FRISCO – For a team that had scored just once in its previous four matches, Oscar Pareja sent FC Dallas out in a new formation designed to create the offense.
It did just that in an eventual 3-3 draw with the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday night.
“I saw a lot of good things in that formation. It was clearer for the team to move the ball around,” the head coach said after the match. “The formation gave us a little more of a fluent game in the middle with Roland [Lamah] and Kellyn [Acosta] doing that job.”
A diversion from the usual 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2, Dallas lined up in a 4-1-4-1 – Carlos Gruezo sitting back in the defensive midfield solo, with Acosta pushing up into a more attacking role alongside Lamah, moved into a more interior role. Tesho Akindele and Michael Barrios were tasked with running up and down the flanks with Maxi Urruti up top as the lone striker.
“Yeah, the coaches had a great game plan,” midfielder Victor Ulloa said, observing the new look from the bench to start the match. “The team was able to find [Acosta] and Lamah a little higher in those open spaces. They were able to create opportunities at the end of the first half.”
It’s a look Pareja said after the match they could continue to use going forward.
“I truly like it because its one of the positions I like to play as a ‘9,’” Urruti said. “Knowing that I had two great players such as [Roland] and Kellyn who can create [helps]. You can tell by the three goals we scored, but now we have to focus on Saturday, we have a few days to prepare for Columbus and on getting those three points.”