Formations in soccer are always going to be a thing. For FC Dallas, the last couple of years we’ve seen mostly the same 4-2-3-1 look with the occasional 4-4-2.
But as we enter a new season, with plenty of new faces, the question has to be asked, what is the club’s best formation? Our staff discusses it below.
Jason Poon: 4-2-3-1
I’m still holding out that FC Dallas can make a deal to #BringLeeHome but as it stands, and with the current roster, I’d say the basic 4-2-3-1 is still the go-to. This is how I’m projecting the team will line up on opening day:
The season will be more about evaluating Mauro Diaz and his health and abilities. Is he able to recapture his 2016 form where he led this club to a historic double? If not, then it’s time to cut him loose and shift the focal point from him and onto the 4-4-2. Either way, after a faulty 2017, this team is built to compete with or without Diaz.
Jeff Loftin: 3-5-2
I like having a three man central midfield pairing but I am not partial to the 4-2-3-1. I am likely alone in this but it just does not seem to bring the most out of this group. My personal feeling is that a 3-5-2 allows the team the best opportunity to do what they do, and this specific 3-5-2 is unbalanced and almost a 4-4-2. Whatever you call it, this is what I think is best for the team this season.
I think the added experience on the back line is going to help, and the addition of several young defenders means that the club finally has the personnel to play three in the back. Only time will tell but to me this allows the club to get forward quickly and also defend with numbers.
Note: any additional players added from this point on may change my feelings about how the team should play. We have not signed Mosqueda yet as of writing this.
Jack Rouse: 4-2-3-1
Dallas hasn’t brought in any game-changers yet. There hasn’t been a massive signing that will force (or allow) Dallas to play differently than they have in the past. This is still a team that is going to try to spring Urruti with a through ball on a counter, or attack through the wings when in possession. I love our new midfield depth, but our three best midfielders are still Diaz, Gruezo, and Acosta. We’ve seen how well the Gruezo-Acosta partnership can work and I haven’t lost hope that Dallas can play the way they did in 2016 again. Last year’s losing streak felt more like a run of bad luck than Dallas’ tactics being taken advantage of. Don’t let last year’s failures fool you; Dallas can still win with the 4-2-3-1.
Jared Tilley: 4-3-3
This roster isn’t complete yet. FC Dallas is still being rumored to be in contact with 2 or 3 more players, but for now, I will be working with the players we currently have. Also, I am going to assume (for this exercise) that Mauro is healthy and back to his old self. I think the team will go with more of a 4-3-3 formation. By doing so, it will allow the wings to cut inside more, especially Lamah, and get into the most dangerous places for him. On top of that, it gives Kellyn more freedom in the midfield. Hopefully, by going this way, it will allow FCD to be more on the front foot going forward, allowing Mauro to pick defenses apart again.
Etan Cohn: 4-1-4-1
Like the familiar 4-2-3-1, but push Acosta forward with Diaz to roam the middle of the field. FC Dallas’ attack became stale at the end of last season, and with Diaz tending to be a deep playmaker, I believe that having Acosta in a free roll in the middle will help him and Diaz both. This will also help Paxton Pomykal when he gets on the field in Diaz’ place by putting less pressure on him. Acosta can help him connect the defense to the offense. We could also potentially see Pomykal and Diaz on the field at the same time if Pomykal rotates with Acosta.
What do you think is the best formation for FC Dallas this season? Let us know below.