The month of April is in full swing. So far we’ve seen plenty of good things out of Luchi Gonzalez and FC Dallas. But what has been a surprise so far this season with FC Dallas or in MLS? Our staff is here to discuss that topic today.
Let us know what has shocked you the most so far this season in MLS or with FC Dallas in the comments below.
Jason Poon - FC Cincinnati
Raise your hand if you thought by Week 5 that Cincinnati would have more points than Atlanta United and New York Red Bulls combined. Also, Houston is unbeaten so far. All of that is causing me to be all:
Ben Lyon - There’s nothing more surprising than...
...how badly the San Jose Earthquakes stink. They looked reasonably well in the preseason with a draw against Seattle and a 3-0 thumping of LAFC, but then the regular season started. First, there was the loss at home on opening day to Montreal who got drilled 7-1 this weekend at Spork. Then they got drilled at home by Minnesota 3-0. To be fair, Minnesota looks like they’re going to be somewhat good this year so maybe that isn’t a big deal. Then they lost to last year’s Supporters’ Shield winners the Crimson Bovines of Jersey. That shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but that’s their only win this year, and they got the Sandman treatment out of Concacaf Champions League quickly this year. Finally, they got their rematch with LAFC this weekend, and in the friendly confines of Avaya Stadium, it went....not great.
Matias Almeyda was the coaching hire this offseason with the most sizzle (with apologies to De Boer who is also struggling). So far, Luchi Gonzalez has the best results, and that’s really impressive when you consider some of the skepticism that came with his hiring. Luchi had the benefit of having his fingerprints all over the organization before taking his first pro job which is a luxury Almeyda didn’t have trying to re-invigorate the Quakes. How committed will he be to righting the ship when they’re getting destroyed every week?
Drew Epperley - Where to begin...
I know it is super early in this season, but damn, Atlanta and New York only having a couple points a piece. Toronto being good again. Sporting KC dropping seven, SEVEN goals on Montreal last week. Seattle starting strong. LAFC looking like a dominant team again. So much to weigh in here.
Overall, it may come down to Atlanta as a whole but seeing that 2018 Golden Boot winner Josef Martinez only has one goal through four games in 2019 is astonishing. His team isn’t creating for him (they’re in the bottom part of the league in that department) and it is showing up hard as they continue to drop points.
Jeff Loftin - Atlanta
Atlanta, seriously what are they doing? Tata is only adding to his mystique and legend every single day that Atlanta goes without him at the helm. I thought there would be some drop off but in no way did I predict that they would have results like they have had this year. Frankly, the entire Eastern conference is a bit of a surprise with TFC and DCU near the top of the table. Cincinnati being pretty good is not a huge shock mostly because it is early and they have momentum. Depth will play a role for them and I am not sure they will be able to withstand the travel and physical nature of the league as the summer wears on, but who knows? I would be perfectly fine with a surprise expansion team making a run. Overall though, Atlanta is a dumpster fire right now and I did not see that coming.
Scott Hiney – Immediate Identity
I’ll take my thoughts to the local stage as I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how quickly FC Dallas has adopted its new identity under Luchi. Immediately out of the gate, while the offense didn’t necessarily create a host of chances like it has in recent games, the team controlled possession and dictated tempo. Now, with three wins in four games, this team is starting to really tick things up offensively with the rapid development of Paxton Pomykal and obvious depth throughout the XI.
New regimes don’t always click right away, especially when there’s a pretty drastic tactical change made, but that has not been the case for this squad. If this team can get good points so early on, there’s no telling what the rest of the season holds as the new identity only becomes more engrained.
Nathan Hill - FC Dallas Is Still Searching for a Striker
While fans may have over-hyped the arrival of Cobra a little (though it is too early to write him off in any fashion), I figured that 5 games in to the 2019 season FC Dallas would have locked down either Ondrasek or Badji in their ongoing need at striker. Instead, Jesus Ferreira has started two straight weeks and may be the unlikely 18 year old answer to that search. If it works, it’s great. Why look outside the company to fill a position when you can promote from within, right? But with Ferreira sure to miss some time over the course of the year and undoubtedly going to have an up and down season as he adjusts, it’s a bit of an exasperating thought that we’ll see yet another year of striker by committee.
Ferreira is the real surprise here though, even if he shouldn’t be. The kid is good. He’s ready, and while he may not tick off some of the boxes that the team has missed since the legend that is Blas Perez, if he scores goals, keep starting him. Be thankful that we get to watch him play in the coming weeks (and hopefully years).
Jack Rouse - Things are actually different
The FC Dallas social media team is killing it, by all accounts the supporters groups feel more comfortable with the front office, homegrowns are the backbone of the team and guys like Cerrillo are getting the chance to step up, and Dallas are attempting to dominate games with possession. I wasn’t terribly excited for Luchi because I assumed an in-house hiring meant that the Hunts were trying to keep things the same, but that hasn’t been the case. It’s easy to feel optimistic about the team right now and it’s not just because of the on-field product.