Maybe it is the rainy weather this week here in Dallas that has us thinking differently despite the positive results that have come in for FC Dallas this season. But I think most of us would agree, there is always something to worry about with this team.
That is why our staff came together this week to discuss any lingering worries or concerns that we have about this current squad. Let us know what your’s is below.
Jason Poon - Ability to close
After teasing us with how they closed off the LA Galaxy in Week 2, teams have started to figure out how to press Dallas and disrupt their ability to stay on the ball. It’s led to the Philadelphia Union stealing a game, and allowed both Portland and Atlanta to find a lifeline towards the end of the game by giving up late goals. They’re getting better, but Portland and Atlanta are awful at the soccer right now. Dallas shouldn’t be allowing these games to be entertaining against the league bottom feeders.
Nathan Hill - Balance
Three to four weeks ago, I was worried about defensive depth and a week in/week out striker. Today, not so much after Bressan’s great start last weekend and cool professional finishes by Jesus Ferreira. But I do wonder about balance on the wings. Michael Barrios is good, but what is going to happen when teams begin to target him and lock him down? Will Paxton, Aranguiz, and Jesus be enough to break the deadlock? What would a speedy, skilled left winger bring to keep opponents honest? We have hoped for that from Mosquera but it hasn’t quite come together. Maybe someone on the bench? Maybe a new signing? Maybe it is Pablo? I’d like to see some potential balance to make this attack even more potent.
Jose Carmona - Consistency
With FCD fielding such a young team, there's such a big learning curve, that I worry the kids will start showing their youth. At the moment, the kids are riding on a wave of confidence, and improving form. That's great, but young players can always hit a wall at some point, like Jacori Hayes last season, who played lights out early before disappearing.
Otherwise, I have no concerns outside of the impending International absences.
Drew Epperley - Those slow second half starts
We’ve seen time and time again these last few weeks that the first half, FC Dallas comes out looking strong and dominating the game on both the chances end of things and in terms of possession. But once halftime is over, it seems the steam and energy gets evaporated from the group or teams are just able to figure them out and adjust. Since those two things are happening, Luchi has to find a way to keep the energy levels up in the second half and find ways to adapt to potential changes that come their way.
Ben Lyon - The summer transfer window
Adaptation to the new management? Check. Young players taking advantage of their opportunities? Check. Scoring goals? Not quite 2 a game, but I’ll take it. The club’s off to another great start.
The summer, in particularly departures by key talents Fabian Castillo and Mauro Diaz in 2016 and 2018, always seems to dampen FCD’s odds at winning MLS Cup and other trophies. As resilient as the team has been early with the ‘Next Man Up’ finding success, that’s been over a short sample. Carlos Gruezo is vital to the team, and if he has a break out at Copa America, he could easily be a candidate for a transfer. Paxton Pomykal has been an epiphany this year, but he’ll enjoy an international showcase in about a month. If we end up sellers, which is the club’s professed desire, then those two leaving would create a massive hole that won’t be easily replaced on the fly. You can almost see a repeat of 2018 being inevitable.
Jeff Loftin - Yes
I have some concerns over just about everything: consistency of the offense (who knows what will happen if we have to count on Badji to score), ability to defend set pieces (not great so far), depth in key positions (both for injuries and departures), youth fatigue (can the young guys hold up over a full summer of MLS play?), and Luchi’s ability to continue to adapt and out-think the opposition (so far so good). The team is in great position considering the circumstances that the franchise began the season under, but overall I still have some lingering concerns over many pieces. No matter what though, the team is growing and gaining confidence. Scraping out wins on the road with a bunch of young guys is a big accomplishment, so I am cautiously optimistic - at least as much as I can be considering I am typically on the opposite side of that coin.