The worst possible scenario may be unfolding this weekend for Oscar Pareja. Last week against Chivas USA he lost two of his holding midfielders in Andrew Jacobson and Adam Moffat to injuries but he also saw Hendry Thomas pick up a red card.
Now the FC Dallas manager will have to retool the midfield lineup for a third straight game. But how deep will Pareja go into his depth chart to alleviate the issue? It is time to lay out the possibilities for Saturday's game.
Go with a 4-4-2
Midway through the second half when Jacobson picked up his ankle injury, Pareja opted to go offensive with his substitution by bringing in David Texeira. The newest Designated Player has only seen some limited time off the bench and may not be ready to go for 90 minutes, but the move got me thinking, why not shift to a 4-4-2 for one weekend.
Pareja did this for a short time period before brining in Michel for Blas Perez. During that time Texeira was up top with Perez while Mauro Diaz shifted back into the midfield with Thomas. Pareja could go with something similar this weekend by giving Texeria the start and bringing in someone like Peter Luccin to fill the Thomas role.
The only hesitation I have with this is Luccin. I don't believe he can truly go for 90 minutes here, so that means someone like Michel or Victor Ulloa will need to come off the bench at some point in the second half. Not to mention the worry I have on what this will do to Diaz' game and ability to create offense.
Stick with the same formation, but use Michel and Luccin together
I could see this being the most likely scenario for starting out on Saturday against Portland. By keeping the same formation, and lineup, Pareja would just swap Thomas and Jacobson/Moffat for Michel and Luccin. Michel would likely fall into the Jacobson role and be a link between Luccin and Diaz. Luccin would go into the Thomas role and be the enforcer in the middle of the park above the defense.
Go bold, really bold
This possible lineup is a little wild in theory for some, so stay with me on this. Pareja brings Zach Loyd into the defense for Kellyn Acosta on the right back spot. He then moves Acosta into the middle of the midfield where Jacobson was, but keeps Luccin in the starting spot for Thomas. Or he goes super bold and starts Ulloa over Luccin. Yeah...I did say crazy.
I know some of you are drooling over the idea of this one since it puts Acosta into the midfield.
So what formation do you see happening on Saturday? Lets discuss that below.