The more we dive into this season with FC Dallas, the more questions we continue to have about this team. Earlier this season it all centered around starting Roland Lamah and now we’re having the same discussions about last winter’s big signing in Cristian Colman.
Here is what our staff is thinking heading into the weekend when FC Dallas hits the road for the first time in 2018.
Jason Poon - Yes, please.
Most expensive signing in club history. Had a full season to adjust in 2017. A full pre-season. Healthy. Let’s go. What are we waiting for? It’s time to sink or swim with Colman. If he stinks, we move on and that’s that. I mean... could it be any worse at the moment?
More importantly, play him with Mauro Diaz so that Diaz has someone to pass to that’ll stretch the field more.
Jack Rouse - What do we have to lose?
Maxi is probably the better individual player, but it’s obvious that something needs to change in the attack. Colman changes the dynamic of the attack entirely. He gives Dallas someone that’s in the box for crosses and someone that sits on the shoulder of the defender waiting for a long ball on a counter. These are the things that Dallas needs the most right now.
Jeff Loftin - Yes.
Play with 2 up front. We do not have enough bodies in the box when Barrios does get by his man and can serve the ball into the box, thus we need someone who will be in the box. I am still a proponent of the 3-5-2, albeit an unbalanced one. I am not in love with Barrios on the left, but I would prefer that to moving Reggie out or over to the left. Lamah is also more than capable of playing on the left, just do not count on him to track back consistently.
We need goals and we need to convert chances. We are getting to the end-line and serving balls in...but we just do not make the types of runs needed. When we do, service has been iffy at best.
TLDR: Play Colman. Play 3-5-2. Score goals. Win games.
Nathan Hill - Why not?
I don’t necessarily think it is time to play Colman because he offers a definite upgrade over Urruti or a formation shift that could be helpful. Those may be true statistical realities, or they may not. It’s time to play Colman because the team needs to change things up. This squad needs to become unpredictable. The young guys need more minutes. Pareja and company need to open up their mentality and take more risks. I’d love to see Kris Reeves get his first start this weekend. If Paxton is ready (unlikely), give him a start. Let Mosquera direct the offense and bring Diaz off the bench. One week off isn’t going to damper this team’s basically non-existent progress together. If anything, we know that this team hit a brick wall last season, so it’s time to keep moving forward into the future and see what happens.
Ben Lyon - Depends, but this weekend seems like a good time
Step into the wayback machine- way, way, way, way back to July 22nd of last year. Colmán was awarded a rare start, and scored a goal that would have counted with VAR in place (maybe...damn you VAR!), and then scored no doubters for the equalizer and winner against Montreal at Stade Saputo. After that, he kind of disappeared and only received 3 more starts and around 360 minutes over the last 19 games of the season. The 1st of the 3 starts was the 3rd game after his brace. That was probably a mistake.
Of course, it isn’t all about riding the hot hand and putting Colmán in the starting lineup doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing Diaz or Urruti. You could play a 3-5-2, and have all 3 in the lineup. That would probably be at the expense of Barrios, Mosquera and Lamah, but those are good pieces to have come off the bench to run at a tired defense whether ahead or behind. If you’re playing your high possession 4-2-3-1, Colmán seems like a better fit because he’s a classic line leading 9 who makes the runs you need to get on the siege of crosses we’ve seen. Conversely, when they’re lying deeper in the 4-2-3-1 (see 2016), Urruti is probably better to lead the line on the counter.
For this weekend, give me the old 4-4-2 and start Mauro on the bench. Mauro’s been at least a decent imitation of his old self this year, but a road game on turf seems like the perfect time to start monitoring his minutes a bit. If New England decides to press this weekend (like they’ve liked to do at home this year), this will give Dallas a better midfield bypass in the form of two strikers, Barrios, and one of Lamah and Mosquera (I prefer the latter’s guile in this case). New England has also looked extremely vulnerable on the counter this year (see 2 red cards on counterattacks against Philly) New England also hasn’t looked that great possessing for extended periods this year, so defend and counter looks extra appealing this weekend.
Papi’s challenge this year is optimization. There’s depth and variety in the quality of the attack, but the end product so far hasn’t matched that potential. The game plan needs to be complemented using the right tools for the specific job, and it’s fair to question if Pareja has managed that well so far this season. Despite the undefeated record (which includes as many lost home points as those won), it seems like this weekend is the perfect time for some fine tuning. Give me Colmán this weekend and pick his spots going forward...unless he starts scoring a brace every game.
El Chico Carmona - Yes
I agree with pretty much everything Ben said. Give Mauro a rest, and go with a 4-4-2. Although I'd prefer more of a 4-4-1-1, with Colman at the tip of the spear, and Urruti behind him. I'd also like to see Lamah get a rest, and give Mosquera a start. I'm not buying New England's start, and I hope New England doesn't bunker at home. I'd even be OK with Urruti also getting a rest, and Colman starting for him, and Tesho (yes Tesho!), starting next to Colman in the 4-4-2.
Mohammad Bushnaq - I agree with everyone above
Colman needs to start.