Although only having lost 2 games so far this season, FC Dallas has been underwhelming to start their 2021 season.
Even though many fans are livid, the 1-2-2 record is not that terrible and can be improved upon over the next couple of matches.
The status quo is not working properly.
These are a couple of things the club should try to improve and get a couple of wins under their belt.
Now, unlike some ignorant fans who continue to be livid at Paxton’s lack of playing time, I know that he is on the path of recovery. I also think that the one good decision that Luchi has made consistently every match is giving Paxton a couple of minutes of playing time. The most disastrous thing that could occur this season, besides ending up in last place, would be for Paxton to get his seventh injury in his 5 years as a professional.
Nevertheless, I think he should be played for 45 minutes this weekend.
This might be a risky play, but it seems like the perfect opportunity. This year, the best player for the club, Bryan Acosta, will be unavailable after the Colorado match for international duty. Thomas Roberts is still on a path to recovery. And as we’ve seen, FC Dallas is not capable of playing with 2 midfielders.
I’m not advocating for a full 90 minutes. Just play Paxton in the first half so that the team starts with a good burst of energy, which has only been seen in one of the five matches this season.
Discard the 3-4-3 and the 3-5-2
Again, I understand why Luchi has been experimenting with the lineup. When push comes to shove, it’s better to have a couple of tools in your arsenal instead of only one formation that the team is comfortable with. Furthermore, I think it gets all three center backs on the field, which is good considering that all of them have performed decently well this season. Nevertheless, the team is not capable of playing with those two formations right now, and if Luchi continues on this path, the team may dig itself into a hole that it might be able to get out from by the end of the season.
There are a couple of reasons why the 3-4-3 does not work. As was mentioned before in the article, the main reason is that the team is not able to control the midfield with only 2 players. This might have worked if we had an actual defensive midfielder on the roster, but the main one was shipped off to Brazil, and the other one, Cerrillo, is less of a defensive midfielder and more of a regista.
Luchi has attempted every single combo of the midfielder on the roster (Ricaurte & Acosta, Tessmann & Acosta, Ricaurte & Acosta), and they all have shown an inability to defend the backline; that may be trained over time, but the time to train is not on game day.
The 3-5-2 has been attempted only once this season, but Luchi has used it in the past, and it has never worked as well as one hopes. The main issue is pretty obvious: FC Dallas does not have good strikers (more on that later). To remedy this, Luchi would often play a winger alongside the striker, whether that be Barrios from last year or, more recently, Obrian. Each time this is done, the winger looks lost and cannot really do anything of merit.
I am not opposed to using a triple center back-formation. However, until it has shown results on the field, I will be a staunch defender of using what seems more comfortable for the team, a simple 4-3-3.
Release El Tren
Just for the sake of bringing joy rather than misery, let’s ignore the 3 million dollar problem on the roster. Luchi has to realize that this will likely be Pepi’s last season in Frisco. He will either leave because of how well he performs, or he will leave because of the lack of playing time afforded to him. If his fate is outside of Toyota Stadium, I would think the club that is famous for its academy would play the young teenager, especially since none of the competition is playing up to snuff.
Pepi has shown time and time again an ability to do what is asked of him. When FC Dallas needed a winger that would crash the box, Pepi would be the first man up. When a striker is not playing well, Pepi was usually the first one in. With Jesus injured and Jara playing poorly, it seems like the moment was written for Pepi. It’s time to Release El Tren.
Pepi and Nicky Hernandez are currently the only true examples of the second team being a facilitator to the first team. If Luchi wants to prove to the academy players eyeing college scholarships that North Texas SC is worth it, then playing Pepi is the best way to do that.
What are some other things you would like Luchi to adopt for the next couple of matches?
Do you think the club’s luck will turn around? Or are we in for a long year?
Featured Image: FC Dallas