Campaigns fluctuate in their flow. Ups and downs are normal in the grind of a regular season. For this off-season series, I take a look at what was splendid, substandard, and what was nasty for Pareja and Co.
The typical way to begin a series of this nature is to talk about the good first and focus on the bad/ugly afterwards. That is not the way I would like to approach it. I want to save the best for last as this team did much more good than bad this season. Let us begin!
Nasty #1: Disciplinary Demise
This was a bad year for those of us who like to watch a team that plays clean all day every day. FC Dallas picked up a distasteful reputation league-wide for being a flopping, dirty team. Regardless of what you think about many calls, (we are FC Dallas fans first and foremost and are biased by nature) this team finished with a franchise-record ten red cards this year according to our buddy Steve Hunt.
That is an ejection every ten games or so in the season and is unacceptable. Papi always preaches passion to his players but needs to find a way to motivate some of these guys to play hard without committing stupid fouls. Moises Hernandez and Je-Vaughn Watson are the players that come to mind. It is possible that they both start the season as our outside backs, so Pareja needs to make sure that they understand the importance of finishing matches with eleven players.
Nasty #2: Injury Impairment
It seems to happen every year for this team. The players we plan on depending the most on going in to the season end up being hurt for large chunks of it. Enter Hendry Thomas and Mauro Diaz. We had big hopes for the anchor and head of the diamond midfield respectively. Unfortunately for #20 and #10, the season did not play out like they had expected with both Hendry and Mauro missing prolonged periods of playing time after getting injured in the beginning of the season and re-injuring themselves upon returning to the lineups.
Got it? Good.
Forgetting about a lost year for George John, as well as Kellyn Acosta's prolonged absence, Oscar had many injuries to deal with this season in what is sadly becoming a yearly occurrence for this team. For this team to truly have a powerhouse season, they need to have a year of luck with injuries. I hope that year is soon.
Deplorable Nasty: For the sake of all things good, name a USL team or affiliate already. We were supposed to be one of the first teams to do so with the initial report. Now, we are one of the last. Let's do this.
Do you agree with my "nasties"? Did I miss anything that you would like to talk about?