The season finale is finally here for FC Dallas as they take on San Jose this weekend. Normally, Decision Day has a lot of fun and meaning with the way MLS has positioned it in recent years. Loads of drama from end-to-end, with very few games having nothing to play for.
Well, this time around, the schedule-makers goofed and gave us a game with two teams already eliminated from playoff contention. No spoiler role for either side in this one, just a pure ‘play for pride’ is on the line.
Still, there are a couple of things that I’d like to see happen this weekend, so let’s get to them.
I mean, that is simple enough. Right? You want to see this club go into the offseason on a good note with a road win and a two-game winning streak following their Copa Tejas win last week at home over Austin FC. Honestly, I’d even take a draw in this one as long as there are positives to build off of and the team doesn’t give up a late goal in the process to get the draw. We’ve certainly seen that too many times as of late from this group.
Last week, I said I wanted to see a youthful lineup against Austin and for the most part interim manager Marco Ferruzzi delivered on that. We had five Homegrown players in the lineup, with Nkosi Tafari and Ema Twumasi getting starts in the defense. I’m all for that again this weekend. Bring any veteran players off the bench here. Let the kids go and do their thing.
Play for contracts
We will be diving into the contract situations more next week with some offseason posts about where we see the roster going and just how many moves could be possible this winter out of the club. But in this one, I do want to see some players step up here and play for 2022. I think some guys like Tafari and Twumasi (both of who should have contracts expiring after this season) would be prime candidates to step up and have a strong outing. The same could be said for a guy like Brandon Servania, who I believe is in the last moments of his original HGP contract with the club.
Outside of that group, if we do see guys like Freddy Vargas or Phelipe play, they need to show more to have their loans extended or bought out. I’m not entirely confident either will see the field, and I am good with that.
Send Pepi off on the right foot
Ricardo Pepi had that look about him following the win over Austin that just left me with the thought that was the last time we would see him in Dallas. He soaked up some moments alone on the bench following the final whistle and if you see photos of him after the game with the Copa Tejas trophy, his face kind of screams “it’s been real guys”.
You could also see towards the end of that game over Austin before he was given his curtain call, that the club was rallying a bit around him to get a final goal at home. My hope in this game is that they continue that trend and work to get him the ball around goal as much as possible so he can be sent off on a good note.