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2019 Big D Soccer Staff Predictions for FC Dallas and MLS

We look into our crystal ball and try to make sense of a new season.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The new season is finally here and with that our staff has put together our annual season predictions for FC Dallas and for Major League Soccer! Enjoy!


What excites you most about the upcoming season?

Jason: Paxton Pomykal

Ben: The start of a new five year plan is showing promising signs for the club from the ground up. An improvement on the two trophies earned in the last five years seems possible.

Preston: I’m very excited that Luchi is our coach, and I am intrigued how his maiden season will go.

Jack: Is the franchise really dedicated to turning a new page by improving fan experience and integrating more youth?

Drew: Everything feels fresh and new for the first time in a long time.

Nathan: It’s a new season, it’s a new day! I can’t wait to see how FC Dallas looks and fights for a championship.

Scott: Luchi’s new attack-minded 4-3-3

Mo: Change. Luchi brings a new system and energy to this refreshed team. I’m excited to see how it all plays out. The youth movement should be a fascinating one to observe as an FC Dallas fan.

Jeff: The potential of the fresh start with young players, a USL team, and new manager.

Jared: Change. This team seems to have a new identity with Luchi at the helm.

Ryan: Seeing our new coach in action with our squad. It’ll be interesting.

Jose: There are many things that excite me about the upcoming season, but if I had to choose just one, it has to be the new formation and tactics that Luchi is introducing. I’ve always thought that FCD is a lot deeper than we have seen under Pareja, who would simply narrow his roster selection down as we neared the end of the season. So with Luchi introducing the 4-3-3 formation with a more aggressive high press, and bringing the ball from the back. It will be imperative that the team use it’s considerable depth to keep players fresh from such a demanding and grueling system. I’m excited to see what kind of hell this team will unleash on many opponents, especially under the hot Texas sun, when most visiting teams are trying to conserve energy.

Andrew: Playing the young guys, as I said all last season, and will continue with this season. Also, the new approach from our new coach. It’s always interesting to see a culture shift and change with a new leader in charge.

Etan: The young prospects such as Paxton Pomykal and Jesus Ferreira getting more minutes.

What worries you the most going into the season?

Jason: Where are the goals going to come from?

Ben: We might be a little thin on the wings.

Preston: I still think there are some question marks in our attack. Will they be fit and firing the whole season?

Jack: While I’m excited about Luchi, he is a rookie MLS coach and may struggle tactically, pick weird lineups, or make bad subs.

Drew: The attacking depth isn’t quite there where it needs to be to compete in the Western Conference.

Nathan: Luchi will be inexperienced, and some players will struggle. How will the team and coaches handle it?

Scott: Not having (yet, at least) a key player that can take over a game.

Mo: That this may be a season of growing pains. Playoffs are never a guarantee, so we shall see if the team finds its stride under Luchi.

Jeff: The fresh start with young players and a new manager.

Jared: Lack of experience from the coaching staff.

Ryan: Our finishing. It’s been a thorn in our side for years. If we can fix that, we should be golden. Should be.

Jose: I’m a glass is half full kind of guy, so I don’t really have any significant worries going into the season. If there is one thing I can think off, is that because I expect FCD to rely heavily on their younger players, my biggest worry is that several of these young players will hit a mid-season wall. Think Jacori Hayes last season, when he started so strong out of the gate, then simply vanished sometime before the end of the season. This is a very real concern for players like Pomykal, Ferreira, Hayes (again), Aranguiz, and the rookies.

Andrew: Nothing! Really, honestly, nothing. Playing the young guys may come with growing pains, but they could also surprise. Having a new coach can take time for everything to click, but that’s ok. Going into the season with this knowledge that things may look bad for a spell is perfectly fine (he says to himself). Ask me again in July.

Etan: The biggest worry for me is that the inexperienced players will not be able to fit together and will not be able to adjust.

MLS: FC Dallas at San Jose Earthquakes Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Who will be FCD’s Golden Boot winner in 2019?

Jason: Dominique Badji

Ben: Dominique Badji

Preston: Cobra!

