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2019 FC Dallas player recap: Michael Barrios

The veteran winger quietly finished tied second in the league in assists

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

You blink once and suddenly, 2019 was Michael Barrios’ fifth season in Frisco. Now the third-longest tenured player on the roster along with Jesse Gonzalez, Barrios only trails Ryan Hollingshead and Matt Hedges. It might seem like the five-year mark came upon us in a flash because of the workman-like production FC Dallas fans have come to expect out of the 28-year-old Columbian.

Stat Breakdown

Since joining the squad at the start of the 2015 season, Barrios has had a hand in at least nine goals each year and — in an offensively-challenged 2019 for FC Dallas — set a new career high in assists with 16 between the regular season and postseason. His 21 total goals involved in was by-far the team’s highest, outpacing Jesus Ferreira’s mark of 14.

Those 16 assists tied MLS MVP Carlos Vela and Diego Valeri for second-most in the league, an impressive mark considering the position Barrios’ is setting up those goals from. At this point, we know exactly what to expect from Barrios and as Ferreira and other young attackers continue to warm themselves up to the league, consistent offensive production is a must — something Barrios has proven himself capable of delivering.

Game That Best Sums Up Barrios

In the terrifyingly-electric 5-3 victory over Minnesota United in August, Michael Barrios did what he does best — use his pace and attacking prowess to bring in defenders, then make the most intelligent choice while on the ball. In this match, it just so happened that during each of his three big chances, passing it off to a teammate was the right move and he notched three assists because of that decisiveness.

More often than not, Barrios so wonderfully uses his God-given pace to get past defenders as they try to body him off the ball. Sometimes, they’re successful. Most of the time, however, he either flies by them for an open run at goal or he sees a teammate’s run that’s now opened up because of the attention he’s drawn in, and he makes simple lay-off passes — or exquisite ground crosses in the case of Servania’s goal — to cap the attack with a goal.

Yes, Barrios was slightly lucky that his teammates found the net all three times, but he also benefitted from those players sensing the defensive shift and finding the now-vacated or empty space to create a passing option. It’s the über-sweet cherry on top that two of those moves were from full backs as they overloaded the flank alongside Barrios. This was his seventh-career multi-assist match and his second with three.

2020 Outlook

Barrios’ 2020 option was picked up by the club last month, so he’ll definitely be in Frisco next season. Beyond that, however, is still up the air. Obviously he’s one of the most, if not the most, valuable attacking option for the club so new contract talks are undoubtedly going to be a storyline to watch into the offseason and ensuing year. He won’t turn 29 until next April, so he’s still in his prime and with options at winger so thin, unless high-paying suitors come his way, I’d hedge my bets on him continuing to play a major role next season and (hopefully) into the years following.