For years, FC Dallas has been lauded for having one of -- if not the best, Academy programs in the United States. Dallas has signed the most Homegrown players in the league history (25), with no slowing down in sight. Despite having such a prolific Academy, it wasn’t until recent years that the club started taking full advantage of this system. And when former Academy Director Luchi Gonzalez took over as the head coach, it was finally the go-time for the entire “Play Your Kids” movement. Part of that was by design; who else would know the former Academy players better than Luchi? Part of it was also timing; most of the Academy graduates had spent a significant amount of their formative soccer development years in the Dallas Academy and were ready to make the jump. With Gonzalez at the reign, it only made sense to usher in a youth movement.Read More
The 2018 season for FC Dallas feels like a lifetime ago, thanks in large part to massive changes the club undergone during the offseason. The face and heartbeat of the club, Oscar Pareja, left for a new challenge and after his departure the roster and coaching staff were overhauled in a matter of weeks. With the change comes a new wind of hope and optimism, especially when you hear the way newly minted head coach and former FCD Academy Director Luchi Gonzalez speaks so eloquently about his vision for Dallas in 2019, and how the newly formed North Texas Soccer Club will help bridge more FCD players from the Academy and the first team.Read More
Dallas have stabilized from last season’s epic collapse, enough to challenge for the top of the Western Conference and position themselves well in a wide open landscape. They would have been in in pole position for first-place had they not lost 3-0 to Sporting KC in Week 33.
New contributors have replaced old stalwarts, part of an on-the-fly rebuild initiated by their 2017 fall from grace. Mauro Diaz and Kellyn Acosta were sent away this summer. Walker Zimmerman was traded in the offseason. Players like Reggie Cannon, Victor Ulloa and Santiago Mosquera carved out regular roles over phased-out veterans.Read More
A few weeks ago, we introduced Expected Possession Goals (xPG) GameFlow, a visualization of the momentum of a soccer match from kickoff to final whistle of each game. xPG GameFlow uses the accumulation of Chance xPG to measure the strength of an opportunity for a team to get a shot. The higher the Chance xPG differential between the teams, the longer the bar for that minute for the team with the higher amount. Quite often goals are scored when the momentum bars on the xPG GameFlow chart are at their longest.
Many people have asked us, “what is the difference between xPG and xG?” or “how does xPG translate to xG or to goals?” To aid xPG GameFlow in answering questions such as “which team had the better chances?” and “when should a team have scored?”, we introduced a couple improvements after the first week of tweeting MLS game charts on @GameFlowxPG. I wanted to provide more context for these improvements and dive deeper into them.Read More
FC Dallas, slowing things down
I don’t know how one would go about measuring a soccer team’s pace of play. It’s possible, even easy, in basketball, where you can measure possessions per 48 minutes and generally find out how fast teams play. Soccer does not have the defined possessions of basketball; every possession is not created equal, so there’s no easy way to generalize them.Read More
The 2017 season for FC Dallas had one of the biggest collapses in league history. Just look at that season progression chart above. With a happier locker room bolstered by a few key additions, Oscar Pareja is hoping that his team returns to the top of the West in 2018.Read More
US Open Cup. Supporters’ Shield. Coach of The Year. Defender of the Year. You might not believe it, but Dallas will be even deeper and scarier in 2017.
Finally, some hardware! In 2016 FC Dallas ended a 19-year trophy drought by winning the US Open Cup and the Supporters’ Shield, but fizzled out in the playoffs without the magic of Mauro Diaz, who went down due to an Achilles tendon tear. Interesting how the injury occurred against Seattle and then it was the “#NotMyMLSCupChampion” Sounders that benefited in the playoffs, isn’t it? Real fútbol fans know that the team at the top of the table is the true league champion (eds note: we puked a little in our mouth, too. The homerism dies down from here, we promise).Read More
FC Dallas Technical Director Fernando Clavijo stated in the 2015-2016 offseason that his goal was to “try to find that player that can score 15, 20 goals, that can compete for the Golden Boot at the end of the year.” Is Maxi Urruti the striker that can score 15 goals this year, or should Clavijo go shopping this summer to find his desired striker?
More after the jump.Read More
The 2015 campaign was a mixed bag for FC Dallas. On one hand, we saw a young club defy the odds and make a serious claim to be trophy contenders, matching New York Red Bulls on points for the Supporter's Shield only to lose out on goal differential. Then in the playoffs, the Hoops made a strong run, knocking off Seattle in penalties in the semi-finals, but ultimately withered under the pressure of the Portland Timbers in the Conference Finals. In both instances, real, actual silverware was a realistic possibility but ultimately the club fell short and the trophy barren run continues to haunt this franchise. (Last and only significant trophy was the 1997 Open Cup.)
While the club failed to claim any silverware, there were plenty of significant positives from their 2015 campaign that Oscar Pareja and company hope to build on for 2016. FC Dallas is known to have one of the best academies in MLS, which has regularly promoted and integrated academy graduates into the first time. Most notable was the emergence of both El Tri U-23 starting keeper Jesse Gonzalez, who wrestled the starting position from two MLS veterans (Dan Kennedy and Chris Seitz) and USMNT prospect Kellyn Acosta in the midfield. The academy's shining moment was on Sunday, September 6 at Mapfre Stadium against the Columbus Crew when Pareja started four homegrowns across the midfield (Alex Zendejas, Acosta, Victor Ulloa and Coy Craft) along with Gonzalez in net and produced a stunning 3-0 road win.
A look at the goalkeepers after the jump.Read More
As you probably know, we've been projecting the MLS playoffs after each round of games. Using a bivariate Poisson model, we simulate goal scoring based off our expected goals model. Given that goals are an essential ingredient for emulating soccer's two-legged system, this has proven quite important, and the conference finals are no different.Read More