With the announcement of the league record, 20th Homegrown signing of Kris Reaves, Dallas’ roster is starting to take shape heading into the 2018 season.
Here’s a rough look at how the roster stands in its current form:
For the sake of simplicity, I’m choosing the 4-2-3-1 lineup, knowing full well that this team may line up in a 4-4-2 or even shift to a 3-5-2 at some point this season. I’ve also just inserted players into one position, even though players like Kris Reaves, Reto Ziegler, Ryan Hollingshead and Tesho Akindele will play in multiple positions over the course of the year.
Here’s a quick recap on each department and what else the team needs:
Goalkeeper - 2 (Need 1?)
It is now abundantly clear that the starting role belongs to Jesse Gonzalez. Jimmy Mauer has come in to replace the departed Chris Seitz and will get some looks here and there, and mostly play in Open Cup games.
It’s unclear whether Dallas will go for a third. Given how the team managed to get by with just two last year, makes me think they’ll stick with two for 2018.
Defenders - 7 (Need 1-2?)
This unit has been completely gutted with the departures of Walker Zimmerman, Hernan Grana and Atiba Harris. Ryan Hollingshead could easily slot in either fullback position as cover if necessary.
There has been multiple reports saying that Anibal Chala is on his way out - we’re still tracking it and will let you know once we hear confirmation - so I expect Dallas will add another player or two. I’m speculating Dallas will add a defender via the MLS SuperDraft.
Midfielders - 11 (Need 1-2)
Numerically, there’s plenty of bodies here. For better and for worse, all the regulars (Kellyn Acosta, Carlos Gruezo, Mauro Diaz, Roland Lamah and Michael Barrios) are back. There’s speculation that Acosta could be sold this winter, and there’s always the possibility that Gruezo and Barrios will be sold too.
Dallas doesn’t really need another body for depth purposes, but it does feel like a new attacker is necessary. This offense felt very stale in the second half of the 2017 season and injecting a new winger or two would do the trick.
Forwards - 5 (Need 0)
This is perhaps the most set group. Akindele and Barrios can even slide up to the striker positions if necessary. The only concern is whether Maximiliano Urruti gets sold this winter or next summer, then the depth in quality and MLS experience takes a significant dip.
Cristian Colman has been a lightning rod for fans, and this will be the make or break season for Colman.