It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Here in Dallas, we won’t have any snow. Instead, we will have rain and 70 degrees weather. Even though we can’t get everything we want, there are still a lot of things to be thankful for. We have Oscar Perera, a dominate academy, the first two trophies in 19 years and the healthiest FCD has been as an organization, in ever? In true American fashion, I still want more than what has already been given to us this year. So, here was my Christmas list to Santa for this year.
10. Craft Beer.
I will admit, this is something pretty small. However, over the last 5-8 years, DFW has really become a hotbed for quality craft beer. I understand why regular domestic beer is offered, but why not have both? Why not have a handful of local taps in the updated River Club? The River Club is already being renovated and it would add something unique to Dallas there as well. I love domestic beer as much as the next guy, but I will always choose a quality IPA any day of the week.
9. More diversity in the nation game of the weeks.
This is a big one for me. When ESPN and FS1 air their weekly games, can we get some matchups that aren’t just Seattle, Portland, New York and LA? Sure, they are the biggest markets, but a lot of the games that included those teams last year were snooze fests. As a soccer fan and a fan of MLS in general, I want the opportunity to watch as many different clubs as possible. I would love to see what Orlando City has to offer or Minnesota or Atlanta. This is an extremely fun league and I want the opportunity to be able to see as much of it as possible.
8. A unique chant that uses both DBG and El Matador.
For most soccer fans, we understand that the majority of supporter section chants are recycled lyrics that everyone across the globe uses. However, every once and awhile you get a chant that is unique to a certain club. With the new[er] location of El Matador, it would be really cool to have a chant that uses both supporters sections. In a lot of ways, FCD is unique in that they have two prevalent supporters groups and sections. It would be awesome if the supporter sections were able to capitalize on it; to have something that shows the diversity of DFW, the club and its supporters.
7. DBG being able to use the metal stanchion in the Beer Garden.
Over the last couple of years, the Beer Garden has really started to grow and fill out. Last year, the club added more bleacher seating down in north side of the stadium. The changes to the Beer Garden has added a lot to the atmosphere of the stadium. It is by far, the best place to be, especially for a big match. My only complaint with the Beer Garden, is that the DBG aren’t able to use the metal stanchion for their Tifos. The DBG would be able to do some creative things to help add to the gameday experience for the fans. Like everyone else, I want to see our little stadium looking awesome on TV for the national audience. I think being able to utilize the stanchion would help to serve that purpose.
6. Maxi getting to 15 - 20 goals.
Maxi Urruti finished the year with 12 goals and a handful of posts hit last year. In a lot of ways, he was already right there to reach that 15 goal standard. If he is able to slide a couple of those opportunities slightly one way or the other, then he is right there. A lot of people want a 15-20 goal a year striker on this team. They seem to think that if FCD has a 20 goal scorer, then FCD will win MLS Cup. Last year in MLS, there were two 20 goal scorers, BWP and David Villa. Both of those teams bombed out of the playoffs in the same round as FC Dallas. I guess my wish would be for the fanbase to be more grateful for Maxi and what he has brought to the club, instead of thinking that getting a better striker would immediately get this club to the championship.
5. A CCL Championship
Whether people want to admit it or not, FC Dallas has set some of the standards in the league. They are the first team to get to 60 points in back to back years. They have a roster full of homegrown talent that will be challenging for the first team in a couple of years. I really hope that with the depth of the roster, Oscar will be able to balance the roster and give the CCL a real run. It would be awesome for them to be the first MLS club to win CCL in 17 years. This team is built to make a run, it will all depend on how quick they are able to get up to speed after the offseason.
4. A speedy recovery for Mauro Diaz
Mauro Diaz is the lightning rod of this team. When he is on the field and healthy, good things happen. As he continues to come back from his achilles injury, hopefully there aren’t any complications and he is able to return full strength without any lingering effects. If Mauro is healthy, this team is an MLS contender.
3. Field a full homegrown lineup in a game.
I honestly don’t know if this will ever happen, since the goal of constructing a roster is to use every avenue possible to build it. So, it seems kind of short sided to use just HGs in any given match. However, being able to field a full lineup of HGs would be more of flexing the academy's and club’s muscles. The bigger clubs can buy all the players they want, but FC Dallas is building young American soccer players who are extremely talented.
2. Fabian Castillo to finally end.
Whether Trabzonspor buys Fabian or not really doesn’t matter to me. Instead, I just want this whole thing to be over. If I had it my way, I would have Trabzonspor just pay the remainder of the transfer fee and the club just wash their hands of him. To me, the worst thing that could happen would be Fabian coming back to the club during the January transfer window. If that was to happen, it could cause a lot of noise in and outside the club. At this point, it looks like the club is in a very healthy position and I would just hate anything to get in the way of it.
1. Less criticizing of the FO and ownership group.
I understand that my biggest wish this year is going to be a bit controversial, but at the end of the day, it is what I want the most. I want to go on r/MLS, r/FCDallas or read the comments section of any post and not read regurgitated ideas about moving stadium downtown or how the Hunt’s don’t spend money on players. Instead, I want the fanbase to realize where this team and organization currently are and enjoy it. This team is possibly one of the healthiest in the league. They haven’t maxed out any of their resources, whether it’s salary cap, DPs, TAM, GAM, or rosters spots, they have flexibility. The front office doesn’t jump at the any talent, instead waits and makes calculated decisions. It might not be as flashy as other clubs, but it is effective. We are lucky to have this club and as well as the opportunity to support them and be apart of something great. Let’s enjoy the ride and trust in the organization, because honestly, they deserve it.