Now that the confetti has been swept up and the trades are starting to pick up around MLS, it is time to really put a final note on the year with our last Quick Burns discussion of the 2019 season.
Today our staff is handing out their end of the year grades for FC Dallas as a whole in 2019. What kind of grade do you have for the team in 2019? Let us know below.
Ryan Scanlon - C+
Sure, we had a first year coach who inherited a very young squad from his predecessor and did very well with it, relatively speaking. Our academy flexed it’s muscles with our young bloods making more of an impact this year. Do I think overachieving with a young and low salaried roster should merit an A or a B rating? No. Not when looking at the organization’s performance as a whole. FC Dallas as an organization continues it’s tradition of hovering around the playoff line, and this year we were fortunate enough to back into the playoffs only to lose to an actually ambitious team. Is that really worthy of anything more than a C+? The same ol’ retread of “the youngsters are coming, this playoff experience is valuable to the young guys, just you wait until these guys get experience”. We just watched the Seattle Sounders win their 7th trophy in the 10 years they’ve been in this league. And you’re expecting me to give this front office that didn’t exactly sign any world beaters (except Cobra played like a world beater for like 5 games), a team that lost to New Mexico United while playing in Dallas, and this ownership that seemingly shrugs whether this team wins or loses more than a C+ rating on their season? I’m very happy it wasn’t a complete failure of a season, but it definitely was just more of the same.
Jason Poon - C
Here’s my grading scale: a title (MLS Cup, Open Cup or Supporter’s Shield) would be an “A” of some kind. Challenging for a title or getting relatively close would be a “B”. Dallas exited the Open Cup early, finished 7th in the West and were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs. A “C” seems fair at this point to grade the season overall.
Jose Carmona - C+
I can't really disagree with anything in the C area. The team achieved a playoff birth, which means their season wasn't a total failure. I give the C+, because I have to applaud what turned out to be a true commitment to playing the kids.
Drew Epperley - B-
I think if you are grading on expectations, this could be a little higher. Making the playoffs was the stated goal for Luchi Gonzalez in year one and they certainly achieved that. They also committed hard to the youth effort and movement and didn’t just say they’d do it and only trot those guys out there for Open Cup games like in years past. But I can see the argument for a lower grade just based on roster moves this year though, that certainly kept me from putting up anything higher than the B-minus. You can’t continue to go out and spend DP and TAM-level money on guys like Edwin Gyasi, Cristian Colman or Pablo Aranguiz. That has to improve or else we’re going to be stuck in an endless loop of an average MLS team year-after-year.
Jack Rouse - B+
Didn’t think I would be the optimist here, but damn we made the playoffs with a rookie coach and largely rookie team. We took the hard route as well. Luchi established an attractive, attacking style of soccer. Albeit, it wasn’t always too attractive or too attacking, but I can’t help but be excited by the foundation being laid. I came in with low expectations and anticipated that by choosing to hire an in-house coach that many of the philosophies would stay the same. But that wasn’t the case. FC Dallas is moving into a new era: from Busca la Forma to a warrior mentality. Maybe Luchi’s just good at building his brand, but looking back at the season, I can’t help but be pleased with what he offered us. Hopefully the front office supports him by writing Cannon a blank check and investing in positions of need.
Andrew Gentry - B
Maybe I’m too easy to please, but I think this was a fine season for the club. The statistics for rookie coaches aren’t terrific and Luchi made it to the playoffs with a piecemeal roster. Maybe this should be split up into a few grades. Give the coaching an A. The Front Office was once again trying to be too smart and sign players no one has ever heard of to deals reserved for what should be better players. They didn’t give Luchi lots of cover and said to go with the kids. That’s a good idea with poor planning. So C- minus for the FO. As for the players, they fall in the middle as they made the playoffs (yay) but we’re extremely inconsistent throughout the season (boo). It’s time to rethink a few guys on this team and where they fit, but mostly this was about young guys excelling, then hitting a wall and older vets underperforming. Again, compared to expectations going into the season, they slightly outperformed mine so an overall grade of B seems about right.
Ben Lyon - B
If you were grading based on raw performance, FC Dallas finished right at the median this year, and a C would be appropriate. Given expectations, a rookie coach, mostly rookie staff, and the youngest team in the league, a heavy curve is certainly in order. Furthermore, they finished the season with a flourish and outplayed the eventual MLS Cup champions for the 3rd of 3 matches this past season. Bowing out to New Mexico United in the US Open Cup keeps them from a ‘B+’ for me, and the goals for next year need to be a deep USOC run and a home playoff game. They’ll go into the 2020 season with enough talent and cohesion to do so, and they can certainly go further with the right additions in the offseason.
Jeff Loftin - B+
The team looked good for much of the season, which is possibly the most impressive thing considering the number of new and young players that got minutes. Transfers were very iffy, with Cobra’s late season surge being the only reason that the transfer portion did not receive an F for me. Giving the team a D in transfers lets me give the rest of the season a B+ because I did not expect the team to make the playoffs, nor to be as competitive as they were. Shoring up the defense and adding depth pieces should be the chief objective of the offseason, as well as making Reggie happy one way or another (transfer or new deal with $$$). Another offseason where Luchi can learn for himself, and instill the principles of his style of play will only help the team. Hopefully the front office is able to find some value players to bring in, and some more young guys are ready to contribute as well (looking at you guys on North Texas SC). I give the season a B+ because every team’s stated goal is to make the playoffs (at a minimum), while many teams do not actually believe they have a puncher’s chance to do so. I am not sure that the team really believed they would make the playoffs but they did and they gave Seattle all it could handle, nearly taking home the win in the process. The season was a success and many young players shone through the dark periods. I am looking forward to next season like never before.