The Major League Soccer season is a rollercoaster. It goes up some times quickly; it goes down in a hurry with loops and twists that Hollywood couldn't even dream up at times.
FC Dallas is dealing with just that in 2015 as they've streaked their way through the first 25 weeks of the marathon season. I won't go into the rollercoaster that has been the ticketing sales for 2016, that may be another topic for another day as I've been on the fence about that entire subject since day one.
No, today is full set aside to discuss the offensive issues that have creeped back into the foreground this month with three straight losses. In a small way this feels like late May and early June all over again. FC Dallas went five straight games in that span without a win and with only two goals scored. Grant it, all of those games were one the road. This short span has been a mix of two road games and one home game against arguable the hottest team in MLS.
But below the surface there is a growing concern for the way the offense has played particularly in the group of forwards over the course of a few months. Sure, the club enjoyed a nice five-game winning streak that saw them outscore teams 13-2. A lot of that had to do with the attack moving strong with Mauro Diaz at his best, Fabian Castillo playing like an All-Star and the emergence of Michael Barrios. The club didn't need a striker scoring a ton of goals in that span when these three were providing a lot to the equation.
As much as I think the playoff push is going to be able whether or not Diaz is healthy and capable of doing the special things that he can do, I am thinking more and more that it may be up to the forwards to get the club where we all probably thought they could be during some of the positive runs this season - a top three team in the West. Yeah, that is a fairly bold statement to make in the middle of a losing streak but I know I thought it at one point about this team.
I look at Blas Perez right now, the club's leading scorer from the last three seasons. Maybe it is a mix of age catching up to him or the amount of international call-ups that he has had to deal with but the five goals this season just aren't cutting it. So far he has missed six games with Panama but does anyone really believe that what he has brought over the last few months is anything good? Leadership on the field or in the locker room aside, the goals and assists just aren't there this season. I won't even get into the fact that his contract runs up at the end of the season. That, again, is another subject for another day.
With Perez not producing, the next in line is David Texeira and Tesho Akindele. Neither have been standouts this season as Akindele has certainly endured a sophomore slump if there ever was one. Texeira on the other hand is as inconsistent as they come. I was willing to give him a pass last year in the league as I always think new players in MLS need time to adapt to things but I've nearly given up on him.
We all discussed the problem with the attack during the transfer window that recently closed. Dallas didn't make an upgrade or an addition to the attack. They didn't build the bridge in the depth department in terms of age and skill between Perez, Akindele, Texeira and even with Homegrown forward Coy Craft.
As the playoffs near, Perez, Akindele and Texeira all could be the reason why the club makes the playoffs or even misses out. I know there is more to it than that but I believe the defense is good enough to get sorted out in time and the midfield with Diaz will work. Heck, I'm even willing to bet that the midfield without Diaz can work too.