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The End of the Nico Estevez Era


Image: Toros95


06/11/2024


On June 9th, 2024, FC Dallas announced that they had fired head coach Nico Estevez (FC Dallas Announces Departure of Head Coach Nico Estévez | FC Dallas). FC Dallas has had a rough start to the 2024 season, in MLS play they only have three wins. They currently sit at eleventh in the Western Conference, just three points above the San Jose Earthquakes, who are currently coached by the last FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez.


The arrival of Nico Estevez prompted Dallas to promote a "new era" for the club. The Hunt family invested in the club for the 2022 season by acquiring players that, in the past, they wouldn't have. They got Paul Arriola for a then record-breaking two-million GAM deal from D.C United (Official: FC Dallas acquire Paul Arriola in MLS-record trade from DC United | MLSSoccer.com). They decided to invest in a young up-and-coming player from Argentina, Alan Velasco, buying the young winger (now maybe a midfielder?) for a then club record signing fee (Why Alan Velasco is the Biggest Signing in FC Dallas History | FC Dallas). To further prove that Dallas was in a "new era", the Hunts also made a meaningful signing in the summer of 2022 and midfielder Sebastian Lletget from the New England Revolution (FC Dallas Acquires U.S. Men’s National Team Midfielder Sebastian Lletget | FC Dallas).


The investment in Dallas began to wane in the 2023 season though. Dallas saw many of their players face injuries and some of their signings did not help the club as much as the 2022 signings did. The 2023 season saw FC Dallas acquire Asier Illarramendi, who is still with the club and is a key player for the club but it also saw them bring in Jesus Jimenez.


The 2024 season began with Dallas breaking their previous record-signing and bringing in Petar Musa (FC Dallas Acquires Forward Petar Musa for Club-Record Fee | FC Dallas). Musa has been a core part of Dallas' roster, in fifteen games, he has five goals and two assists (Petar Musa | FC Dallas). Other than Musa though, Dallas did not invest a lot during the transfer window.

Image: FC Dallas


The issue with FC Dallas this season goes beyond just the players FC Dallas has though. The arrival of Petar Musa prompted Estevez to try a new formation. He opted to play with three center-backs and wingbacks but unfortunately, the players he had were not set up to play in that kind of formation or style. Despite the failure that the club saw match after match, Estevez refused to give up on the formation.


Dallas has not announced a new head coach yet. They will have long-time assistant coach Peter Luccin as an interim head coach for Dallas (FC Dallas Announces Departure of Head Coach Nico Estévez | FC Dallas). Luccin has been an assistant coach for FC Dallas since the 2019 season, when Luchi Gonzalez was the coach (Five things to know about Peter Luccin, FC Dallas’ interim head coach (msn.com)).


FC Dallas did a press conference about the departure of Nico Estevez and the current state of the club. During the press conference, Dan Hunt and Andre Zanotta spoke about the playstyle of Dallas and how now the younger players will have a new opportunity to prove that they deserve to play. The press conference can be found here: (FC Dallas Press Conference - June 11, 2024 (youtube.com)).


By Toros95



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