We always enjoy inter-blog activity here on Burgundy Wave, so for the second time this year, we asked a few questions to Big D Soccer ahead of our match-up on Saturday.
You can check out my answers to their questions over at their site, while their answers to my questions about Dallas are below. Be sure to check out Big D Soccer for everything Dallas related that you need ahead of our match-up today!
BW: I was a big fan of Walker Zimmerman before the draft, and was a bit sad when the Rapids didn't pick him up at No. 7. (Deshorn Brown being awesome has quelled my sadness, of course.) How has he looked in the few appearances he's had?
BDS: Walker appears ready for the first team. He is playing smart and fast. I think he is capable of starting almost immediately - similar to how Matt Hedges stepped up big time during our injury spell last season. (Although I hope Zimmerman earns his place rather than having to replace anyone injured.)
He went the full 90 against the Earthquakes after getting a short run-out against the Sounders the week before. Unfortunately he was pulled from the midweek US Open Cup match with a hamstring strain at the end of the first half. He likely won't start against the Rapids this weekend.
BW: Dallas has played very well all season, but there seems to be a random head-scratcher that hits the team out of nowhere every few games. (3-1 to Chivas, 4-2 to Seattle come to mind.) Is there something keeping the team from having absolute consistency?
BDS: It is a combination of several things. FC Dallas has improved the depth chart substantially this year. The team has decreased its absolute dependence on one or two key players. So the drop off from the starting eleven to the bench is less than it has been in the past. However, continuing to rotate more of the squad through the gameday roster and building total team chemistry will push the club closer to 100% consistency.
I think every team is still going to have that occasional shock loss or stumble. As much as I hate to say it, I think most of us saw the loss to Seattle coming. You never want to be okay with conceding 4 goals though.
BW: Injuries played a big part in Dallas' inabilities to regain their 2010 status the past few years of course, but is there anything else other than health that you attribute Dallas' table-topping form in 2013 to?
BDS: Chemistry. This group of guys is one of the closest we've seen come through North Texas. The core of the team has a few years under their belts now. Our new additions have adapted to the locker room quickly. We are hearing that there is a lot of positivity flowing through this team. We have seen some of the other MLS teams go through "rebuilding" seasons. Dallas has been more slowly assembling this team over the past couple seasons, and I think we have finally reached the point where this is the year for it to click.
BW: Projected lineup & prediction?
BDS: Raul Fernandez, Zach Loyd, George John, London Woodberry, Jair Benitez, Michel, Andrew Jacobson, David Ferreira, Jackson Goncalves, Fabian Castillo, Blas Perez
Thanks again to Big D Soccer for helping us out with this!