Join Ben, Jose, and I tonight at 9 PM CST/10 PM EST to preview the match and talk about what FC Dallas will need to do to get a result. It’s not going to be easy. Lots of people are predicting a 3-0 convincing defeat, but it’s Major League Soccer and anything can happen. Heck, just look at the rest of the MLS playoffs. We have Columbus and New England in the eastern conference finals. Who predicted that?
Here are a few questions we will touch base on tonight.
Does FC Dallas have a shot?
I’m still not entirely sure how FC Dallas got to this point of having a shot at a spot in the Western Conference final, but the truth is they do.
If we rewind the tape of this bizarre season, the two Nashville games at Toyota Stadium after the restart revealed this team to have a bunch of issues. Luchi Gonzalez rolled out a 3-5-2 or 5-3-2 or something, and the boys from Frisco struggled to move the ball into attacking positions. It became a repeating narrative, even as the lineup changed, the personnel shifted around, and the team had a bit of success here and there.
There were bright spots, for sure, where FC Dallas looked to have a scoring maestro in Franco Jara and the sudden emergence of Bryan Reynolds and Ryan Hollingshead as MLS’ attacking outside back duo. For a brief moment, I wondered if Bryan and Ryan would be this generation’s Bird/McHale or Jordan/Pippen. Also, remember Andres Ricaurte’s hit of the year against Houston? Incredible.
Ultimately, FC Dallas did enough to secure a spot, and they did a remarkable thing pushing Portland in Portland into penalties and getting the job done. That’s all that matters at this point. Previous form and results don’t mean a thing in the playoffs. Just ask Philadelphia and Toronto. (Oh, and Portland.)
So, yes, Dallas has a shot, though they will need to play one of their better games of the year.
Who will start?
While there can be strong consensus to see a defensive lineup similar to what Dallas ran out against Portland, Luchi Gonzalez has a mostly healthy squad available to him. He has an opportunity to look at last year’s Seattle playoff game and tweak. It’s a blank slate, and Luchi has the ability to get as creative or conservative as his heart desires.
We have strong opinions about this in the Big D soccer crew - everything from suggesting FC Dallas go ultra attacking to a possible return to the 5-3-2 with Reto Ziegler in the mix.
What’s your opinion?
At this point in the season, we are all FC Dallas homers, and we are likely going to each pick our squad going through to the next round. The question is by how much? I’m leaning toward another nervy defensive game that results in penalties, which would be an improvement over last year’s extra time thriller. Jose and Ben may pick an outright ambush in the Pacific Northwest.
What do you think?
Do you have any questions for our crew? Share them in the chat, and then join us tonight at 9 PM Central Time to get ourselves in pre-game mode.