This offseason has been one of the more interesting ones in FC Dallas history. The old guard is out as Schellas Hyndman left at the end of 2013 and the new era was ushered in with Oscar Pareja returning home to Dallas. New players were brought in and a new home kit will be unveiled later this evening.
Normally I'm not the glass half-empty type but for the sake of doing season previews, I have to be realistic about a few things here. There are a few things we have to be worried about going into this new season.
Health is always a concern
As we may recall, health was a big factor in 2012 and again in parts of 2013. When this group is healthy, they are dangerous and can be rather fun to watch.
The biggest thing on my mind is the health of guys like George John and Raul Fernandez. Neither will likely play this weekend. The same will likely be said for Walker Zimmerman (can that kid stay healthy?) and Stephen Keel. Zach Loyd is also a toss up going into this weekend as well.
Keeping guys like John, Blas Perez, Hendry Thomas and Mauro Diaz upright and healthy for the majority of the season is a major factor in how good this team will or will not be here.
Lots of new faces again on the roster this year. Eight new faces join the team this year while a slew of players are gone. Turnover is typical with any team in MLS but the main factor is how these new faces work out with the players returning from last year.
Obviously the trips to the UAE and Florida should have helped with some of the chemistry matters but given how both David Texeira and Andres Escobar haven't really been able to be a part of the full preseason is a cause for concern.
The same can be said about the chemistry in the defense too, especially early on this season as John is still out and Fernandez is recovering from his hip injury.
The great unknown
No player is more crucial to FCD’s success in 2014 than Diaz, we know that, we've talked up and down the river about that this winter. Even though we liked what we saw out of Diaz in the short form in 2013, we don't truly know if he will be effective enough in 2014.
But the biggest worry I have is he is healthy for the full year but he just isn't an effective enough player on the field to help push FCD where we think he will. Throw in the fact that the club hasn't really landed on who exactly will be his back up is another cause for concern.
Note: We'll have more season previews up today through Saturday.