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Questions FC Dallas needs to address before Saturday’s season opener

The preseason is over but there are still lingering thoughts that need answers.

Daniel McCullough

The offseason of change in Frisco is finally over. FC Dallas takes the field this Saturday afternoon for the first time in the new season as they host the New England Revolution.

In with all the changes are a new front office, a new manager in Luchi Gonzalez and several new faces around the team. Here are some lingering questions that need to be answered before Saturday’s first kick.

We got the formation, but who has locked down a starting spot?

Looking at how this team performed this preseason, you may be able to lock down a few guys to starting spots for Saturday’s game against the New England.

We expect Jesse Gonzalez will likely be the man between the goalposts this season and his defense in front of him should look very similar to what ended last year with Matt Hedges, Reto Ziegler, Reggie Cannon and Ryan Hollingshead getting the start. The only thing that could change there is whether or not Marquinhos Pedroso is actually 100% ready to go as a starter again or if he’ll get more time to earn his spot back from FCD’s utility man Hollingshead.

The new three-man midfield will certainly have Carlos Gruezo holding down the #6 spot but will newcomer Bryan Acosta be in the mix for a starting role on Saturday? Or has Jacori Hayes won that battle at one of the two other midfield spots with Paxton Pomykal?

The forward trio seems fairly set though with Santiago Mosquera, Dominique Badji and Michael Barrios, though I wouldn’t mind seeing Jesus Ferreira get his shot on opening day either.

Will that attack find a way?

One of the biggest issues this club has had over the last two seasons has been long dry spells in front of the net. FC Dallas was near the bottom of the league in goals scored all season long and towards the weeks of the season, it all dried up in front of the goal for them.

Dallas made a lot of moves this offseason to unload guys like Maxi Urruti and Tesho Akindele, while only really bringing in one forward in Zdenek Ondrasek from Wisla Krakow.

Thankfully this preseason Badji saw himself as the prime scorer with Ferreria also getting his fair share of goals.

I wouldn’t be shocked to see this team be without a 15-goal scorer again this year but as long as everyone is doing their part and wins build up, I don’t think people will mind too much.

Will the open roster slots be filled now or later this summer?

Right now the depth up front and on the wings feels, thin. Maybe it is the new system, new formation and new feel but the unless Mosquera, Badji and Barrios go lights out early on, I think this could be a real area of focus down the road in the summer transfer window.

FC Dallas currently sits at 29 players signed on the senior roster but they could easily open up a couple other slots due to injuries to Cristian Colman and Francis Atauhene. Then there is the fluid nature of how FC Dallas can use their new USL team to loan players to this season that could help open up more spots.

Andre Zanotta and Marco Feruzzi are new to their front office roles here. They’ve made a couple signings already this winter in Acosta and Homegrown midfielder Edwin Cerrillo, but you have to imaging they are just playing the waiting game on several other signings to help fill the open spots.

What about those four Designated Players on the roster?

Everyone loves to talk about the LA Galaxy’s DP issues right now but FC Dallas also has a similar issue. Four DPs with only three slots to use.

We’ve discussed this a couple times this winter already but right now the clear path is either a pay down with Targeted Allocation Money approach for either Santiago Mosquera or Colman, or the place Colman on a season-ending injury list.

Either way, the club has until the end of the week to finalize their roster for the season, which includes sorting this out.