Ryan Hollingshead entered the year as a question mark at left back. The utility man previously proved that he was serviceable, but was not likely to be a strength on the FC Dallas back line.
Cue 2019 and no one took to Luchi-Ball like Ryan. He thrived under the freedom afforded to him in a possession-centered attack and is in the conversation for team MVP.
Ryan played in all 34 games this season tallying six goals (joint third highest goalscorer) and three assists. His tremendous offensive production from the left back position has gained him attention across the league. He even made the OPTA MLS XI of the Year. He didn’t just do well going forward; he ranked first in the league in total duels won (236), first in ground duels won (165), and eighth in interceptions (55).
Game that best sums up Ryan
Ryan’s week four performance against the Colorado Rapids, in which he bagged the winning goal, won him team of the week honors.
Not only was he in the right place at the right time, but he capitalized to secure three points for Dallas.
Ryan transformed himself into someone that Dallas could depend on this season both offensively and defensively. His effort against Colorado culminated in that opportunistic goal, but he also had twice the recoveries of any other Dallas player.
Left back is Hollingshead’s to lose. He made the position his own, but John Nelson is knocking at the door. It’s not a bad situation for Dallas to be in. Hollingshead’s renaissance at 28 has made him a valuable piece of this Dallas team, but if Nelson continues showing promise, they can be comfortable experimenting with different personnel in different scenarios and can patiently groom Nelson for the starting job in a few seasons.