FC Dallas travels to take on Houston Dynamo to restart their pandemic-interrupted MLS season. Dallas got in two tune-up matches with Nashville SC.
Yet, Dallas will arrive in Houston for the Aug. 21 match tuned up after two matches against Nashville SC. The Tennessee team also needed the refresher games after withdrawing from MLS is Back after too many positive coronavirus tests.
FC Dallas is merging new forward Franco Jara into their gameplan. The first of two matches with Nashville SC was Jara’s first competition with his new team. He got off three shots, two on goal, in the 1-0 loss.
Dallas scouts first saw the Argentinian forward with Club Pachuca when they beat the team in Frisco during the 2017 CONCACAF Champions League matches. Jara scored in the 2-1 match.
Jara was added to the FC Dallas roster just ahead of the MLS is Back Tournament. With limited preparation, he’s still finding his way with the club.
Dallas demonstrates increasing proficiency in defense. As Jara and teammates continue to get in sync, they’ll create more chances. Add that to their solid defense. Houston Dynamo will have all they can handle at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Jara is joined up front with forwards Michael Barrios and Jesus Ferreira. Behind them is upcoming young striker Ricardo Pepi. Also ready to strike is accomplished international forward Zdenek Ondrasek.
With their combined ability to attack down the wings and stealing the ball, they had every opportunity to finish the first Nashville SC match no worse than a draw in their first tune-up game.
It was lost in the 87th minute when forward David Accam took a shot that deflected into the net. For the rest of the match, Nashville poured on the defense after that and posted the win.
While not a win in the second game, FC Dallas did secure a point with Nashville SC, a 0-0 draw. Jara stayed in 73 minutes in that defensive show. He got in a tackle and key pass.
The competition and training that Jara and teammates missed together held them back during these first tune-up games. Zoom meetings don’t create muscle memory like training center repetitions do.
With the restrictions and disruptions of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, athletic training and competition can’t follow a perfectly rendered schedule. So Franco Jara and teammates have to complete their repetitions this season in live competition on the field.
Given the inevitable breakthrough, the FC Dallas frontline attack led by Jara will begin making opponents pay. The first check will get written on Aug. 21 in Houston.