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What we want to see out of FC Dallas against Toronto FC

The season opener brings a lot of new, but can FC Dallas avoid a slow start due to the cold?

MLS: Austin FC at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

A new season is finally upon us here. FC Dallas is getting set to host Toronto FC tomorrow evening and I’m sure many of you are like me, are ready for this one.

FC Dallas has a good history at home against Toronto but they still have to show up and play their style of game under new manager Nico Estevez.

Here are a couple of things that I am looking forward to seeing tomorrow against Toronto.

Brave the cold

Not only will this be the earliest start to the season for FC Dallas but it could be one of the coldest season opener for the club too. The high on Saturday might hit 40. Might, let’s be honest it is going to feel much cooler than that once the sun goes down.

While I would prefer a warmer day for the start of the season, I do hope that many brave the weather and find a way to enjoy the game tomorrow evening. The 430 pm kickoff is a nice helper in that you can pre-game/tailgate/etc. well beforehand to get warmed up and then have plenty of time after the game to recover from sitting/standing in the chilly February weather.

Start strong

Just as we wrapped up 2021 saying that we wanted the team to finish strong, we also want them to begin this one on the right foot too. Find a way to get the attack rolling under Paxton Pomykal and Jesus Ferreria. Show that Paul Arriola was worth the trade and allocation money.

Last year we saw too many early-season draws at home that were rough to watch. That set a bad tone for the rest of the season and put the club in a hole when it came to the playoff race. A loss to Toronto wouldn’t knock FC Dallas out of the playoffs right away but it certainly would set off a bad tone for the new era under Estevez.

Establish the defense

The 2021 defense was about as bad as it could get in club history. If anything goes right tomorrow, it needs to be down to how well the defense plays from the opening whistle. Matt Hedges is healthy. Jose Martinez is healthy. You have a more defensive addition to the group in Marco Farfan now. Nanu and Ema Twumasi have shown well in preseason play.

A lot of it really could come down to Edwin Cerrillo or Facundo Quignon though, if neither of those guys is able to protect the backline from getting overrun or exposed in the middle of the field, we could be in for a long year again.