After a long wait, FC Dallas and the MLS Playoffs comes back to the DFW area. After matchday 34, FC Dallas secured 3rd in the West and has a matchup with Minnesota United in Toyota Stadium Monday night. There is a lot to unbuckle from the season, so lets dive straight in.
Nico Estevez has had a very successful first year as the head coach. Last year, FCD ended the season 11th in the west, one of the lowest finishes Dallas has seen in recent years. With Nico coming in to a system that loves the #PlayTheKids movement, many people were skeptical how Nico would take over Dallas. With strong additions of Paul Arriola, Alan Velasco, and Sebastian Lletget; Nico had no option but to do well. But, a 3rd place finish was for sure not what most fans expected. With most first year coaches on a team, in a new country, you would expect issues and slow starts. While we did see this under Nico, he found a rhythm and the addition of Lletget took this team to levels no one could have thought of.
MLS released their end of year power rankings, and even with finishing 3rd in the west, only 3 points away from 2nd; Dallas ended up 9th on the power rankings. In short, I would not mind if we were low, but we finished beneath Nashville and LA Galaxy, all teams Dallas finished above in the regular season. Is Dallas being slept on? Even though results this past month have been subpar, Dallas still performed and delivered with many issues.
Dallas is Back
Alan Velasco returned to the pitch this Saturday against Sporking KC, and he looked amazing! The last game Dallas had all of their starters was September 3rd against… you guessed it, Minnesota. That game was a 3-0 destruction, that could have been more if on the right night. While Minnesota was overall not playing their best football at that moment, they are in a slump with only winning 1 out of their last 7 games. That last win coming this weekend against Vancouver. So with a Minnesota team that is struggling to find form, and a Dallas team that got results with many of their stars out, and their return closer and closer. It truly will be a game Monday night that could go either way.
Dallas has exceeded expectations this year. Even though we exceeded expectations, we want the Cup! And Monday will be a tough battle, but Dallas seems to be in a better position that Minnesota at this time.
All I can say, I am glad we do not have to play Seattle or Portland in the playoffs this year!