We're a month into the season and I think the accurate word to describe the 1-2-1 start would be rollercoaster. The first three games were pretty much a disaster as Dallas, who was pretty much unbeatable at home last season, gained just a point from 2 home games while looking awful at Columbus. Then Friday night happened and FCD destroyed the 3-0-0 Rapids(who are looking very decent playing on short rest at Salt Lake tonight).
So which FC Dallas is the one we will see this season?
Read on for three reasons on each side of the argument
Three reasons to be optimistic
-The Brek Shea centerback experiment seems to be over/Ugo and John getting healthy. We get it, given a year of seasoning Brek Shea could be a fantastic center back. However, with Brek at center back, FC Dallas had a gaping hole on the left side of the field while the center back tandem looked poor and disjointed. Ugo and John looked fantastic together and according to Schellas both of them are still probably around 85%. How's this for a stat: FC Dallas has lost just 6 of 29 games in which Ugo and John were paired together at center back.
-New faces showing well. Fabian Castillo's work speaks for itself, this guy is the real deal. I'm not sure exactly what the right role is for him yet, either off striker or on the left side, but wow this kid is 18 years old and he fed Anthony Wallace his lunch on Friday night, his second ever start.
Andrew Jacobson looked very good in his first start in the central midfield role. He provides a very imposing figure in the middle of the field(it was AJ's header that freed Castillo on the second goal), and got forward very well. Maykel Galindo is looking better with each day that passes as well. He scored the game winning goal in the reserve game last week which has to give him a ton of confidence and Dallas really doesn't need him for another month or so.
-Dallas won't get a red card in half their games this year. Dallas isn't going to be playing with ten men for most games, and when they've managed to keep everyone on the field they're 1-1. The red cards were FCD's fault so you have to hold it against them, but at the same time Dallas has looked good with 11 men on the pitch.
Three reasons to be pessimistic
-Daniel Hernandez inconsistency I love the captain as much as everyone else, but he's been up and down this season. Hernandez was fantastic against Colorado, playing a wonderful ball to Avila on the third goal, but he looked slow and old in the other three games. Last season, Hernandez's consistency was a huge part of FCD's success and they'll need him to play well in order to get where they want to go.
-Depth in attack FC Dallas has a whopping seven games in May and their depth will be greatly tested. The day is going to come where David Ferreira doesn't start a match and Dallas really doesn't have a lot of attacking depth behind him. There's Eric Avila and Ricardo Villar but we don't really know how effective either will be in Ferreira's role while on the wings it's Castillo, Chavez, Shea(?) and not much else.
-Not much forward production I suppose this could go under depth in attack, but the fact is that FC Dallas has one goal in four games from the forward position and it was a lucky backheel(sure he meant it, but that's still only going to come off 30% of the time). Milton was ok on Friday night, but it's still a worry to me that it's not the forwards scoring right now.