Image: Melanie Isbell
FC Dallas will begin their season in just a couple of days. So it's time to take a guess on how Dallas will perform during the year and how the players will do. These are just opinions and things can change over the course of a few months, players can get injured which can derail their entire season. Using the information from preseason, here what I think will happen during the season:
Season Standings: FC Dallas will finish the year at 5th, thanks to a couple of teams losing points, helping Dallas to finish above 6th and 7th.
Playoffs: Dallas will win the game in the first round but fall again in the 2nd, probably to Portland, Seattle, or Austin. Add another green kit and Dallas can't win.
Defensive Player of the Year: Jose Martinez. Reports about Martinez have been very positive so far. Hedges is still a great player for Dallas but Martinez is three years younger and has the ability to edge him out this year to be Dallas' top defensive player this season. It will be a thin margin by how much he beats out Hedges but he'll able to do it nevertheless.
Attacking Player of the Year: Andres Ricaurte. Ricaurte is finally getting a full season with the club after arriving midseason last year. He made an immediate impact, scoring an amazing goal against rivals Houston Dynamo and picking up 2 assists in the regular season. With a full preseason and consistency on the wings, this could be the Year of Ricaurte.
Comeback Player of the Year: Edwin Cerrillo. Cerrillo only played 17 minutes last year, compared to his 935 in 2019, that's very disappointing for both fans and the player. The recent departure of Thiago Santos opens that number 6 spot. Combine that with the reports that he had an excellent preseason and this season is primed to be the year Cerrillo officially breaks out as a starter.
Newcomer of the Year: Freddy Vargas. Martinez looks like he can have a great first season with the club but this come down to the impact of the attack as that is what Dallas has lacked for a while now. Vargas scored off a free kick, had an assist on a corner, and scored a new goal on the run of play. He's the dynamic attack that Dallas has needed since 2016.
Club Golden Boot: Franco Jara. Jara can't run as fast as the others and doesn't seem to fit Luchi's system as well as Ferreira or Pepi, but he knows how to be in the right place at the right time. If the team can get the ball down there, then Jara can finish it.
Most Assists: Andres Ricaurte. The Magician will be the club's ace. He'll find those passes that Dallas hasn't attempted in recent years and Jara or Vargas will slot it in goal.
Breakout Player of the Year: Ricardo Pepi. Ferreira is currently injured and could possibly miss three to five weeks as he recovers. Jara is unlikely to go the full 90, giving Pepi the supersub role. He scored two major goals. One goal salvaged a draw at home after a Maxi Urruti brace nearly gave Dallas their first loss, while the other goal kept their playoff hopes and allowed Dallas to go all the way to penalties. With more consistent playing time, even if it's mostly just subbing in game after game, could push him to reach the same heights as Ferreira and Paxton did in 2019.
Summer Transfer: Ricardo Pepi. Every year Dallas loses at least one player during the summer transfer window. Fabian Castillo, Mauro Diaz, Carlos Gruezo, and Reggie Cannon just to name a few. At this point it's just a guessing game on who will leave every summer. Pepi seems like one of the most likely candidates. He'll score a few goals by coming off the bench and continue to bail Dallas out in those close games. A European club will take notice (They might be watching him already), and offer Dan Hunt money he can't refuse.
Goal Numbers: 40. Dallas only scored 28 goals last year, which is very disappointing. The addition of Vargas and Obrian will hopefully bring those numbers up and Ricaurte and Jara being with the club early on should supply Dallas with plenty of goals this year.
Will Dallas Bring in A Random Player in the Summer Window: Yes. Going on the previous Pepi will go overseas predication, Dallas will need to add another striker for depth. They bring in a no name striker who doesn't really make an impact and will be let go after the season.
How Many Games will Paxton Pomykal Player: Paxton is still recovering from an injury from last season and faced a setback during preseason. He won't be the same Paxton as he was in 2019, at least not this year. Luchi has said that he wants to ease Paxton back in, going off of that and that Paxton has had issues with injuries and faced setbacks frequently, Paxton will more than likely just get 10 games. He'll mostly be used as sub and perhaps start 2 but it's unlikely he'll go the full 90 this year.
If you agree with these predications or disagree, feel free to hit me up on Twitter! I'm always opened to talking about FC Dallas!
By Melanie G. Isbell