It is here. The 2015 season is finally here and FC Dallas is ready to march towards the MLS Cup playoffs once again. The league has a new energy with its rebranding and addition of two more teams. While plenty of action will take place as the season moves on, let's look at what to watch for in the team's season opener tomorrow night.
Opening Day Familiarity
This is the 20th season of Major League Soccer and believe it or not, FC Dallas has started 18 of the previous 19 seasons at home. It will move to 19 of 20 as the team is set to start the year at Toyota Stadium against San Jose. FC Dallas is 9-4-6 in those games, including a 5 game unbeaten streak.
I'm not sure if there's a specific reason why FCD has been so lucky on opening day other than it being a perk to being a charter member of the league. Let me know in the comments if you do know the reason why.
The Right Stuff
My biggest intrigue going into this season, at least at the beginning, is the issue with right back. I hope that by the end of the month Zack Loyd is consistently starting there, but until then, Atiba Harris seems to be Oscar Pareja's favorite, despite some of the issues he's had marking his players within the 18. Ryan Hollingshead is quickly becoming one my favorite players and I'd love to see him get a shot at that spot.
I've already noticed when both of those players line up on the right side, Ryan is usually tracking back to make up for Atiba's tendency to go forward. Ryan seems to have the aggressiveness and strength needed to do well there. I doubt this will happen, but with the way OP works, anything is possible.
Drew Epperley touched on the fact that FC Dallas has started the last couple seasons well in his March Outlook post earlier, and there is plenty of truth to that.
FC Dallas has taken 22 of 27 possible points combined in March of 2013 and 2014. Although the hot start in 2013 fizzled out due to injuries and a summer slump, it greatly helped the team work through the same summer injury bug in 2014. While of course I hope the team stays healthy, it's a long season and a successful March could go a long way in ensuring the team returns to the playoffs and hopefully avoids the knockout round.
I'm looking forward to this upcoming season and I'm sure you are too. Comment with one bold prediction you have for one of the players this season.