Adding newcomers to a team always bring some optimism and hope each season. As we’re nearly two months into the new season, it is a good time to look back and reflect on the newcomers that FC Dallas has brought in this year.
There are some that we’re less concerned with due to time spent with the academy teams while there are those that are getting plenty of minutes in MLS and CCL games that have us a little concerned. Our staff dives into one newcomer that they are most worried about at the moment.
Nathan Hill - Cristian Colman
Its too early to get super worried about anybody, but my fear with Colman is the sort of compounded pressure effect. Strikers always have more expectations, especially one that FC Dallas paid a bit for. Every miss adds weight to fans’ hope that the young striker is able to turn his game on and make a big impact. Fans know of past experiments to find that 20 goal type guy and how we were mostly let down. Colman will have to figure out a way to not let that compounded pressure get to him as he keeps adjusting to the league and team. He deserves time. And if he ends up coming off of the bench in the future, fans need to be patient and not take it as a sign that he is an early bust. I wish strikers were appreciated more for the small things they can do, but until that day, Colman and fans need to thread the needle on the enormous expectations on this team and on the striker.
El Chico Carmona - Anibal Chala
While everyone else will be busy harping on other new players, who have actually been on the field, helping FCD to an undefeated start, I'm most worried about the one that's not.
People forget that Chala is a DP. He's new to the league, and will likely still need time to adjust. The longer he remains out, the more worried I get. Even if he returns soon, he'll still need time to get in form, and still has to beat out Figueroa for his job. Did I mention he's a DP?
Jason Poon - Jacori Hayes
My concern isn’t so much with his play, in fact, it’s the opposite. In the limited minutes we’ve seen from Hayes, I’ve found him to be a very, very promising player. My concern is his development. Hayes is young and the season is even younger, so there will be plenty of time for the midfielder to get his minutes. But without a USL side and with him not being sent on loan, I’m a bit concerned that his development will be a bit stunted.
Cody Gamond - Roland Lamah
When Rolly was signed I was wary. FCD needed a Castillo replacement, was a guy who hadn't played in 6 months, and who had been hot potato’d around Europe really going to provide a threat on the left wing? The answer so far has been a resounding NO.
Lamah has failed to provide much of anything on the left, leaving FCD with the same problem as last year, Barrios is isolated. With no threats to draw attention away, Barrios is being stifled. Castillo even on bad games, was a threat, teams marked him. Rolly has been distinctly nonthreatening so far. Lamah does the basics well enough, but he has failed to really trouble defenses and his shooting has been woeful.
Perhaps Lamah is a diamond in the rough, and he needs more time after not having played for half a year. If he finds his form then great, but I don’t see it happening and it is a shame, because I think the rest of our acquisitions this year were excellent.
Etan Cohn - Roland Lamah
When Anibal Chala is ready, I'm sure he is going to be starting at left back, and I'm excited about that. Chala plays as an attack-minded fullback. The problem with Lamah, who is going to play on the left side as well, is that he has not shown defensive ability, or even effort. FC Dallas would be left vulnerable on both sides if Grana is playing on the right, as Barrios is a lock in the midfield and doesn't defend well, either.
Besides the defensive side of his game, Lamah is not showing any offensive output so far yet, and I'm not convinced he is going to get all that much better. This means that the opposing teams can keep their eyes on Barrios, who has had trouble when being focused on.
Drew Epperley - Hernan Grana
I’m going a little outside of the pack here with my pick. In some ways I have been impressed with Grana so far this season but in many other ways I have been totally puzzled by the veteran fullback. I think my worry over him is more centered around the fact that I expected him to adapt quicker to the team and to the league. His last couple of league games have been rough to watch at times when he gets forward into the attack. Either he skies a ball over the rest of the team or he slips and falls all over himself.
Maybe I am being too harsh on him but there are those little moments that worry me more than what we’re getting out of Lamah and Colman.