Now that the second half of the season is here for FC Dallas, it is time to look forward and figure out where this team is going. After 18 games we know that they’ve done well enough to only lose three games as well as picking up a ton of points at home in the process.
Our team weighs in today with their expectations for the rest of the season. Let us know what you expect to see happen in the final few months of the season below in the comments.
Ben Lyon- None
FC Dallas’s challenge in the 2nd half of the season will be to forge a mostly new identity now that Mauro is gone. We could miss the playoffs this year, win the Supporters’ Shield, have a great playoff run, and all points in between; and it will be entirely dependent on Pareja’s success/failure to forge a somewhat new identity for the club. I’ll set the bar on the low end and enjoy being pleasantly surprised if we challenge for trophies this year.
Jeff Loftin - Mediocre Play, Early Playoff Exit
I do not expect the team to play well on a consistent basis, but I do expect glimpses of quality as the season heads toward its inevitable, sad, depressing end. My guess is that we will average about 1.25 points per game going forward, which will put us on 55 points come the end of the season. Last season that would have won the Western Conference but this year I do not think it will even be a top three spot. My preseason prediction was that we would finish second in the West, I have now conceded that as an unlikely conclusion. My biggest concern right now is that we are not scoring enough goals to continue to win the games we won early in the season. Look for some long stretches of goalessness and some boring 0-0 draws over the next few months.
Scott Hiney - An (should-be) Unsurprising Competitor
While I think it would be unfair to assume this team continues their form from the season’s first 18 games (15 results, including 10 wins and 0 home losses), it would also be unfair to think there will be an equally-severe second-half collapse like last year.
A summer swoon is certainly possible — there’s at least more evidence for that than a tank during Pareja’s tenure — but this team’s quality can’t be denied, especially with such an even swathe of youth and experience (of the 12 players who have appeared in at least ten games, seven are older than 25, with the other five being 23 or younger).
Our best predictor for FCD’s future performance is going to be their current performance and if you look at that, the Hoops lost just one of their first 14 games. Since, the team is 2-0-2. So, if the “summer swoon” is essentially .500 play, why doubt the team’s potential if they’ve given very little evidence that they’re anything but the class of the west.
Jose Carmona - Shield
I expect FCD to challenge for the Shield, plain and simple. This team has been one of the best teams in MLS all season long, and that is not going to change.
All FCD has to do is keep their current home form (2.2 ppg at home, 7 home games left), and average around 1 ppg on the road (currently averaging 1.86 ppg on the road, with 9 road games left) and FCD will be knocking on another 60 point season.
So you can see, FCD can afford a dip in form, and still challenge for the shield. Trust in Papi and Clavijo to have learned from last seasons mistakes, and keep this team at or near the top of the Western Conference for the remainder of the season.
Drew Epperley - Remain above the line but struggle
Now that Mauro Diaz is officially gone and we don’t know who or when a replacement will be brought in, it only seems fitting to think that this team could struggle from time to time. I would imagine we’ll see a lot of 0-0 games or 1-0 results ahead of us too. But they do have a fair amount of road games left, with trips to the Northwest left and these tough rivalry games ahead. I don’t see a similar summer swoon out of this bunch to last season but they have to sort out the attack soon enough.
Thankfully this group has done enough so far this season to put themselves in a good position to make the playoffs this season and contend. I feel in another way that they are more battle tested for the long haul this season too. But it will still be all about finding some consistency down the stretch in the attack to keep them over the playoff line.