FC Dallas won the Supporters Shield and were the best team all year... at least until Mauro Diaz got injured and playoffs started. If one player can change a team that much, there are some needs to address. What can FC Dallas do to avoid from hitting a similar speed bump?
Matthew EmmonsMatthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
A decent back-up for Mauro Diaz
Look, there's no replacing Diaz. He creates magic in the midfield and he is the engine of FC Dallas' attack, but when Diaz was injured before playoffs, the team crumbled around the spot he left. Oscar Pareja didn't have the faith in someone like Mauro Rosales to take over the role, apparently, because he changed Dallas' system entirely with Diaz gone, which may have hurt more than it helped. They need someone who will be comfortable in that role, especially if Diaz's torn Achilles injury heals slowly.
Jerome MironJerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
A replacement for Fabian Castillo
When Castillo abruptly left, FC Dallas weren't really able to replace him and his speed and technical ability were sorely missed. There's a chance he could come back after his loan is finished, but given the way he left, it seems unlikely. His loss was only made worse when Diaz was injured. Dallas should find someone capable of hammering teams on the counterattack the way Castillo did.
Kelley L CoxKelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
An attacking fullback
FCD relied on a pair of older fullbacks by the season's end and they should focus on what has made this so good: youth and energy. A young fullback who can overlap and get into the attacking third could help make up for the loss of Castillo and give Dallas long-term help.
Tim HeitmanTim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Strong target striker
Although they have a decent lead striker in Maxi Urruti and Tesho Akindele offers good depth, they could use another starting option who offers a little variety up top. Depth at the position wouldn't hurt either.
A marquee name
As good as FC Dallas were this season, soccer fans in Dallas just didn't seem as excited as they should be – Dallas has the smallest average crowd size in the league. There are many reasons for that, but a star could help address it. Dallas isn't kind of team to sign names for the sake of it and they've done an excellent job of developing their own talent through their academy and the college draft. But if it's possible for them fill one of their needs with a player who has name cachet, it's something they should consider.