2023 FC Dallas Player Recaps: Paul Arriola
Like so many on the roster, Arriola struggled with injuries in 2023.
Our 2023 FC Dallas player recaps continue with veteran attacker Paul Arriola.
Just like with so many on the FC Dallas roster, Arriola struggled through the 2023 season with nagging injuries that kept him from playing at his 2022 form. He appeared in 22 games, with 20 starts (down from his 32 appearances and 29 starts in 2022). Arriola’s goal total dropped considerably, too, from 2022, when he scored ten goals and added seven assists, to only scoring twice in 2024 with four assists.
I do think when he is healthy, these numbers are drastically different. We saw toward the end of the regular season when Arriola was finally 100% fit that his productivity increased. He was finding the back of the net when it mattered, and he was putting his teammates in good spots as he picked up 25 key passes on the season.
It took him most of the season to get there, but his first goal in September really started a nice run for him late in the year.
I’d also toss in the one playoff goal he scored against Seattle.
What can we expect from him in 2024?
Like so many other players on the roster, health is important for Arriola in 2024. We definitely want to see him back in his 2022 form, where he scored double-digit goals and had almost double-digit assists. I think a goal for him should be to become a 10g/10a kind of player. It may be a tall order, but I think he has it in him at least once while in Dallas.
I think there was a very good reason why Nico Estevez named him captain at the start of the season. Arriola fights for this team and his teammates. He puts in the work both on and off the field, and others see that. Late in the season, you could see his teammates fight for him the same way he fights them.
Next year is going to be a big one for Arriola. He’ll become a family man with his wife as they are expecting their first child. That kind of thing can really motivate a player to push themselves more. FC Dallas needs Arriola to continue to be that leader on and off the field too. I’m hopeful that 2023 was a setback and 2024 is more of what we saw out of him in 2022.