Welcome to a quick intro and season preview for FC Dallas de Santiago Nuevo Leon, or simply FC Dallas MX.
For those of you that are not aware, FC Dallas signed an affiliation with what is now FC Dallas MX Academy, back in 2013. Already a long established academy in the suburb of Monterey, with teams in age groups as young as U5, the academy launched its own professional side last year.
So just where does this professional side, ply its trade? I’m glad you asked.
FC Dallas MX launched its inaugural campaign within the confines of Liga TDP last year. Liga TDP is the Mexican 4th Division, and is a U20 League that allows players from the age of 15 years old to 19 years old (this year 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006). Liga TDP consisted of 214 teams last year, divided into 13 groups. As part of the Mexican soccer pyramid, the winner and runner up of Liga TDP earn promotion to the Mexican 3rd Division. Liga TDP has a promotion playoff to determine who will be promoted. Last year the promotion playoffs field consisted of 64 teams. There is also a separate playoffs for Liga MX/Ascenso MX reserve sides that are not eligible for promotion (27 reserve teams, 16 team playoff).
Liga TDP has its regular season split in two, with the Apertura (Opening) Season taking place between September and December, followed by the Clausura (Closing) Season taking place between February and May, Playoffs start in June.
First year Technical Director Severo Meza, who retired as a player for Monterrey Rayados (Liga MX), lead FC Dallas MX to 19 wins - 11 draws - 6 losses, with 72 goals forced and 42 goals allowed. The team was set to finish tied for 4th place in Group 12 (out of 20 teams), but one of the victories achieved by the team, was removed from the official results due to the opponent (Bucaneros) dropping out of the group midseason and all their matches were nullified. FC Dallas MX would finish in 8th place, which qualified them for the promotion playoffs, but as a new team, they did not participate in the playoffs.
So what is new for 2019? The first thing that jumps out at you, is that there will only be 192 teams competing in Liga TDP this season. Due to this very reason, Group 12 which consisted of 20 teams last year, will only consist of 14 teams this season
There are two teams who finished ahead of FC Dallas MX in the standings last season, that will not be returning for this season. The biggest name not returning is Group 12’s top team Monterrey Rayados (“B”), who finished last season with a gaudy 26-4-6 record (93gf/30ga).
The second thing that jumps out at you, is the high volume of turnover for FC Dallas MX. Following a successful debut season, many of its players were in high demand.
Besides losing players who are no longer age eligible, the team also lost five key players to youth teams belonging to teams higher up the pyramid:
Jose Reynaldo - FC Juarez (Liga MX)
Jesus Lizaraga - Puebla (Liga MX)
Pablo Sanchez - Monterrey (Liga MX), U17
Eugenio Navarro - Monterrey (Liga MX), U17
Harold Vazquez - Club Calor (Mexico D3), looks to be a starter
With most of their starters from last season gone, and the team playing in a talent rich region of Mexico, the team held preseason tryouts:
The team will of course get reinforcements from within the academy, but also added several players from the Mexico 5th Division through these trials. The trials also attracted some higher level players, the best of which are:
#3. Ruben Caballero (Defender) - Monarcos Morelia U20s (15 matches/7 starts), Monterrey U20s (4 matches/1 start).
#7. Pablo Sanchez (Midfielder) - Monterrey U17s (73 matches/52 starts/9 goals scored)
#10. Raul Jorge (Midfielder) - Necaxa U15s (23 matches/13 starts)
#18. Jose Ontivero (Defender) - played for D4 side Tigres SD (Liga MX reserves) back in 2016, with 5 starts.
With the area being talent rich, the team has scheduled further tryouts for later this month.
Key Returning Players
#1. David Bustos (GK) - David played in 19 matches last season, starting 17.
#2. Jonathan Zuniga (Defender) - played in 29 matches, with 24 starts.
#6. Jose Rodriguez (Midfielder) - played in 8 matches, with 2 starts
#9. Mario Garcia (Forward) - played in 4 matches, with 1 start.
2019 Apertura Schedule
The team has concluded preseason preparations, and will begin their season on Saturday 14, at home against reserve side Tigres SD. Last season FCD MX was 0-1-1 against Tigres SD.
There is no regular television coverage, or regular streaming of matches. There are occasional streams made available, but it depends on the opponent. Team results, highlights, and news, along with stream replays (when available), will be posted on Hoops Home and Abroad.