The MLS is Back Tournament Final will be played on August 11th next week.
After that, it looks like MLS will be returning to a regular season, with FC Dallas and Nashville playing three extra games against each other prior to the start of the season on August 22nd.

The matches will be rolling in sooner rather than later, so there are a couple things fans should expect when FC Dallas plays its first match next week.

Heavy Rotation

According to The Athletic, each team will play 18 matches over the span of about 11 weeks, and that doesn’t even include the 3 extra matches that FC Dallas and Nashville FC will play between each other prior to the start of the season. That means that there will be heavy rotation within the squad from game to game, especially considering the other grueling factor of constant travel.

Luchi has mentioned that he has prepared his squad for the volume of matches they will participate in for the coming weeks, bit the reality of the situation is that the team will have to do heavy rotation if they want the players to stay healthy.

A Different Look

Luchi experimented a bit with formations in the first two matches of the season, but during this second offseason, he has had the time to implement more tools in his arsenal.

Specifically, it looks like the 3-5-2/5-3-2 that we saw in the latter half of the match against Philadelphia Union has become more of a staple within the squad. Luchi used the formation in the latest intrasquad scrimmage, which is the closest thing the club has had to a real match since March.

And we haven’t even mentioned the arrival of Franco Jara, who Luchi says is injured but not severely.

None of this means much without actual games, but what’s important here is that the squad has changed since fans saw them hit the field earlier in the year. Players have lost starting roles, and tactics will be edited to accommodate for a different kind of regular season. The team will look different.

Homegrown Opportunities

With the packed schedule, coupled with COVID restrictions, many of the FC Dallas reserve players, including young homegrowns, might be getting more opportunities throughout the season.

In a call with the press, Luchi stated that due to the current restrictions of the pandemic, FC Dallas and North Texas SC players are unable to interact with each other, as they have to stay in their bubble.

This means that players like Nkosi Burgess, Dante Sealy, and Eddie Munjoma, all players that were expected to participate with North Texas SC this year, have been unable to train and play in matches with Eric Quill’s side.

Because of these factors, many of those young reserve players will get their opportunities at some point in the coming weeks. Maybe even some professional debuts will come from these opportunities. It will give these players the chance to impress the technical staff and the fans.

Nothing for the regular season has been confirmed, but there should be an official report of the league’s game plan in the next week or so.
Are you excited for the return of MLS and FC Dallas?

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