For FC Dallas, the roster is mostly set.
From the striker position to the goalkeeper, it’s hard to think of a position where there is not a strong veteran name - from Franco Jara to Jimmy Maurer - in contention.
And yet, left back is the one role up for grabs.
Last season, we saw John Nelson and Ryan Hollingshead split time there, with Hollingshead earning the vast bulk of the minutes.
In 2021, the question lingers like an open-ended query to add a little chaos to the FC Dallas lineup. Who takes the left back spot?
Ryan Hollingshead Deserves the Nod
Let’s be clear - apart from Sergino Dest, Ryan Hollingshead is the far and away best left back in the US National Team Men’s Players’ pool. I will trade fisticuffs on this point. He is steady. He is consistent. He has great character. He can defend and score goals. You can’t ask for more.
I don’t know why Gregg Berhalter wants to experiment with guys like Sam Vines who are not as talented and not as veteran as Hollingshead. Call Hollingshead in, you amateurs!
Ryan is one of my favorite players for FC Dallas, and he deserves to be in contention for the US Men’s National Team picture. He will likely score a goal in the World Cup if Berhalter has the guts to play him. This guy has karma. Play him.
John Nelson Probably Starts
Nelson is a left footed player, and while he is more defensive minded, he provides a balance when FC Dallas plays a 4-3-3 and our right back of choice gets forward with abandon like what we saw last season. He is going to get forward in moments, but we haven’t seen him score or wow us with his passing or crossing ability like Hollingshead has. But in the end, if he snuffs out counter-attacks, you take the trade offs.
I like Johnny. He is good. He has a career ahead of him as a solid US left back, so let’s plug him in and see what he can do. Maybe he will add wrinkles to his game as his confidence and minutes grow.
But let's temper our expectations. At this point, he will be a solid left back - nothing more and nothing less.
Best Scenario: Hollingshead at Left Back and Eddie Munjoma at Right Back
If you could give me my favorite scenario, Munjoma would start game one at right back, providing his attacking prowess and defensive capabilities in that position to propel FC Dallas toward eventually hardware. Why? Because Munjoma is the natural solution at next best man up. He has oodles of experiences with SMU and North Texas. He is athletic and ready for the opportunity.
Meanwhile, Hollingshead is likely the best left back in the league. Keep him where he serves best and where he can devastate opposing teams.
FC Dallas doesn’t have to spend for high priced foreign outside backs when they have incredible talent in their own roster. Ryan is a great player, a great human being, and a great offensive minded player. Keep him at left back where he excels in defensive and attack, and plug Munjoma in to deliver his whipping crosses to devastate opponents.
Play Munjoma at right, sell him eventually for $5 million, and keep the system humming like a well-oiled machine.
Hollingshead deserves to play in Europe, but let him continue to dominate at left back for years to come.
FC Dallas wins the Supporter’s Shield and MLS Cup in 2021.
Am I a fool? Or am I right? Post below.