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2022 FC Dallas season preview

A new coach, new and exciting players, plus the Hoops return the kits. There is so much to be optimistic about 2022.

A new era for FC Dallas is set to kick off this weekend as the team hosts Toronto FC. The club has done a big makeover this offseason by bringing in a slew of new faces, a new coach and they’ve brought back the hoops on their primary kits.

FC Dallas - 2021 Record: 7-15-12, 33 points, 11th Western Conference

Head coach: Nico Estevez (first year as manager with FC Dallas)

Key additions:

  • D - Nanu (1/10/22 - loan from FC Porto)
  • F - Dom Dwyer (1/10/22 - trade from Toronto FC & buyout)
  • F - Isaiah Parker (1/11/22 - Generation adidas)
  • GK - Maarten Paes (1/20/22 - loan from Utrecht)
  • F - Paul Arriola (1/26/22 - trade from D.C. United)
  • D - Lucas Bartlett (1/28/22 - SuperDraft)
  • F - Alan Velasco (2/1/22 - transfer from Independiente)
  • D - Marco Farfan (2/10/22 - trade from LAFC)
  • F - Tsiki Ntsabeleng (2/11/22 - SuperDraft)
  • GK - Antonio Carrera (2/21/22 - Homegrown)

Key losses:

  • GK - Phelipe Megiolaro (11/30/21 - option declined)
  • D - Bressan (11/30/21 - option declined)
  • D - Caiser Gomes (11/30/21 - option declined)
  • M - Bryan Acosta (11/30/21 - option declined)
  • M - Freddy Vargas (11/30/21 - option declined)
  • GK - Kyle Zobeck (11/30/21 - contract expired)
  • F - Ricardo Pepi (1/3/22 - transfer to Augsburg)
  • D - John Nelson (1/6/22 - signed by Cincinnati in Re-Entry)
  • D - Justin Che (1/21/22 - loan to Hoffenheim)
  • D - Ryan Hollingshead (2/10/22 - traded to LAFC)

Projected Best XI:

We should see FC Dallas continue to use a 4-3-3 formation in 2022, though don’t be shocked if at times it shifts into a 4-4-2.

Best offseason move: You name it and it could easily be the best move for this club this offseason. Between the new coach, the big splash of cash on new players, the upgraded training facilities, everything feels like it could be argued as the best move this offseason for FC Dallas.

If you have to zero in on one specific move, it may have to be the willingness to sell Ricardo Pepi to Augsburg for upwards of $20 million. Call it addition by subtraction move but that move allowed the club to go out and spend big on guys like Arriola and Velasco. It allowed them to spend money on retaining Jesus Ferreira as a Young Designated Player. This investment back into the club is finally noticeable after several years of selling Homegrown players to European clubs.

Best reason to pay attention: After a dismal 2021 campaign, everything feels new and improved for FC Dallas fans with new manager Nico Estevez. The team will continue to be led by Homegrown talent throughout the lineup. But the new influx of talent with Paul Arriola, Alan Velasco, and Nanu could be the reason this club return to the playoffs in 2022.

The one glaring weakness: If there is anything we learned in 2021, it is that you cannot avoid injuries in the defense. While FC Dallas did make some upgrades in this area in terms of improving the depth, they still appear to be relying on veterans Matt Hedges and Jose Martinez to guide the defense in 2022. If they have a repeat of 2021 with injuries, the team could struggle in a big way again.