The roster moves have been made by FC Dallas as we head into the heart of the offseason in Major League Soccer. While the Cup is still to be played for in the couple of weeks, it is time for us to go deep into offseason mode around here as we discuss what we’d like to see FC Dallas do this winter.
There are plenty of good options for FC Dallas to prioritize over and our staff discusses what they think would be their top priority this winter.
Cody Gamond - Replace Castillo
Dallas biggest need this offseason is a Castillo replacement at left wing. Dallas can, and will have to play without Diaz for half the season. When we had Castillo we managed to find a way to win without Mauro, but with both of them gone, this team lacks creativity going forward and Barrios becomes isolated. Replacing Diaz is important, but the biggest step in that process is finding a quality left winger to pair with Barrios.
Nathan Hill - Find a Diaz replacement
I still have a sinking suspicion that Fabian Castillo is going to be back, and that Oscar Pareja will be willing to work with the winger if Fabian says and does the right things. Our main focus is still on finding a starting striker that fits the FC Dallas mold. While I hope it will be a DP level contract, I can trust that another Clavijo special could be workable if Maxi Urruti continues to progress. Regardless of those two needs, the biggest pressing concern is a Diaz type replacement. Ideally, Clavijo and co find someone who can come in on a loan for the year or a player who has enough flexibility to move out wide or fill in at other positions if they are a permanent addition. Again, someone like Lee Nguyen could be a big get, but that’s just speculation. Could we find another bargain bin veteran or convince Mauro Rosales to give it another go? Is there a potential loan like Emerson Hyndman out there? Ultimately, I’m looking to see if the recent HGP signings tip the hat toward FC Dallas’ direction - go into 2017 with the intention to let the kids get a heck of a lot of starting minutes. If so, maybe there is only the pressure to find the best players in any position that can keep FCD moving forward.
Jason Poon - Defensive Depth
The loss and uncertainty regarding Zach Loyd and Atiba Harris has this club in a questionable position regarding its defense. Aubrey David and Norberto Paparatto were brought in for short term depth, but they both proved to be serviceable in a pinch. This club rode off the healthiest campaign of Walker Zimmerman’s short professional career and remember how disastrous this team’s defense looked without Matt Hedges during that brief injury spell earlier in the year? The defense needs bodies, and hopefully they’ll be able to grab some sleepers out there this off-season.
Drew Epperley - Lock up Pareja longterm
Okay, I’m going to cheat a little and talk about something not player related but I would rather the first big move of the offseason be that the club added a few more years to Oscar Pareja’s contract. You know LA is probably interested in him now that Bruce Arena is gone and you know the USSF is keeping tabs on him for after 2018. So lock him up.
After that, get another DP like you got in Carlos Gruezo. Young, talented and a huge difference maker in the attack.
Scott Hiney – A True Outside Back
To preface, I think FC Dallas, offensively, handled losing Fabian Castillo relatively well. Oscar Pareja did a masterful job of effectively slotting in different players both at his winger position and at the outside back positions to try and make up some of the pace and offensive bite that Castillo provided. But, in doing so, I think we only have a more convoluted picture of what the outside back position looks like on this team. With Zimmerman and Hedges so firmly in the middle, they’re only as effective as the outside backs with them and this only magnifies more should Mauro Diaz be less effective coming off a devastating late-season injury next year.
With this in mind, FC Dallas must find a smart and quick two-way outside back that can sure up one side of the field and allow us to only worry about the other side –– much like how it was when Zack Loyd was a healthy stalwart. Having three of the four defensive spots accounted for would make a drastic improvement.
Mohammad Bushnaq - #9 For The Love Of Everything That Is Pure
Maxi Urruti had a good season for this team but he needs help. From purely an eye test, FC Dallas really struggled to put goals in during the run of play after Fabi left. As Cody mentioned above, with Castillo gone, we need to find some offensive productivity. It also may very well be time to change the way the team lines up with Mauro being out for half of the season and Castillo not looking likely to return (sorry, Nathan). This team is going to need all the help it can get and it is really going to come down to finding the proper striker partner for Maxi Urruti. We may have seen a sneak peek of how this team will operate offensively should they fail to sign a striker. Scoring only two goals in the last three games of the season is not a good sign. We need some attacking help and it is time for the #9 we have been waiting for. The fate of the next FC Dallas season may very well rely on it. With Mauro Diaz, this team can survive maintaining the status quo. Without him, they need way more offensive power and that starts up top.