Jack: Santiago Mosquera

Drew: Santiago Mosquera

Nathan: Dominique Badji

Scott: Dominique Badji

Mo: Dominique Badji with 13 goals.

Jeff: Dominique Badji

Jared: Dominique Badji

Ryan: The wizard himself, Mosquera.

Jose: Tough to pick a favorite for FCD’s Golden Boot, simply because I expect FCD to spread the wealth around. It will be a close race, but I’ll go with Badji to finish with something like 10 goals on the season.

Andrew: According to preseason results it’s Badji - but I’m a skeptic. I think Santiago Mosquera bags this with 12 goals this season.

Etan: Michael Barrios

MLS: FC Dallas at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Who will be FCD’s best player (under 23) in 2019?

Jason: Paxton Pomykal

Ben: Paxton Pomykal

Preston: Paxton Pomykal

Jack: Reggie Cannon

Drew: Paxton Pomykal

Nathan: Paxton Pomykal

Scott: Reggie Cannon

Mo: Reggie Cannon

Jeff: Paxton Pomykal

Jared: Paxton Pomykal

Ryan: Reggie Cannon

Jose: LOL! Isn’t the entire team pretty much under 23 years old? Seriously though, the answer is pretty easy. Reggie Cannon was the best player under 23 years old last season, and he’ll be even better this season.

Andrew: Paxton. Period.

Etan: Reggie Cannon

MLS: FC Dallas at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Who will be FCD’s top defender in 2019?

Jason: Reggie Cannon

Ben: Matt Hedges

Preston: Reto Ziegler

Jack: Reggie Cannon

Drew: Matt Hedges

Nathan: Matt Hedges

Scott: Reggie Cannon

Mo: Reggie Cannon

Jeff: Matt Hedges

Jared: Matt Hedgers or Reggie Cannon

Ryan: Matt Hedges

Jose: Reggie Cannon will be the top defender for FCD in 2019. Oh, you don’t agree? Then meet me outside in the parking lot! I’ll be out there waiting, along with all the players that Reggie Cannon is going to run out of the stadium this season.

Andrew: Coin flip - heads, Hedges - tails Ziegler

Etan: Reggie Cannon

MLS: FC Dallas at Vancouver Whitecaps Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Who will be FCD’s Team MVP in 2019?

Jason: Santiago Mosquera

Ben: Santiago Mosquera

Preston: Bryan Acosta

Jack: Santiago Mosquera (pls, pls, pls be consistent this year)

Drew: Bryan Acosta

Nathan: Santiago Mosquera

Scott: Michael Barrios

Mo: Santiago Mosquera. Please let me be right about this one.

Jeff: Jesse Gonzalez

Jared: Bryan Acosta

Ryan: Matt Hedges

Jose: I fully expect Mosquera to have a spectacular breakout season. I believe he’s capable of a 10 goal, 10 assist season, and then some. Mosquera will thrive under Luchi’s 4-3-3 system, and make people forget about that......ugh....you know.... that really fast guy......ugh.....possibly Colombian?..........why do I keep picturing a thanksgiving turkey while I’m trying to remember this guy?

Andrew: I’m trying to talk myself out Paxton, too young, maybe won’t get the minutes, what’s his position? So Mosquera, since he will also lead the team in goals.

Etan: Michael Barrios


Biggest story (non-FCD related) you’re following.

Jason: Austin FC and the development of the new stadium.

Ben: Toronto looks like they may be sliding back into the ditch.

Preston: How/if Toronto will bounce back from the nightmare of last season.

Jack: I’m not going to jump ship for Austin FC, but since I currently live there, it’s pretty exciting to follow.

Drew: MLS expansion is something I always tend to care more about. MLS will likely be handing out one more expansion club in 2019, but to who is the big question.

Nathan: Will the league allow the LA Galaxy to have 4 DPs, just because?

Scott: How former FCD guys fare in full seasons on their new teams (i.e. Acosta, Urruti, Ulloa).

Mo: Does the league finally give a fourth DP to its teams?

Jeff: FC Cincinnati attempting to compete right away.

Jared: How the Cincinnati does in their first season.

Ryan: CONCACAF Champions League!

