FC Dallas 2014 Season Preview: Will Nature Find a Way?


No, not that best match, but it’s a killer pic. And loosely from Jurassic Park.

How’d 2013 Treat ‘Em: 11-12-11 (W-L-T), 48 gf, 52 ga; 8th in the West
Let the record show that I have been reading, and that I continue to read, the season previews posted by other sites. It’s just Matt Doyle’s so far – The Armchair Analyst, for MLS’s main page – but I do consciously try to disregard those perspectives so far as I can and instead rely on my own observations and opinions. That said, something Doyle wrote about Dallas just won’t get out of my head, so, credit to him for this point, however it turns out. He’s right, though: Dallas really does have good, to very good, players all over the field. Given that, how they cocked it up so badly in 2013 can only be a mystery. The only answer I have is this: it’s Dallas, people. And, for as long as I’ve watched the league (i.e., since the tail-end of ’96), Dallas most often follows this pattern: start hot, wander aimlessly, collapse. Sure, they got it right one year – 2010, when they made MLS Cup – but most years, including 2013, they faithfully adhere to their programming…kinda like the DNA thing in Jurassic Park. You can answer the small questions – David Ferreira not being the player he was; Blas Perez’s World Cup qualifying absences; injuries to the backline; maybe that Jackson guy is an asshole, so they trade him; I dunno – but the big one of how a roster this solid sinks to 8th in the West? Actually, I do have a guess. Schellas Hyndman. The man lost the locker room at some point and that was fatal. May not be true, but that’s my version of the fable.

Exciting Additions! – Hendry Thomas, Andres Escobar, David Texeira Tesho Akindele (There’s a School of Mimes!)

Tricky Departures… – David Ferreira, Jackson, Kenny Cooper

Quality Parts: Raul Fernandez, Matt Hedges, Andrew Jacobson, Zach Loyd, Blas Perez, Hendry Thomas

It Gets Better If They Come Good: George John, Jair Benitez (keep yer head, son), Fabian Castillo, Mauro Diaz, Escobar, Adam Moffat, Michel, London Woodberry (OK, don’t know him, gawd, what a name!)

What I’d Expect Based on the Above:
Since I’m already cribbing other people’s opinions, I may as well keep going: just about every podcast I listen to opined that Dallas found the missing puzzle piece when Hendry Thomas followed Oscar Pareja over from Dallas. And, if you accept the above theory about Hyndman being the problem, Pareja, who did ever so well with Colorado in 2013, could turn this quality roster into a force. Problems with chemistry could arise – say Escobar or Texeira could stink, or Mauro Diaz could fail to adequately fill Ferreira’s formerly big boots – but, when I look at the personnel on the roster, a lot of players I rate pretty highly wave back at me. Injuries could strike – I’m thinking George John, in particular – maybe other players will keep on with the under-performing. Maybe, but I doubt it. I don’t see how this team doesn’t take a playoff spot. I mean, there are five after all…the question is, who makes room? (My money’s on Seattle, or, more delicious still, Colorado…that is going to be a beautiful narrative in 2014.)

2014 Season Opener: v. Montreal Impact, March 8