriguez and Luna don't want to be forgotten. Rodriguez found the net again against SMU, after finding it twice against Houston Baptist. He seems to have found some chemistry with the midfield that will be interesting to watch this season. Luna, on the other hand, is a player that has proven himself at every level as he has progressed. He fought through traffic to score his goal, and was instrumental in providing service to Galindo in the 5th minute (whose 1v1 shot was saved, though it should've been finished), and service to Ogunyemi, who found the net in the 77th. I'm not ready to say we'll be fine without a striker signing, but it's nice to see these guys performing well so early.