Jose: For me, it has to be the impending fallout from the LAG 4 DP drama. Considering it’s LAG, it’s hard to imagine that MLS won’t introduce some mechanism that makes it look like LAG was never in any danger of violating roster rules.Whatever it is, there’s no doubt that it will affect every team. Plus it’ll be interesting to see how Atlanta United fans react to the realization that MLS cares more about another team.

Andrew: In no particular order - New Atlanta players and coach, rebirth of the Galaxy, expansion teams bidding again, Robert Krafts ownership of NE, Miami’s progress.

Etan: The new generation of the USMNT. Can Weah, Sargent, McKennie, Adams, and Pulisic deliver?

MLS: Landon Donovan MVP Presentation John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Who will win league MVP

Jason: Bradley Wright-Phillips

Ben: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Preston: Wayne Rooney

Jack: Josef Martinez

Drew: Diego Valeri

Nathan: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Scott: Josef Martinez

Mo: Carlos Vela

Jeff: Josef Martinez

Jared: Pity Martinez

Ryan: Josef Martinez

Jose: Zlatan has already won the 2019 league MVP, we just don’t know it yet.

Andrew: Josef Martinez after another 30 goal season.

Etan: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

MLS: Josef Martinez-Golden Boot Trophy Presentation Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Who will win the MLS Golden Boot?

Jason: Bradley Wright-Phillips

Ben: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Preston: Josef Martinez

Jack: Josef Martinez

Drew: Josef Martinez

Nathan: Josef Martinez

Scott: Josef Martinez

Mo: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Jeff: Josef Martinez

Jared: Josef Martinez

Ryan: Josef Martinez

Jose: Joseph Martinez will win back to back MLS Golden Boots.

Andrew: Josef Martinez

Etan: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

MLS: Atlanta United FC at New York Red Bulls Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff prediction the Eastern Conference finish (teams 1-7):

Jason:
1. New York Red Bulls
2. Atlanta United
3. DC United
4. NYCFC
5. Columbus Crew
6. Montreal Impact
7. Chicago Fire

Ben:
1. Atlanta United
2. DC United
3. New York Red Bulls
4. Montreal Impact
5. Philadelphia Union
6. Chicago Fire
7. NYCFC

Preston:
1. New York Red Bulls
2. Atlanta United
3. Columbus Crew
4. NYCFC
5. Montreal Impact
6. DC United
7. Philadelphia Union

Jack:
1. Atlanta United
2. New York Red Bulls
3. DC United
4. NYCFC
5. Columbus Crew
6. Montreal Impact
7. Philadelphia Union

Drew:
1. New York Red Bulls
2. Atlanta United
3. DC United
4. Toronto FC
5. Columbus Crew
6. Philadelphia Union
7. Montreal Impact

Nathan:
1. Atlanta United
2. New York Red Bulls
3. New York City FC
4. DC United
5. Columbus Crew
6. Philadelphia Union
7. Montreal Impact

Scott:
1. New York Red Bulls
2. Atlanta United
3. D.C. United
4. Philadelphia Union
5. Columbus Crew
6. Chicago Fire
7. New York City FC

Mo:
1. Atlanta United
2. New York Red Bulls
3. Columbus Crew
4. New York City FC
5. DC United
6. Chicago Fire
7. Orlando City SC

Jeff:
1. Atlanta United
2. New York Red Bulls
3. Toronto FC
4. NYCFC
5. DC United
6. Columbus Crew
7. Philadelphia Union

Jared:
1. New York Red Bulls
2. Atlanta United
3. NYCFC
4. DC United
5. Columbus Crew
6. Philadelphia Union
7. Toronto FC

Ryan:
1. Atlanta United
2. New York Red Bulls
3. Columbus Crew
4. NYCFC
5. Philadelphia Union
6. Toronto FC
7. Montreal Impact

Jose:
1. DC United
2. Atlanta United
3. New York Red Bulls
4. NYCFC
5. Montreal Impact
6. Columbus Crew
7. Toronto FC

Andrew:
1. New York Red Bulls
2. Atlanta United
3. Columbus Crew
4. NYCFC
5. Philadelphia Union
6. Toronto FC
7. New England Revolution

