A Big Question: Which of the kids will create?
It's pretty clear that the Luchi Gonzalez era is going to mean more minutes for more youngsters, including and perhaps especially those who've come through the Dallas Academy. If you've ever read a single column of mine, you probably understand I think that is a good thing.
But it's still a risk and it's still a bet and that makes it dangerous in large part because the creative options for FCD are unproven. It's not Michael Barrios – he can run in behind a defense and provide the final ball, but he'll never ever pull a defense apart with his passing. Santiago Mosquera is a hybrid winger/second forward who excels in 1v1 situations, but isn't an orchestrator.
The two obvious candidates, then? 21-year-old Chilean No. 10 Pablo Aranguiz and 19-year-old Homegrown winger/attacking midfielder Paxton Pomykal. Aranguiz didn't get much run at all after arriving midseason as a direct replacement for Mauro Diaz, but in the few minutes he got on the pitch he did show a Diaz-ish eye for a defense-splitting through-ball. He is a throwback, South American-style No. 10.
Pomykal is a different sort of creative player. His ability to both drive the ball into the final third, and then combine once he gets there...
He was doing all of that in the Concacaf U-20 championships, which the US dominated. Releasing an overlapping fullback? Check. Drawing defenders with the ball and pulling back to the spot for an onrushing finisher? Check. Running off the back shoulder? Check. Turning defense into immediate offense? Check.
Pomykal has always done that against his peers; he has been a dominant age-group player. Dallas probably need him to translate that up to the pros in 2019 if they're going to once again flirt with 60 points and a home game in the Knockout Round.
Best-case scenario for Dallas is that both Aranguiz and Pomykal push their way into the XI. Then we'd all get to see an FCD side that can win games outright with their attack – something that hasn't existed in Frisco since Diaz and Fabian Castillo were running the show back in early 2016.