Another cold wet night in November and another disappointing end to the season for FC Dallas. This year has been an incredible ride. The emotional rollercoaster that was the 2016 season, won’t be forgotten, nor should it. It had everything, frustrated fans, Fabian Castillo going rogue in the middle of the season, winning a trophy for the first time in 19 years, adding a second one for good measure, and an untimely injury that ultimately did the team in. I don’t want this season to be remembered for all the frustrations we’ve had along the way. Instead, let’s remember the good parts and be the supportive fan base this team deserves.
For all the incredible achievements this team accomplished this year, a fan article in late summer is what drew the most attention. It was everywhere. Big D soccer comments section blew up, it jumped over to other fan sites, as well as r/FCDallas, r/Dallas, and r/MLS. As a fanbase, we rallied together to yell and argue about what the team was doing wrong instead of just enjoying everything they were doing right. Unfortunately, that article is our fan base in a nutshell. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of people who love this team and support it 100%, even with it’s blemishes. But, it feels like the majority of us would rather complain about the location of the stadium or the lines at the concession stands instead of buying in wholeheartedly.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t times to voice our complaints or frustration, but the middle of an incredible season seems to be a weird decision. We all want the stadium full and to grow the fanbase. But instead of showing how great our team is, we spew everything we despise about the team/organization on every social media outlet. With the majority of new fans being millennials, or internet using folks (a more trendy demographic), the moment they go online to learn about the team, all they read is that the ownership group is terrible and doesn’t care about it’s fans. They read that tickets are very expensive, even though they are significantly cheaper than the other sports franchises in the city. They read that we don’t spend any money on players and that we don’t even really want the players we have ie. Maxi Urruti.
Again, don’t me wrong, I know that we all love this team. To me, it seems like our fanbase treats the team like Lenny from Of Mice and Men. We love this team a lot and ultimately want the best for it. We hold FC Dallas in our hands, tightly and run to everyone around us trying to show them off. While showing them off, we squeeze and squeeze them. Then, whenever something happens that we aren’t happy about it, within the club, we shake them. We shake them and shake them until there is nothing left. Nothing left except a pile of well meant posts and thoughts.
We have to get past this. We are no longer a minnow in this league. We don’t have to prove to anyone why they should be watching our club. The club has done it for us. If the stadium isn’t full on a hot night in early June, so be it. My perception of the club isn’t based on what people say about it, who tweets about it, or how many games are shown on national telecasts. My perception of the club is one of a young group of guys who have bought into their managers plan and are able to execute at a very high level. A level that hasn’t been seen before in this league (only club with back to back 60 point seasons in MLS history).
As we enter the offseason, don’t be frustrated, don’t vent or complain. Instead, think back about how great this season was. Realize, that we are apart of a grassroots movement that is slowly taking over the league. This club does things it’s way. It plays by it’s own rules. They play their kids, they spend money on young DPs, they take chances on no names. For me, I would rather support a club that is built organically rather than going and getting some mid-30 year old who is just collecting a paycheck. I am so proud of this club and will always be “Dallas Til I Die.’