The preseason is almost here and FC Dallas has certainly been through an offseason of change with Oscar Pareja leaving and Luchi Gonzalez getting promoted to manager.
We’ve seen plenty of players come and go as well but as camps begin here in the next few days, we wonder what is still missing from this club. A striker? A defender? Something else? Our staff dives into what they think is still lacking going into 2019.
Jason Poon - Wingers
Michael Barrios and Santiago Mosquera are basically the starters without any serious or real threat to their starting position. What happens if either of them go cold? Dallas has bodies for those positions, but untested and very young players in those positions for now (Francis Atuahene, Ema Twumasi) or make shift players (Ryan Hollingshead, Paxton Pomykal). The spine of the team is well in tact, but there’s not much out wide at the moment.
Nathan Hill - Certainty
I know I am interpreting the question with some poetic license, but hey, this may be a GOOD thing. Going into preseason, there is an enormous amount of uncertainty in this roster. What will our starting back four or five look like? Who will clog up the middle of the field? Is Carlos Gruezo on his way out? Which youngster is going to take the next step up? Who will be our starting striker? Where will Colman fit with his recovery time table? Who will be the surprise inclusion to the senior team? Who is going to get shuttled down to NTSC? Who will be our No. 10? I like that this preseason is going to be unpredictable from everything to this squad’s formation to its match preparation. Change is here, and I can’t be more excited for this season.
Drew Epperley - DP resolution
Unless FC Dallas knows something that everyone else does not (though Atlanta and LA appear to be in the same boat too), you can’t have four Designated Players. Adding in Bryan Acosta definitely sparked something in what FC Dallas could be doing going into 2019 but it means something has to get resolved with Cristian Colman’s status while he is hurt or if Carlos Gruezo is indeed going to leave before the season begins. Outside of that, I think this team feels pretty good.
Jeff Loftin - Proven goal scoring
As much as I like the moves made this offseason, I still do not see a proven MLS goal scorer. That doesn’t mean that current players will not evolve into that role, nor does it mean that our new acquisition will not become the next Nikolic in MLS. Overall the team is lacking that guy who is going to get 15-20 goals per season. That is the guy (or guys) that a team leans on during tough times and if they find it then fantastic but as of now the team is lacking in that area.
Ben Lyon - Mauro Diaz
From 2015 on, the best version of FC Dallas was with a reasonably fit Mauro Diaz. 15’ and 16’ were back to back 60 point seasons, 17’ became a lost season when he failed to gain full fitness until the tail end of the year, and a promising league campaign slowly disintegrated after he left for a fat pay check in the gulf. Mileage varied on the results, but what was missing was easy to spot with the eye test.
This is, of course, speculative. It’s entirely possible that Pablo Aranguíz and/or Paxton Pomykal mimic or even exceed Mauro’s contributions to previous glory. That will remain a massive unknown until league play starts this year, however. The defense returns in tact and bolstered. The central midfield shouldn’t see a drop off (even if Gruezo does end up leaving). The strikers should be able to match last year’s productivity, at a minimum. For everyone to get a boost, Aranguíz or Pomykal need to make a leap forward this year to approximate what has been missing for the better part of the last 2 years: a productive and excited creative, attacking midfielder.