- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On February 25, 2009
- 0 Comments
- 2009 Season Preview, David Ferreira, Kenny Cooper, Schellas Hyndman, Season Previews
Moving on in our quest to preview all 15 MLS clubs before the start of the 2009 MLS season. Today our attention goes to FC Dallas. The Hoops failed to reach the playoffs last year after making a few moves in the offseason and a few moves to keep striker Kenny Cooper in uniform during the year. It was an up and down year for Red Stripes as they saw a coaching change during the middle of the year. With pieces in place for head coach Schellas Hyndman the Hoops hope to return to the MLS playoff promise land.
2008 season record and finish: 8-10-12, 36 pts., finished 5th in West, failed to reach playoffs.
Offseason Player Movement:
Dave van den Burgh (trade w/ New York)
Steve Purdy (signing from 1860 Munich – Germany)
Peri Marosevic (SuperDraft)
Danny Torres (signing from Bryne FK – Norway)
David Ferreira (via loan from Clube Atletico Paranaense – Brazil)
George John (SuperDraft)
Jeff Rowland (waived)
Bobby Rhine (retired)
Spencer Wadsworth (waived)
Dulio Davino (mutually parted ways)
David Wagenfuhr (retired)
Dominic Oduro (trade with New York)
Adrian Serioux (trade with Toronto)
Questions going into 2009:
1. Will the offseason moves pay off for Hyndman?
Hyndman seemingly got what he asked for at the end of the year. A couple new defenders, keeping Kenny Cooper and a true playmaker in the middle of the field in David Ferreira. Whether or not it all pays out remains to be seen. Until yesterday I thought Dallas was still missing a piece or two but with the addition of Ferreira and the way the backline looks with Moor, Torres, Purdy, and Wagner I think Dallas could be better off this year than before.
Midfield wise the additions of van den Burgh and Ferreira really help this club. They lacked depth and toughness on the wings a year ago. Plus without a central leader in the midfield a year ago Dallas was unable to hold on to possession for long stretches of time. With the two new additions I don’t see a lack of possession being a problem for the Hoops in 2009.
The biggest still was keeping Cooper. Whether or not they can keep him for the full year will be the biggest issue.
2. Will the mix of youth and experience finally pay off for Dallas?
Looking at the roster this club should be set for years to come. Key phrase in there is “should be”. I think this year will be different for Dallas because of the quality mix of veterans like van den Burgh and Ferreira along with youth that Dallas has in Brek Shea, Anthony Wallace, Eric Avila and so on.
Before the mix never seemed to pay off for various reasons. Either it was a coaching issue (Colin Clarke), a player issue (Carlos Ruiz), or whatever else there could have been. The mix of old and young before just didn’t work well.
Fast forward to today and I think the mix will work. You have guys like van den Burgh who want to be in Dallas and play for this club. That kind of thing can go a long way.
3. Player to watch out for or someone to have a break out year:
Dax McCarty is a guy to keep an eye out for this year. He had some beef with Hyndman last year and wanted a trade over the winter. Right now he is on the roster and things with Hyndman appear to have been patched up. I think McCarty needs to be a break out guy for Dallas this year. Sure they got Ferreira in the middle but McCarty is someone that has a lot to prove in my mind. When he is in the right frame of mind he is one vital part for this club.
Look at the 2009 Schedule:
From a marketing standpoint the schedule is much better at home for FC Dallas this year. Plenty of Saturday games instead of the few week night games that littered the schedule a year ago.
But from a soccer standpoint this schedule is tricky. April is nearly all on the road after seeing two in a row at Pizza Hut Park in March. May isn’t any better with three of five on the road as well.
June isn’t bad with three of four at home.
The Hoops also don’t have to worry about any Thursday-Sunday swings this year. Bad part is they end the year mostly on the road with home games against tough oppoenets.
2009 Season Outlook:
Adding Ferreira makes Dallas better but how much we really don’t know yet. Depth is still an issue with the club being young. We really don’t know how good this club can be too.
Offensively speaking the club is and should be solid as ever as long as Cooper is in a Dallas uniform. The midfield is starting to round out nicely. The defense is still shaky until proven otherwise.
This club is almost there but playoffs will only come with some luck. The west is tougher and with only two automatic bids coming from the west this year it will be even tougher to go head-to-head with some of the east’s best clubs.