2017 Record: 11-10-13, 46 points
Coach: Oscar Pareja
Additions: DEF Anton Nedyalkov (FC Luzern), DEF Reto Ziegler (CSKA Sofia)
Departures: GK Chris Seitz (Houston Dynamo), DEF Walker Zimmerman (LAFC), DEF Hernan Grana (All Boys), MID Javier Morales (unattached),
The Big Question: Is Mauro Diaz healthy?
It would be difficult to explain how FC Dallas went from winning a double in 2016 to coming up empty-handed on all fronts in 2017. But perhaps the biggest reason was the health of Diaz. The former MLS Best XI midfielder never really got back to full strength after tearing his Achilles at the end of the 2016 season. His lack of production in 2017 (2 goals, 8 assists) was the mark of a player still trying to get back into form. Dallas suffered without him at 100 percent, losing a player who can break down defenses and create opportunities for his strikers.
Despite Dallas’ efforts at building from within they still have yet to fully find a replacement for Diaz. So that leaves them as a bit of an unknown quantity which makes it dubious that they will earn their first-ever MLS Cup.
Area to keep an eye on: Forward
During Pareja’s tenure the club has desperately looked for a striker up top that can perform consistently throughout the season. The hope is that from Maxi Urruti, Cristian Colman, and Tesho Akindele that there may be someone who can deliver 12-15 goals a season and give Dallas that extra punch on the attack. Considering their history that may be a tall ask. Urruti might be the answer here but his form dropped off at the tail end of the season (zero goals in his last ten matches).
Outlook: Fifth place
With a solid veteran corps in Diaz, Michael Barrios, Matt Hedges, and Maynor Figueroa and some promising young prospects with Jacori Hayes and Paxton Pomykal Dallas on paper looks like a dark horse MLS Cup contender. But with so many questions in the midfield and attack it is difficult to see how they can contend in a division with so many clubs that have 3-4 attacking pieces. That is an awful lot to expect out of Jesse Gonzalez and a very young Dallas side.