Being the only unbeaten team in the league can be hard at times. For FC Dallas, just six games into the season and folks really have no clue what to make of them (hell, neither do we at times).
But for our weekly topic, our staff dives into what FC Dallas can do to get others around the league (and the media for that matter) to take this club serious as a contender.
Jeff Loftin - Do not fold in the summer
Really anything other than a complete and total meltdown in the second half of the season should be enough. Many seem to be short sighted and forget that last season FC Dallas was the pretty girl in the dress much like Toronto is this year. Starting near the top of everyone’s preseason list and projections for awards and titles and the like only served to further deflate the fanbase, team, staff, and everything around the entire Frisco area (I believe that the city actually sunk about 20 feet last year due to this - do not fact check that). The summer collapse seemed even more stark because we did not rotate players and we had started so hot in the MLS season. Toronto is already on pace to just throw their season away, though I think they will recover and be just fine by the end of the season but we are about 20% of the way through the season and FC Dallas is undefeated. I am certainly not expecting the team to finish the season unbeaten but I am perfectly fine to sit in third or fourth place while not losing any games. Avoid a full on collapse and stay in contention for a top 3 or 4 seed in the West and you will regain the expectations of others.
Jason Poon - Spank Someone... Hard.
Just run up the score against anyone. It doesn’t matter if it’s NYCFC or DC United. Dallas needs to beat a team 5-0 or 6-0. If Dallas can do that, people will take notice.
But to be totally honest, I’m fine with quietly beating teams 2-0, 1-0 and staying under the radar.
Scott Hiney – Keep Things as They Are
FC Dallas has never been a team overly-concerned with garnering league-wide attention or accolades. Normally they’ll have a strong and steady start, start receiving the hype, then falter right as it builds up. I am 100% okay with that hype taking longer to build this time around if it staves off a summer swoon.
1-0 and 2-0 results aren’t the most flashy, but those tidy matches are exactly what you want to avoid a collapse. The more steady a team is – both in victory and defeat – the better. You don’t want a Jekyll and Hyde-type form that sees the team winning 4-0 then losing 4-2 (i.e. LAFC). That just doesn’t last. Consistent play and identity do. That’s always been what a Pareja-led team has excelled with.
Jared Tilley - Beat some of the “Big teams”
FC Dallas next three games are against NYCFC, LAFC and LAG. If they are able to get 6 or 7 points against those three teams then they will be in the discussion again. Out of those three games, only NYCFC looks to be a top tier team, but people around the league aren’t interested in that. Instead, they look at players on the teams. So if FC Dallas is able to beat those squads, with their Zlatan’s, Vela’s, Villa’s, then it will go a long way to showing they have a team that can make some noise this year. Whether it’s fair or not, FCD is made up of a lot of no names who aren’t serious contenders and until they start beating the ‘darlins’ of the league, it will stay that way.
Ben Lyon - Blow up the franchise.
Sell the team to Elon Musk. Have him move the team to a posh zip. Build Butthole Dome 2.0. Astroturf the hell out of a new fan base. Eliminate the academy. Figure out how to game Garber Bucks to sign an elite team of UEFA mercenaries. Hire a rotating cast of flavor of the month managers as needed.
Since Oscar Pareja was hired, no club has accrued more points in league play than FC Dallas. Unless my figuring is off, the only team within 10 points over that span is New York Red Bulls. If they’re not a buzz club after that, then why would you expect any buzz for being the last undefeated team? The club might as well be called FC Rodney Dangerfield.
Jose Carmona - Just read Ben’s comments again
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. FC Dallas is what it is, and will always be outshined by the heavy spending teams with the fair-weather fanbase. All of Pareja's teams have been built to grind out points all season. It ain't sexy, and it might not get FCD the trophy it covets most (MLS Cup), but it will see FCD contend for the Shield, and the USOC. All without any national fanfare. After last season's debacle. I'm okay with that.