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Crossing the Touchline: Crew vs. FC Dallas

We went to our SB Nation friends to learn more about the Crew’s Saturday opponent.

FC Dallas v Houston Dynamo - MLS 2020 Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

Columbus Crew SC is back on the road this weekend, heading to Texas to take on FC Dallas. The Black & Gold might be sitting at the top of the Major League Soccer standings with 30 points, but the Crew will look to get a result after a disappointing 3-1 loss to Toronto FC last Sunday, only the team’s second loss of the 2020 regular season.

Dallas, meanwhile, sits in fourth in the Western Conference and is only four points outside of first. A home win would be a big deal for MLS’s original Texas side.

To get a better sense of what Crew fans should expect from this match, we turned to our friends at Big D Soccer and spoke with managing editor Drew Epperley.

Questions for Big D Soccer

Massive Report: A look at the standings shows FC Dallas in fourth place in the West. For Crew fans who haven’t seen much of Dallas this year, can you give us a little more insight into what the season has been like for the team?

Big D Soccer: The 2020 season has been interesting to say the very least. Between the withdrawal from the MLS is Back tournament to where they are now, we’ve seen some ups and downs out of FC Dallas. Overall, this group has responded to this year pretty well given all things involved. Luchi Gonzalez has shown well in his second season as manager and is continuing to lean hard on youth when he can. I would say the ability to use five subs has also been a good tool for him to use this year to get younger players more minutes. The group has picked up some good wins against teams like Minnesota United and Sporting Kansas City, but at the same time, they’ve struggled against teams like Nashville SC and most recently, Atlanta United.

MR: In his first season with the club, Franco Jara leads the team in goals, shots, shots on goal, basically all of the stats you would expect from a forward. Tell us a bit more about the Argentine and why he’s fit so well in FCD’s system.

BDS: Jara was brought in as the promised big-timed DP striker that the club has lacked for years now. So far, I think it is safe to say that he is living up to the billing. Jara’s ability in the penalty box to find the open cross or get on the end of a corner kick was something that this team lacked these last couple of years. I would also say that the addition of Andres Ricaurte, has played a large part in making sure he is able to get good service in the penalty box too.

MR: As has been the case in the past, the youth is strong with Dallas. With the Academy continuing to churn out top talent, who are a few young players on the roster Columbus fans should know heading into this game?

BDS: After the departure of Reggie Cannon, the big Homegrown players that folks should know about are Bryan Reynolds and Tanner Tessmann. Both players are emerging as big-time players for this team in 2020. Tessmann got known for turning down college football powerhouse Clemson’s offer to be their kicker this year, and instead be a professional soccer player for FC Dallas. Tessmann has found a way to earn minutes and keep a starting spot despite having veteran guys like Thiago Santos and Bryan Acosta on the roster. Reynolds on the other hand was Cannon’s natural successor. He’s emerged as a guy at right-back that could potentially be a Best XI candidate down the road.

To read Massive Report’s answers to Big D Soccer’s questions, click here.