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2020 Western Conference Preview: FC Dallas

MLS: MLS Cup Playoffs-Round One-FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time of year again! We’re going through each team in the Western Conference to see how they ended last year, how things have gone in the offseason, and what we might expect from them in 2020. They will be published in no particular order, and you can find all of them here.

FC Dallas

2019 Record: 13-9-12, (48 points, 7th in the Western Conference, lost to Seattle Sounders in playoffs)

Goals for: 54 (4th in WC)

Goals against: 46 (4th in WC)

Additions:

F - Fafa Picault (11/26/19 - trade from Philadelphia)

M - Thiago Santos (12/5/19 - transfer from Palmeiras)

D - Eddie Munjoma (1/13/20 - Homegrown)

F - Franco Jara (1/7/20 - free)

Subtractions:

F - Cristian Colman ( option declined)

M - Edwin Gyasi (option declined)

D - Moises Hernandez (option declined)

F - Dominique Badji (12/2/19 - traded to Nashville) Formerly with the Rapids

M - Pablo Aranguiz (12/30/19 - loaned to Universidad de Chile)

M - Jacori Hayes (1/21/20 - traded to Minnesota)

M - Eric Alexander (out of contract)

General Thoughts

To really understand what Dallas might look like this year I talked to a @jonathanroz12, FC Dallas analyst, writer, and co-host of the Dallas Soccer Show podcast. Here is what he had to say about his side:

This has been an interesting off-season for FC Dallas as this is the first opportunity for [head coach] Luchi [Gonzalez] to work with the Front Office to select players that match the possession-based approach that he prefers.

When looking at personnel changes the key subtractions are all good players who were just not good fits for how FC Dallas play. [Dominique] Badji came over from Colorado in the Kellyn Acosta trade and was forced to primarily play on the wing versus as a secondary striker. He played OK in his time at FC Dallas, with 6 goals and 4 assists over a year and a half. With the new addition of Fafa Picault, it was likely that Badji would have found himself further down in the depth chart behind both Fafa and Santi Mosquera (when healthy).

The other key player that moved on was Jacori Hayes, who played in the FC Dallas midfield for 35 games over the last two seasons. Jacori was the victim of a deep midfield that got even deeper in the off-season with the addition of Thiago Santos, a TAM player signed in the off-season from the Brazilian First Division.

The midfield is an area where FC Dallas is beginning to build a backlog of young up and coming talent. The FC Dallas midfield has three potential USMNT Olympic players as well as potential first-team starters like 18-year-old Thomas Roberts. This year will continue to be a balance between “Play the Kids” and veteran leadership.

Probably the most exciting change this year is the one that hasn’t even happened yet. FC Dallas announced the addition of Franco Jara, a Liga MX striker from Pachuca. Jara is likely joining the team during the summer transfer window, but for FC Dallas fans who have been crying for a true striker since Blas Perez left, this is likely the most exciting change this off-season. There is still a significant amount of excitement over Zdenek Ondrasek (Cobra) but many are still waiting to see if he can continue his form from the end of last season.

Overall the changes in personnel as well as the maturation of a young core should lead to a top 4 finish this year, but this is MLS and almost anything can happen.