As the calendar turns to a new year, it is time to take a broad look at what could be the bigger story lines of the next year. We'll break it down into two parts, an off the field look and an on the field look.
Today, we'll start with the off the field items that could be worth watching in 2014.
The first big story of 2014 is also the same as the last big story of 2013. Will it be Marco Ferruzzi? Oscar Pareja? Someone else entirely? Who will FC Dallas finally hire as their new head coach has been a long saga for all fans and followers of the team. The club will have to move fast once they all return from their Christmas and New Years holidays.
Right after the New Year hits, the MLS Combine and SuperDraft will be right around the corner. Will FCD go defensive again? Or will the club finally pick a more offensive-minded player? Lastly, will FCD make any draft day moves?
The Middle East Trip
FC Dallas recently announced that they would be heading to the Middle East for a preseason trip to Abu Dubai. It is hard to say what could happen on this trip but the exposure to this market will be huge for FC Dallas and MLS.
Over the last two seasons, FC Dallas has sent players out on loan with fairly great success. 2014 should be no different for the club loaning out younger players. The question will now become who gets sent out on loan in 2014? Another Homegrown like London Woodberry or Jonathan Top could use a loan spell. Keeper Jesse Gonzalez seems to be a good candidate for it as well.
Possibly the biggest story for FCD fans is the possibility of the club running a USL-Pro team in 2015. This year will be a big year for the club to get all their ducks in a row for this.
The next year will be pretty big for the league. Expansion continues to be a big story going forward and it will effect FC Dallas in the long run due to conference alignment and schedules. The big question will be whether or not San Antonio gets a team to add to the Texas Derby or if MLS will go elsewhere.
This past summer FC Dallas hosted Stoke City. This summer window should leave a weekend open up for the club to host another international team. Time will tell as to whether or not the club will actually host another European team or if they bring in a team from south of the border.
This is certainly a big year for the Technical Director in charge with FCD. Clavijo has made some good moves and some not so good moves over the last two seasons with the team. But one thing is clear, 2014 is all on him with the way things have gone this offseason.
It would be tough to talk about 2014 and not mention the World Cup in Brazil. With FC Dallas in the market for a new Designated Player, will they wait for the summer event or find one before hand?
What other off the field stories are you all looking forward to in 2014?