Praise the Lord and pass the potatoes. Soccer could be back soon.

The MLS announced last week that the 2020 season could resume as early as May 10. The release was a little vague on whether that date would be the start of actual games or perhaps an abbreviated training camp first.

It is probably safe to assume the latter since the players will need time to get into in-game form to play a full 90 minutes. While the players are staying in shape throughout their quarantine, these exercises are meant to keep the players in shape compared to gen pop and not a full 90 minutes of running, jumping, dribbling, scoring, celebrating, etc. We will see. 

Also, the date of May 10 is still fluid. Nobody knows for sure what the future holds for any sports league.

The league made the decision in  “accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance to postpone events of 50 or more people over the next eight weeks.” That guidance could change in the coming weeks. But, at least, there is a light at the end of the quarantine tunnel. 

The release also said the MLS was committed to playing the full 34-game schedule. They are looking at all options, including playing more mid-week games, extending the season into November and December, no bye weeks, etc.

What does this all mean for FC Dallas? There are some pros and cons to the starting date and the commitment to playing all the remaining games.

Let’s take a look.


Soccer is Back

Since the season was postponed only two weeks in, soccer fans didn’t really get ramped up and in mid-season form. Would this have been worse if we were close to finishing the season like the English Premier League? Maybe.

It definitely sucks for teams like Liverpool that were having a dream season and may miss out on being crowned champion. But as soccer fans, we finally have something to get excited about. 

Young Players Should Have More Playing Time

If the MLS sticks to its commitment to pay the full remaining schedule, then teams will have to tinker with their starting 11’s on a regular basis to keep players safe from injury and fatigue.

Playing 90 minutes of soccer once a week is tough, playing two games a week could be brutal. But it will be nice to see more of players like Tanner Tessman, Ricardo Pepi, Brandon Servania, Thomas Roberts, Bryan Reynolds, John Nelson, etc. While several of these players had a substantial amount of minutes last season, these numbers could increase if teams have to rest more of the regular starting 11’s. 

Soccer is Back II

This has already been mentioned but it is worth repeating. A full schedule of games, even if they are played on Tuesday or Wednesday is good for soccer fans. And mid-week games mean fans will never be more than a couple of days away from the next game, so that could be fun.


Luck Will Play a Bigger Role in Games

There’s always a luck factor in any season, especially as teams make a run for the championship. But this year luck will have to be on the side of FC Dallas. With tinkering lineups, tired players, more mid-week travel, etc., lots of balls are going to have to bounce just right for any team to ride away with the MLS Cup in November? … December? … January 2021? whenever it is.  Nothing you can do. The upside, every other team is going to require some luck too. 

The Lineup Chess Match

While it’s good that younger players could see the field more, it also means each game’s starting lineup and subs will have to be strategic. Resting players at the appropriate time and asking younger players to step up and fill those roles, will be a chess match.

Each week during a regular MLS season, coaches have to know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em, but a shortened FULL season could raise the stakes even higher. 

Attendance Could Suffer Even More

FC Dallas has struggled to fill seats in recent years. Now if the season gets extended into the NFL and college football season, plus mid-week games on school nights, the struggle will be multiplied. Die-hard supporters would go out on a Wednesday morning at 7:30 to watch a game, but some casual fans looking for a nice weekend activity, will not. Hopefully, the FC Dallas marketing team will get creative and find ways to make the in-game experience even more exciting and bring people to the stadium to support the team (More Dollar Beer and Hot Dog games could help. Hint Hint.)

Lord knows, they will need all the help they can get if the season does resume. And here’s hoping it does. 

What are your thoughts?
How will the compacted schedule affect FC Dallas and the MLS at large? Can FC Dallas still make a run for the Cup?
Are they more likely or less likely now?

Featured Image: Omar Vega/Al-Dia Dallas
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