Etan:
1. New York Red Bulls
2. Atlanta United
3. DC United
4. Philadelphia Union
5. NYCFC
6. Chicago Fire
7. Toronto FC

MLS: Western Conference Championship-Seattle Sounders at Colorado Rapids Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff prediction the Western Conference finish (teams 1-7):

Jason:
1. LAFC
2. Seattle Sounders
3. LA Galaxy
4. FC Dallas
5. Sporting Kansas City
6. Portland Timbers
7. Vancouver Whitecaps

Ben:
1. Sporting KC
2. FC Dallas
3. LA Galaxy
4. LAFC
5. Houston Dynamo
6. Portland Timbers
7. San Jose Earthquakes

Preston:
1. Sporting Kansas City
2. Portland Timbers
3. LAFC
4. LA Galaxy
5. FC Dallas
6. Seattle Sounders
7. Houston Dynamo

Jack:
1. Sporting Kansas City
2. Real Salt Lake
3. LAFC
4. FC Dallas
5. Seattle Sounders
6. LA Galaxy
7. Portland Timbers

Drew:
1. Sporting KC
2. LAFC
3. LA Galaxy
4. Seattle Sounders
5. FC Dallas
6. Portland Timbers
7. Real Salt Lake

Nathan:
1. Sporting Kansas City
2. Real Salt Lake
3. Seattle Sounders
4. LAFC
5. FC Dallas
6. LA Galaxy
7. Houston Dynamo

Scott:
1. Sporting KC
2. Seattle Sounders
3. FC Dallas
4. LAFC
5. LA Galaxy
6. Portland Timbers
7. Real Salt Lake

Mo:
1. Sporting Kansas City
2. Portland Timbers
3. LAFC
4. Seattle Sounders FC
5. LA Galaxy
6. Real Salt Lake
7. FC Dallas

Jeff:
1. LAFC
2. Portland Timbers
3. FC Dallas
4. Seattle Sounders
5. Sporting Kansas City
6. Real Salt Lake
7. LA Galaxy

Jared:
1. LAFC
2. Portland Timbers
3. Sporting KC
4. FC Dallas
5. Seattle Sounders
6. LA Galaxy
7. Real Salt Lake

Ryan:
1. FC Dallas
2. LAFC
3. LA Galaxy
4. Houston Dynamo
5. Seattle Sounders
6. Sporting Kansas City
7. Portland Timbers

Jose:
1. LAFC
2. Sporting KC
3. FC Dallas
4. Portland Timbers
5. Seattle Sounders
6. Real Salt Lake
7. LA Galaxy

Andrew:
1. Sporting Kansas City
2. LAFC
3. Portland Timbers
4. FC Dallas
5. Real Salt Lake
6. LA Galaxy
7. Minnesota United

Etan:
1. Sporting KC
2. LAFC
3. LA Galaxy
4. FC Dallas
5. Real Salt Lake
6. Seattle Sounders
7. Minnesota United

MLS: Montreal Impact at Toronto FC John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Who will win the Supporters’ Shield?

Jason: New York Red Bulls

Ben: Atlanta United

Preston: New York Red Bulls

Jack: Atlanta United

Drew: Sporting KC

Nathan: Real Salt Lake

Scott: New York Red Bulls

Mo: Sporting KC

Jeff: Atlanta United

Jared: LAFC

Ryan: Atlanta United

Jose: LAFC in their second season, will repeat what Atlanta United did in their second season.

Andrew: Sadly, Sporting KC

Etan: New York Red Bulls

MLS: MLS Cup-Portland Timbers vs Atlanta United FC Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Who will win MLS Cup?

Jason: New York Red Bulls

Ben: FC Dallas

Preston: Columbus Crew

Jack: Atlanta United

Drew: Atlanta United

Nathan: Sporting Kansas City

Scott: Atlanta United

Mo: LAFC

Jeff: Portland over NYRB

Jared: LAFC

Ryan: Atlanta United

Jose: LAFC over Atlanta United

Andrew: New York Red Bulls

Etan: LA Galaxy

Big D Daily: News for Thursday, October 21, 2021

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