Armchair Analyst's Breakdown
- Strength: On paper, the lineup and depth chart makes sense, and Dallas have a lot of high-level potential.
- Weakness: Potential doesn’t always equal productivity, and on top of that, the defense last year was flammable.
- Ricardo Pepi: The golden boy’s transfer to FC Augsburg for $20 million was the story of the offseason, but doesn’t it feel so long ago? Ricardo Pepi was named 2021 MLS Young Player of the Year, plus earned the top spot in MLSsoccer.com’s 22 Under 22 presented by BODYARMOR list. Now 19 years old, Pepi’s future is bright. It started here.
- Justin Che: After speculation that he’d depart for Bayern Munich, Justin Che went to another German Bundesliga club in Hoffenheim. The 18-year-old defender is on an 18-month loan with a purchase option, keeping him overseas through at least 2023. Che is a bright US youth international talent.
- Ryan Hollingshead: The latest big move of an offseason full of them for FCD, Dallas traded Ryan Hollingshead to LAFC for Marco Farfan. Hollingshead made 193 appearances with the club and brought a veteran presence.
- Alan Velasco: FC Dallas went out and spent some real money this offseason to turn heads, with a club-record acquisition of Argentine rising talent Alan Velasco from Independiente. Velasco can play as a winger, a No. 10 or a bit deeper in the midfield, but sources say the expectation is left wing, probably his best position. The 19-year-old made 69 appearances with Independiente, adding eight goals and 10 assists.
- Paul Arriola: Velasco wasn’t the only record deal for Dallas, who also acquired USMNT winger Paul Arriola in a league-record trade worth $2 million GAM plus incentives. The hard-working attacker had 20 goals and 16 assists in 89 appearances with D.C. United before the trade to Dallas. Liga MX giants Club America made a handful of bids to sign him while Charlotte FC badly wanted him, too. He instead reunites with former USMNT assistant Nico Estevez in his first year as FCD head coach, a snug fit on the right wing in Estevez’s 4-3-3 formation.
- Marco Farfan: In another shakeup, Farfan was acquired in a trade with LAFC for Hollingshead. Farfan should be a good fit at left back, a more defense-minded addition for the position. Farfan, 23, has made 63 MLS appearances between Portland and LAFC.
- Full roster
Projected Starting XI
- Charles Boehm: 13th in West
- Tom Bogert: 8th in West
- Matt Doyle: 11th in West
- David Gass: 12th in West
- Sam Jones: 10th in West
- Joe Lowery: 10th in West
- Greg Seltzer: 13th in West
- Andrew Wiebe: 10th in West