2018 Fantasy Primer FC Dallas Preview

FC Dallas

2017 FC Dallas Review

FC Dallas was expected to finish at or near the top of the Western Conference. Without Mario Diaz to begin the season, FC Dallas began in a flat 4-4-2. Things were going well until an inexplicable 0-4 mauling at home to Vancouver at the end of July. Were heads turned due to rejected transfer offers and national team call-ups? FC Dallas only won two out of the final fifteen matches and missed the playoffs on tiebreaker to San Jose.

Transaction Watch

Starters Out:

Right Back: Hernan Grana

Center Back: Walker Zimmerman/Atiba Harris

 

Starters In:

Left Back: Anton Nedyalkov – “Tony” is a 24-year-old Bulgarian arriving from CSKA Sofia. In a half of work in the preseason match vs Chattanooga, he displayed excellent movement that opened space and a desire to make forward runs. Incumbent Left Back Maynor Figueroa was re-signed to a one-year deal but will be a backup at LB and CB.

Center Back: Reto Ziegler – A 32-year-old Swiss international who is a veteran of Serie A and the Premier League, Ziegler will bring experience and stability to the Dallas backline.

Right Back: Reggie Cannon – The Homegrowns keep rolling for FC Dallas. Cannon is a well-rounded 19-year-old right back. He was a standout as a freshman for UCLA in 2016 and is ready to take the mantle from Grana.

Expected/Predicted Starting XI Picture

 

Tactical Analysis

Mauro Diaz is the key to the attack. When he is inevitably injured, Pareja can switch to a 4-4-2 as he did last year with Cristian Colman. Or, he could #PlayYourKids and put in 18-year-old Paxton Pomykal, who was a key factor in FC Dallas’ recent U-16 and U-18 successes and is one to watch for the future.

Maxi Urruti was a top point-scorer in the first half of last season. Apparently, he is now willing to sign a long-term contract with Dallas after flirting with a transfer in the summer. If he is focused, he would be expected to score more than twelve goals this year.

Roland Lamah surprisingly scored eleven goals last year, but they came in bunches. When he doesn’t score, he doesn’t have fantasy value. There is excitement in Frisco over the pair of speedy winger first-round draft picks, Francis Atuahene and Ema Twumasi and a hope that one can supplant Lamah. Dallas is also in negotiations with 22-year-old Colombian left winger Santiago Mosquera. Is he the next Fabian Castillo?

2018 Expectations

FC Dallas is no longer a hot pick for the top of the West. Matt Doyle has them outside of his playoff picks. Last season ended with questionable motivation and morale. And the players who were causing the upheaval are mostly still around!

Dallas should contend for a playoffs spot, but there are so many variables! Urruti’s motivation. Diaz’s health. The backline with three out of four new pieces. Don’t be surprised if Dallas finish anywhere from 4th through 10th.

Closing Fantasy Thoughts/Conclusion

  • FC Dallas was in poor form to end last season, and once again has to deal with CCL matches clogging up the schedule early this season. Hold for now and observe their chemistry and form. No-one outside of Hedges is a sure bet.
  • Watch Reto Ziegler’s price. He may be an option when Dallas has a strong defensive match-up but Hedges is too expensive.
  • Mauro Diaz and Maxi Urruti can be top fantasy player when they are in-form. Take a gamble if you dare.

About Phil Luetchford

Computer Engineer by day, Professional MLS Analyst by night. Phil finished 18th in MLS Fantasy and won the FC Dallas league prize in his first year of taking it seriously, even after taking a -44 when he forgot to click "Use Wildcard!" He is also the Technical Project Manager of the Dallas Makerspace's Competitive Robotics Team "Pegasus Rising," competing at RoboGames in the Bay Area this April.

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