Following FC Cincinnati’s derby loss this past weekend – and with the club’s playoff hopes fleeting – the focus is unchanging, said Head Coach Ron Jans.
“The focus is what we said before, that we want to build on our way of playing,” Jans said earlier this week. “We can use some players and they can show what they can do if they deserve (more playing time.)”
With that, here are the three main talking points ahead of FCC at FC Dallas on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium:
“Maybe we rotate a bit.”
Expect some starting lineup changes. That’s the message Jans hinted at during media availability on Tuesday. Two nights before at Nippert Stadium, he said some players were not following the game plan and that unraveled Cincinnati’s approach to stop Columbus. By halftime, the home side trailed 3-0.
By rotating the squad, that provides opportunities for players who haven’t featured as much and Jans can formulate a better idea of who he wants on the 2020 roster.
It’s worth noting he’s only made one change to his starting lineup through three games.
Going on the road to go home
Victor Ulloa and Roland Lamah both played for FCD in 2017 and 2018, so this match is a return to their former club. For Ulloa, it’s a return to the team that offered him an inaugural spot in their academy.
Greg Garza hasn’t played since May 19, but he’s from Grapevine and could make his MLS return miles away from his birthplace.
FCC can play the role of spoiler for FCD
Dallas sit seventh in the Western Conference standings, which is the final spot in the playoff picture. They have 40 points from 28 matches, while eighth-place Portland Timbers have 37 points in 26 matches.
The west has wacky standings in terms of movement in the table, and technically a Dallas win could leapfrog the side into hosting a playoff match at Toyota Stadium. Of course, Cincinnati earning a positive road result changes that. Thus, it’s a must-win for the home side.
What: FC Cincinnati at FC Dallas
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Where: Toyota Stadium
TV: WSTR Star 64
Local Video Stream: FloFC
Out of Market Video Stream: ESPN+
Audio Stream: TuneIn App, fccincinnati.com
Local Radio: WDJO (99.5 FM | 107.9 FM | 1480 AM)
Tickets: Purchase your tickets here.
- Victor Ulloa was FC Dallas’s second-ever Homegrown signing and played 144 MLS regular-season appearances for the club between 2011-18.
- Roland Lamah played 61 league matches for FCD in two seasons from 2017-18.
- Eric Alexander is the first player to ever face FCC in MLS having played for the club. He made six appearances for the Orange and Blue after being the club’s No. 4 pick in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft.
- Alvas Powell and Jacori Hayes were in the Portland Timbers organization in 2014.
- Kendall Waston and Moisés Hernández played at Deportivo Saprissa in 2013.
- Emmanuel Ledesma played with Jimmy Mauer and Kyle Zobeck on the New York Cosmos in 2017. FCC Technical Director Luke Sassano was the Cosmos’ assistant technical director.
- Frankie Amaya and Paxton Pomykal have played together in the U.S. Under-20 National Team.
Opponent’s Player to Watch: Midfielder Paxton Pomykal
Pomykal’s had a breakout 2019 that’s seen him wear the captain armband for the U.S. Under-20 National Team in the Under-20 FIFA World Cup and excel with Dallas in MLS. In fact, on Wednesday, he was called into USMNT camp and could make his first senior cap in early September.
A lot’s happening quickly for the midfielder, who’s played in 20 MLS matches this season. He has two goals and five assists. Before 2019, he’d only played eight league games in two seasons.