Sounder at Heart: It’s that time of year where international tournaments overlap with the MLS season. Which FC Dallas players will feature in the various tournaments? Will any players be missing on Saturday for the game?
Big D Soccer: We did a full breakdown the other day on who is out, and when they might return. The skinny of it is this, FCD is missing a lot of players right now due to the various tournaments going on. In the midfield, we’re already without a trio of Homegrown Players in Brandon Servania, Edwin Cerrillo and Paxton Pomykal for the US U20 team at the World Cup. Pablo Aranguiz just departed this past weekend for the Toulon Tournament in France. He’ll join Chile’s U23 team for this tournament this month.
After Saturday, we’re going to also be without Bryan Acosta and Carlos Gruezo, who will be joining their respective countries for the Gold Cup and Copa America tournaments. We could also see Homegrown defender Reggie Cannon depart for the Gold Cup as well for the United States.
SAH: FC Dallas underwent a bit of a remodel during the offseason, especially by replacing long time head coach Oscar Pareja with Luchi Gonzalez after Pareja went to Tijuana. What have been some of the highlights and low-lights of these changes?
BDS: FC Dallas kept things in house by promoting Luchi Gonzalez from the academy to the first team. It was a bold move and one that is certainly going through some growing pains here, which was something we all expected to see happen. But the good so far has been how everyone from the veterans of the team, all the way down to the youngest players that have been signed to the first team, are buying into his system and style of play. They want to win for Luchi and this club, and you feel that energy when you talk to them. They’ve put together some good results so far this season with a win in Atlanta and wins at home over Portland and LA. But more recently we’ve seen some struggles and those growing pains pop up as players go off for international duty, or injuries pop up.
SAH: FC Dallas haven’t won in well over a month, and the Sounders just lost their second game of the season. How are you feeling ahead of Saturday’s game? What’re your expectations?
BDS: I know it is easy to say you just want your team to win to come out of a slump but I really like seeing how this team can learn and evolve in this tough stretch. I’d still take this slump time over having the team breakdown and struggle through the final two or three months of the season as we saw in 2017 and 2018. We expected the growing pains to happen this season and they’ve hit pretty hard as of late but there have been plenty of good moments where the possession and chances are there for this team. I think the exciting part for some fans, including myself, is getting to see some of these younger guys like Thomas Roberts or Bryan Reynolds get a chance at some playing time. Both have shown well in limited minutes so far this season and they could earn more chances here this weekend.
We’ll post a link to the answers to their questions when they’re posted.