As the 2016 MLS season edges closer, we’ll be publishing each team’s MLS 2016 Season Preview. Today we take a look at what FC Dallas will be hoping to achieve this season.
FC Dallas enter 2016 in good shape and will be desperate to go one better than they managed last term, losing one game before the 2015 MLS Cup Final. Oscar Pareja has a talented squad at his disposal and knows that his side have a great chance of winning the Western Conference for a second-straight season. Dallas picked up 60 points over the course of the regular season last time out – their highest-ever points total in MLS – and beating that impressive tally would surely guarantee another year full of excitement and promise.
Last season’s finish:
Western Conference – Position: 1st – P34 – W18 – D6 – L10
What needs to change this year?
Very little. The real challenge for Dallas will be trying to keep things the same, rather than make changes to the team style and approach. They won the joint-most games in MLS in 2015 (18) and had the best home record in the league, amassing 41 points from a possible 51. Keeping Toyota Stadium a fortress will be important. Blas Perez and David Texeira have both left the club and so Dallas will hope they can continue scoring goals as freely without those two.
Key changes to squad:
Ins: Maximiliano Urruti – Forward, Carlos Gruezo – Midfielder, Maynor Figueroa – Defender, Carlos Lizarazo – Forward & Mauro Rosales – Midfielder.
Outs: Bakary Soumare – Defender, David Texeira – Forward, Michel – Midfielder, Stephen Keel – Defender, Dan Kennedy – Goalkeeper, Rolando Escobar – Midfielder, Blas Perez – Forward & Je-Vaughn Watson – Defender.
Key Player:Embed from Getty Images
Fabian Castillo – Forward – Fabian Castillo has continued to improve as a winger with every season he has played in MLS. He scored ten goals and picked up nine assists in 34 regular season appearances last term – proving how important he is to the side. His pace and tricky dribbling make him impossible to contain and when he’s on song, Dallas normally walk away with three points. The Colombian completed more dribbles than any other player in MLS last term and will expect to do the same again in 2016.
One to Watch:
Carlos Gruezo – Midfielder – Gruezo joins FC Dallas as a Designated Player from Bundesliga side Stuttgart and big things are expected of the 20 year old this season and beyond. He can play in various positions and is experienced for a player of his age, having already played in a World Cup. Oscar Pareja is excited about the acquisition of the Ecuadorian and believes he will make the entire squad better.
Western Conference – 2nd – Dallas should remain right at the very top of the Western Conference in 2016 and will be expecting to have another good playoff run too, with a young and energetic roster at Pareja’s disposal. The worry will be that they will have to get used to life without Blas Perez and David Texeira, who made 37 regular season starts between them in 2015, but that shouldn’t take too long and so FC Dallas look set for another highly promising campaign.
What are you expecting from FC Dallas in 2016?