FC Dallas has played 18 games of the 34 game season. Just one game over the halfway point, how is FC Dallas doing and where do they stand at the [just past the] halfway point.
FC Dallas currently sits in first place in the western conference at 35 pts earned. FC Dallas is second place behind Atlanta United for the Supporters Shield which is better than what many thought before the season started. FCD has a 1.94 PPG (points per game) which is just behind Atalanta United’s 2 PPG (Atlanta has played 20 games and FC Dallas were at 2 PPG before playing Real Salt Lake this past weekend).
FC Dallas is 10-3-5 (W-L-T) which is puts them at the least amount of losses in the league. Let me pause and state that again. FC Dallas has only lost 3 games this year. 3 games! That is remarkable for any team in any league to do at the halfway point and is definitely better than what anybody thought FCD would do at this point in the season. Atlanta sits at 4 losses (one of them handed to them by FCD).
Here’s another thing that FC Dallas is doing great. Undefeated at home. FC Dallas is 6-0-4 at home (can we start saying #FortressFrisco???). Atlanta has lost twice at home. The Huntsmen do share this title with 4 other teams: LAFC, Portland Timbers, NYCFC, & DC. United.
In terms of positioning and points, Los Toros are in an excellent form. Back in 2015 and 2016 when FC Dallas had their 60 point seasons, they sat at 26 and 28 points respectively. That’s 7 more points better this year than those two 60 point seasons! What has really helped Dallas this year is picking up wins on the road which has really helped. Yes, it is easy to be greedy and say that all the games that ended in ties that should have been won but FCD made up for it on the road.
Another thing that has worked in Dallas’ favor is the flexibility and depth that this team is displaying. This year we have seen Papi move away from the famous 4-2-3-1 and use more of the 4-3-3. This new formation saw players play in a different style and has challenged opposing teams who figured out Papi and the 4-2-3-1 last year. The ability for Oscar Pareja and the coaching staff to change the formation and use different ones based on who the Huntsmen are playing is remarkable versatility the coaching staff and the players.
We have seen the emergence of players as well. Arguably the biggest emergence of Reggie Cannon. People cannot get enough of this kid and the crazy thing is that he just turned 20. Papi is already calling for him to play for the US National Team! In this day and age, it is easy to forget that these guys are still kids and that they have a long way to go but Papi is arguably the best at the #playyourkids model. He knows when to bring them in and when the right time for them is.
We have seen Reto Ziegler come in to fill in Walker Zimmerman’s hole. Santiago Mosquera has been brought in and he has shown sparks of his brilliance and what he is capable of. I don’t think he’s gotten there yet and when he does blossom, boy, is he going to be a huge threat. We’ve also have seen Jacori Hayes challenge Kellyn Acosta for the starting job in the midfield and he is a completely different player who really is the “glue” for the offense and defense. Don’t think that I’ve forgotten Colman either. He’s scored 3 times this year, once in CCL, and twice to give the team the winner. Statistically, he has a better goal per minute average (one every 170 minutes) than Maxi (one every 225 minutes). Thought to be fair, Maxi has the better goals per game average at 1 goal every 2.83 games to Colman’s 1 every 4 games.
The team leader in goals this year has been Roland Lamah who sits at 7 goals and 4 assists. Paxton has played more game this season that he did last. Jimmy Maurer was a goalkeeping revelation who made Jesse work to have the starting goalkeeping position. It good to know that we still have a goalkeeping battle. Kris Reaves is proving to be a promising future player.
We have also have had to say goodbye to some favorites. Winter signing Anton Nedyalkov left in the summer but what he showed on the pitch was spectacular. The end of Mauro Diaz’s time in Dallas game with a move the middle east. Some a sad he has left while others are ready to move on but you cannot argue with the impact that he has made on Dallas. We have brought in a new Brazilian left back Marquinhos Pedroso who shows some promise.
Aside from the on the pitch stuff, there has been much happening off the pitch. The National Soccer Hall of Fame is nearing completion and is turning out rather nice. FC Dallas has a partnership with FC Bayer Munich. As of 7/9/2018, Chris Richards is the first FC Dallas player who is officially gone on loan to FC Bayern. FC Dallas sold LA Galaxy jersey’s in their own team store…
We’re at (past) the halfway point in the season and for me, I could not have predicted anything that we have seen so far this season. Many said we would be fighting of the last few playoff spots but here we are leading the west fighting for the Supporters Shield. Some said that this would be a rebuilding year. Well if this is a rebuilding year, I can’t wait to see what the finished product is. FC Dallas, like any club, is not perfect and there are some things that we wish would have gone differently but I’m more than happy with what we have. Here’s to FC Dallas/FCD/Los Toros/Huntsmen and here’s to the second half of the season and all that it has to offer us.