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2019 FC Dallas player recap: Zdenek Ondrasek

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Cobra came on strong late but will that translate into a good 2020 season?

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after Luchi Gonzalez was handed the keys to the FC Dallas kingdom last offseason, one of the biggest thoughts on most fans minds was back to the old “are we going to finally get a go-to striker this offseason?” Then on December 18, Christmas appeared to come early with the signing of Czech striker Zdenek Ondrasek.

Not a ton was known about the veteran forward, other than previous stint with Polish first-division team Wisła Kraków, where he has appeared in 66 matches in Ekstraklasa, scoring 20 goals and nine assists.

We thought he was ‘it’ though as time progressed in 2019, we had to be very patient for the Cobra to finally appear.

Stat Breakdown

We all know the run Cobra went on late in the season. Seven goals and two assists in the final eight games (though some say seven since he didn’t appear in the Seattle Wednesday night game in September).

But let’s look at the records real quick with him, without him and how they looked with him coming off the bench. FCD was 8-5-5 without him appearing in 2019. Given how inconsistent the team was in 2019, you can take that record with a grain of salt. When he was subbed on, FCD was 3-4-3 with one of his seven goals coming in that stretch (the famed 3-3 draw in Montreal). Finally, the record with him starting, FCD went 3-3-1, now that doesn’t include the playoff exit to Seattle.

In total, Cobra only played 747 minutes in 2019. He finished ninth on the team in total shots with 26, but that strike rate is pretty solid when you consider he scored seven times and finished second behind Jesus Ferreira for the team’s Golden Boot.

Game that best sums up Cobra

You could take this just about anyway you want here. Had it been early in the season, it would just be a shot of him on the bench. But for me it really comes down to the start of it all in Montreal. Had the bounces not gone his way, we wouldn’t be talking about him in such a positive light.

2020 Outlook

The two tales of the season were pretty wild for Cobra. Early on he seemed like a total bust of a TAM signing, while at the end of the season he was up there in the discussion for the club’s Golden Boot award.

I think it is perfectly fine to be optimistic that he’ll still be a reliable player for FC Dallas next season and hopefully a starter out of the gate when the 2020 gets underway. Gonzalez has to find ways to keep Cobra from disappearing and being unproductive, while keeping the offense ultimately flowing through him.

The fact of the matter is, FC Dallas absolutely needs him to be a 12-15 goal scorer next season. At his recent clip, that should be doable.