We’re a little over half way through the 2017 season here as FC Dallas is getting ready to travel to Montreal this weekend. Before we dive into that match, we wanted to take time as a staff to look at some areas that we think could be improved upon here in the second half of the season.
Let us know your take below in the comments.
Scott Hiney - Midfield Depth
Arguably the this team’s strongest, yet most fragile asset, this team’s midfield has some room to grow in terms of depth and flexibility that would be highly valuable if another injury hits that part of the pitch (please, don’t take our Mauro away again).
We’ve seen this team with and without creativity in the midfield and the contrast is stark. I’d like to see Papi work in guys like Jacori Hays and, primarily, Paxton Pomykal, to allow those secondary midfield options the chance to further acclimate themselves to the league, readying themselves to serve as reserve players that can fill a midfield roles. With Javi Morales lacking the quality we’ve seen from him during an illustrious career (it makes me see losing Rosales as a much bigger loss than I expected), this team needs a better Plan B should a Mauro or Kellyn go down, be unavailable or just simply need a rest.
I’d like this to be an internal change rather than bringing someone in, but that’s not a hard line I’ve drawn.
El Chico Carmona - Just score, baby score
Honestly, I would love to see the offense finally kick it into high gear, and stay in high gear. It just feels like the team is under achieving offensively, and the team can't find any kind of rhythm.
Fortunately, the return of Diaz, has me very optimistic about the attack. Some guys have been annoyingly inconsistent (Lamah, Tesho), same guys have simply failed to show up (Colman, Javi Mo), but now that Diaz is back, I'm confident things will improve.
If FCD can avoid losing any players, and add a couple of veteran depth players, well, then this team will go all the way to the top.
Etan Cohn - More playing time for the kids
I'd like to see FC Dallas get some more minutes out of guys like Paxton Pomykal, Jesus Ferreira, Reggie Cannon, and Bryan Reynolds. I’m also going to cheat and count Cristian Colmán. This will help FC Dallas in the long-term, and some of these players could really be big pieces to the team going into next year and years to come. More loans like Jacori Hayes’ could be really helpful, and so could minutes worth the first team. In Colmán’s case, he just needs to rotate in a bit and he’ll start to produce eventually.
Nathan Hill - Attacking Help
I’m going to bang on the same old drum - FC Dallas has so many excellent pieces. Making the case for some renewed team cohesion could be helpful, but ultimately, I think Clavijo and co need to think about loaning some players out and make room for some attacking pieces to give the team a little extra edge. Heck, I wouldn’t even mind seeing Alan Gordon as a late game sub for when this team needs an extra goal - or something like that. Javier Morales is not the answer, and his roster spot probably needs to be freed up. Some of our youngsters could fill this need, but I imagine there will be a potential backup striker or change of pace winger available for trade shortly. Take some of the load off of Urruti, Barrios, and Lamah, please.
Drew Epperley - late game defending
For the most part everything is right above me in this list. Attacking could still use help, playing the younger kids more often would be a welcome sight, and adding some depth would be good. But for me, improving that late game defending would be the thing that could turn this into a true championship team.
FCD has given up eight goals after the 60th minute this season, that is almost half of the goals that they have given up overall. That doesn’t include the late goals given up in the US Open Cup or the Champions League either.
Locking that area down will also help provide more room for the attack to grow and could potentially lead to some young guys getting time off the bench. That last one may be a stretch but at the end of the day, defense wins titles in this league.