Image: FC Dallas via Twitter
The U.S are going to the World Cup! The failure of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup is finally behind. For those who supported FC Dallas, this qualifying cycle was extra special as the roster was filled with players who either came up from Dallas' famed academy or have played for the Toros at some point in their careers.
Now the focus switches back to MLS though as Dallas will travel to Chicago for their next match at Soldier Field. One question that surrounds Dallas is should and will Jesus Ferreira and Paul Arriola play on Saturday? Both played some minutes for the U.S in their final games. They were the only players aside from Christian Pulisic, who scored in the 5-1 victory against Panama and Ferreira came off the bench to finish the 2-0 loss against Costa Rica last night. Arriola did not dress for last night's game.
The Chicago Fire currently sit at 3rd place in the Eastern Conference with two wins, two ties, and zero losses. FC Dallas on the other hand are currently 5th in the Western Conference with two wins, one tie, and one loss. Their loss came from their only road game of the season against the New England Revolution. It was a close game however, ending 1-0 with the lone goal coming from a penalty kick.
Ferreira should start for Dallas on Saturday. He shouldn't play the whole 90 minutes but maybe around 60 or 75 before subbing off for Franco Jara. Arriola on the other hand should stay in Frisco and get rested up for their next home game on April the 9th. He did not make the bench for the final game against Costa Rica and the rumors on Twitter are that he missed due to groin tightness.
A game off should give Arriola enough rest to be ready to fit for the next game. Unfortunately his absence will affect Dallas' attack, especially since Jader Obrian will most likely be the starter if he can't. Hopefully the rest of the Dallas attack will be able to push through the Chicago defense. Alan Velasco has been promising so far, in 94 minutes he has one goal and one assist. Paxton Pomykal has two assists in four games.
If Obrian doesn't make an impact, Dallas has a few options to consider before rushing Arriola back. Jara can sub on for Obrian, Ferreira can shift to the wing, or move to the midfield and push Pomykal to the wing. Kalil ElMedkhar and Szabolcs Schon should be available off the bench as well.
Schon was with Hungary for their international friendlies, he was on the bench for both their matches but didn't earn any minutes. He hasn't played for Dallas this season yet, last year he recorded six assists in 24 matches, so his absence has been concerning.
EdMedkhar has made two appearances so far this season and accumulated eight minutes across the two appearances. He should be more fit than Schon, making him more likely to replace Obrian than the Hungarian Cowboy.
It's still early in the season but now seems like a good time for Nico Estevez to rest Arriola. Ferreira should be rested enough to start and play most of the game. A game off should give Arriola enough time to recover and be at hundred percent. Velasco, despite arriving in time for Dallas' match against the New England Revolution, stayed in Frisco and rested for their next home match.