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Talking Strategy: D.C. United v FC Dallas

Preston Burpo talks tactics and mentality heading into FC Dallas

Three points, home or away, are three points D.C. United can win. That is the mentality this year, according to Goalkeeping Coach Preston Burpo.

“I think there’s a sense with this team, this year, that three points is achievable on the road,” Burpo said, referring to last weekend’s draw at Columbus. “We liked getting the one point; we obviously would have preferred three. So there’s a lot of frustration with that.”

There is little time for frustration, as United turns its focus towards FC Dallas and shifts its frustration into motivation.

“Dallas is very good,” Burpo stated. “They have some exciting players. They have a lot of speed outside in Je-Vaughn Watson and Fabían Castillo. They also have Mauro Diaz underneath. He is exciting, quick and good on the ball. He can find their guys up top.”

A crafty attacker who plays underneath the forward is nothing new for D.C.’s defenders and backline, having dealt with New York’s Peguy Luyindula two weeks ago and Federico Higuain last weekend.

“His [Higuain’s] movement is good. [Columbus] forces defenders to make a decision to go with them or not, or force the mids to cut off passing lanes,” Burpo explained. “What helped with that was we got numbers behind the ball to begin with. We made it hard for Columbus.”

When facing FC Dallas, Burpo explains the situation will be similar tactically.

“It will be the same with Diaz, Castillo, Watson and Michel will push forward. We have to deal with them popping into different spots on the field,” he said.

Offensively, the Black-and-Red has to keep plugging away. Scoring six goals in the previous four matches, in which D.C. is unbeaten, proves the attacking threat is real and ready to strike. The most recent goal came on from a smart Nick DeLeon pass, which Fabián Espíndola finished with a great left-foot strike to the near post.

“We’re still getting chances,” Burpo recalled. “We only scored one last weekend, but we are still creating real chances. It’s another positive step for us.”

Head to RFK this Saturday (7:00 p.m.) and help motivate the Black-and-Red: BUY TICKETS