FC Dallas is currently in last place in the Western Conference, with a match record of 1-3-3. The club is returning to play from the international break this weekend against Minnesota United, a team the club has already lost to once this year. With a month or so for the players to reset and refocus on the season, it’s critical for the club to win the match on Saturday in order to gain some momentum. There a couple of things the team should adopt in order to get all three points this weekend.
Revamp the attack
A great post on Reddit by a fellow FC Dallas fan summarized that the majority of the club’s folly in these seven games can be traced back to one specific Argentinean. Nevertheless, Jara is not the only one that should be blamed. Vargas has been sorely disappointing this year, with no goals or assists this year. Obrian, while being able to get on the scoresheet a couple of times, has been inconsistent at best. No one in the front three has really won the right to continue starting.
So what’s the solution?
I could say “Play the Kids,” but the likelihood that Sealy or Redzic starts over the international signings seems pretty slim. However, two players on the roster should be given the opportunity to strut their stuff. The first one is Pepi, who has been criminally underused this year. The one match he started was not great, but his performance in that match has exceeded the performances that Jara has coupled this year. Pepi has more goals in open play this year that Jara with 300 less minutes and about a thirtieth of the salary charge. And to top it all off, his stock rising can only be good for Dallas when he eventually gets sold.
The other player that should be given an opportunity is Kalil ElMedkhar. The winger made his Major League Soccer debut in last month’s loss against Colorado, but he has played three matches with North Texas so far this year, with each match proving his ability. He was able to score his first professional goal this weekend against Greenville Triumph with a wonderful long range screamer. Even though this is his first year as a professional, it only makes sense that the the player with the best form plays, and currently, Kalil has been performing better than Vargas.
Give Twumasi a chance
Twumasi has been a professional for over three years, but has only appeared in ten matches for FC Dallas in all competitions. Due to injuries, among other things, the Ghanaian has not been able to gain a starting role at the club. However, in the last couple of months of the 2020 season and the start of the 2021 season, Twumasi has been able to wiggle his way into the provisional 18 in most matches due to his versatility. Originally a winger, Twumasi has been more used on the defensive side, with Luchi using his strength as a tool for the midfield and the backline. He appeared in the playoff game against Portland playing as a defensive midfielder and performed better than most players did on the night.
One of the positions he has been competing for is the right back position. With the departure of both Cannon and Reynolds, Munjoma seemed to have no competition in the role. However, during preseason, Twumasi played as a right back and was even considered as a possible starter before getting injured before the start of the season. Now that he has returned to training, Twumasi has aa big opportunity to take some of Munjoma’s minutes, who has been inconsistent at best. It will be interesting to see what comes of the positional battle in the coming future.
Yes, as fans, we are oblivious to the intricacies of Paxton’s return to full fitness. We also probably don’t see the long term game being played here in order to ensure that Paxton has a long and prosperous footballing career. It is also safe to say that the club has no players that are even near the influence he has on the pitch, and it also isn’t a stretch to claim that he looks fit.
I’m not ignorant: I know it would be stupid to play him for a full 90. However, every time he comes in as a sub he has an influence that raises the quality and energy of the players on the field. If Luchi were to start him, we could play at that level for maybe 50-60 minutes against a depleted Minnesota side and win the match in an hour. This is just a hypothetical situation. Nevertheless, it does make sense to continue his progression from early second half sub to 45 minute starter.
Basically, we just want more Paxton and we don’t care how we get it.
What other changes do you want Luchi to adopt to churn out a result tonight? What player deserves some minutes over others? Let me know!
Featured Image: FCDallas.com