The midseason for FC Dallas is here as the club crossed over the halfway point last week after their win against Atlanta United. The club has played 18 games now after last weekend’s loss in Utah, it is time to reflect back a bit and see what else is in store for this club moving forward in 2018.
Tough-nose defense leading the way
One of the key aspects of this year’s rebound from the 2017 collapse has been the defense. Dan Hunt mentioned at the end of 2017 that the team would focus on rebuilding the team through the back and he didn’t disappoint with the additions of Reto Ziegler (a TAM signing), the recently departed Anton Nedyalkov, re-signing veteran Maynor Figueroa and adding in two Homegrown players in Kris Reaves and Jordan Cano.
The defense has had some rocky moments here and there but for the majority of the season, they’ve been the driving force behind the improvement this season in my book. As of this writing, they’re second the league behind New York Red Bulls in goals given up with 21 (New York has 17).
FC Dallas has six shutouts to their name this season as well. Thing should hopefully continue to improve with the recent signing of Marquinhos Pedroso as well, a Targeted Allocation Money signing that was announced last week.
Life after Mauro
We’ve discussed a lot on here about how life will be in a post-Mauro Diaz era for FC Dallas. The team has already played a fair amount of games without him this season and will continue to have to learn how to find creative play through the midfield and into the attack.
Right now, FC Dallas ranks 13th in goals scored with just 28. That just won’t cut it if FC Dallas plans to stick around the Supporters’ Shield race. Currently, Roland Lamah is the main guy scoring goals for the club this season.
Fernando Clavijo has gone on record saying the club is chasing another number 10 to replace Diaz but summer signings are super tricky in this league. Some have worked out in the past (Federico Higuian for example) most take a half season just getting used to MLS and all the travel.
Learning from mistakes of the past
If you want to figure out Pareja’s roster each week, good luck. The man constantly adapts his lineup and formation to fit who is doing well in training and how they’ll best go up against their next opponent. Pareja has time and time again this season rotated through players, formations and looks to keep the competition high in training and to get the most out of his players.
By doing this, he’s put the past behind him. His over reliance on certain players that haunted him in 2017 seems to be a thing of the past. If one isn’t working, he goes to the well and finds someone who can and will.
The same could be said about Clavijo and his he is helping shape this roster. Last year he and the rest of the front office were not willing to budge on selling Maxi Urruti and Michael Barrios in the middle of the summer. The morale of the team took a hit as a result. This year, two players have come to them requesting transfers and the club has respectfully obliged.
What has been your reaction to how the first half of the season has gone so far? Let us know below.