Just like we have done over the last few years before a game, we welcome in a fellow blogger to help preview who FC Dallas is going to take on this weekend. Kyle Sennikoff of LAG Confidential was kind enough to answer a couple quick questions ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s season opener with the LA Galaxy.
BDS: LA has seen a fair amount of roster turnover this offseason, what move has you all the most excited? Which move did you all scratch your heads at the most?
LAGC: It was quite an interesting offseason to say the least. The move, or moves, really, is the revamped midfield. Jermaine Jones, an MLS veteran, will be that brute force in the midfield and is not afraid to go into any challenge while still providing offense further up the pitch. And Joao Pedro is going to be intriguing. He's just 23-years-old and turned down bigger European clubs to join the Galaxy. From what I've seen so far, he's going to be another destroyer right in front of the defense -- and goodness knows that backline is going to need as much help as possible this year.
The move that was a big head scratcher was letting go AJ DeLaGarza. Outside of Jelle Van Damme, AJ was also the consummate professional, and was beloved by both the fans and his teammates. It's even a bigger deal now that we are without Robbie Rogers, our only other right back with significant MLS experience, and there's still not really a timetable for his return as he's dealing with nerve damage in his foot.
BDS: Now that this is no longer Bruce Arena's team, how has the mood changed around the team in training and in preseason?
LAGC: I'm not sure if the mood has really changed, even if the coaching staff and core players have changed. Everyone still has that singular goal in mind: winning that sixth MLS Cup.
BDS: We know Giovani dos Santos is going to have big numbers this season after his strong debut in 2016, what do you anticipate from him in 2017 now that this is clearly 'his team'?
LAGC: You started to see what dos Santos could do towards the latter stages of the regular season when it was already starting to become 'his team' with the injuries to Gyasi Zardes, Robbie Keane, and Steven Gerrard. He wound up with 14 goals and 12 assists.
Only one other player in the league managed double digits in those two categories and that was Sebastian Giovinco. I'd like to think that those numbers will hover around the same mark with a slight increase in goals scored, hopefully closer to 20.
Predicted lineup: Rowe; Romney, Van Damme, Steres, Garcia; Alessandrini, Pedro, Jones, Lletget; McBean, dos Santos