FC Dallas coach Luchi Gonzalez insists his team must learn how to edge out tight games after their frantic 3-3 draw with New York City FC.
Dallas head into a Texas derby against Houston Dynamo sitting 10th in the Western Conference, four points above their state rivals, and still within a chance of sealing a playoff spot.
Yet their coach knows they must turn draws into wins after two successive stalemates saw them miss the chance to really build up momentum.
“No, not happy with the point. We need to win,” Gonzalez said. “It’s that point of the season where we’re not going to have a playoff picture if we don’t make these games our playoffs. And that’s our mentality, we came here with an expectation and a desire to win.
“We’re conceding too many goals and I was making the point that we need to find a way to win 1-0. So we need to improve our balance offensively, defensively. But that’s the collective, it’s not one single player, one single thing.”
Houston head into the derby buoyed by a hard-earned draw with LA Galaxy last time out. Fafa Picault scored in that match, helping himself to a ninth goal of the season in total, and a seventh from his last nine appearances.
“He’s a very hard worker, and he’s always at the end of things,” Dynamo coach Tab Ramos said.
“He had been missing some goals, but he’s always getting chances. That comes from a lot of hard work and good timing on his runs.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Houston Dynamo – Fafa Picault
Picault’s goal against the Galaxy was also his third in tow matches. It is the first time in his five MLS seasons that he has netted as many goals across a two-game span.
FC Dallas – Jader Obrian
Jader Obrian scored two of Houston’s goals against NYCFC. All three of his attempts in that match were on target, and he also created one chance.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– The home team has not lost any of t he last 14 Texas derbies, since Dallas won 3-1 at Houston in August 2016.
– Both matches between these two rivals have ended in draws this season, after Houston and Dallas previously split the points just once in their last seven meetings.
– Dallas’ 3-3 draw with NYCFC took them to 12 goals from their last four away games, equaling the team’s previous bets in a four-match away span (set in 2009).
– Houston has scored seven goals in the first 15 minutes of matches this season with only D.C. United having netted more (eight).
– Houston has scored 25 per cent of its total goals (28) in the first 15 minutes of games.