FRISCO, Texas – Nearly everything went right for FC Dallas in 2010, and that’s why losing to Colorado in the MLS Cup final – FCD’s first appearance in franchise history – isn’t as painful as it could have been. Still, there’s still plenty of work to do for Dallas this winter. Here are a few specifics:
[inline_node:316436]Find another striker
It’s unclear which veteran forward FCD will bring back in 2011: Jeff Cunningham or Milton Rodríguez, both of whom are in their mid-30s. Cunningham is exposed for Wednesday's Stage 2 Re-Entry Draft, but whether another team bites is a major question mark. Schellas Hyndman said the team would welcome the two-time Golden Boot winner back at a lower price, and Cunningham looks like the logical mentor for 18-year-old talent Ruben Luna. Either way, Dallas need a more reliable option up top. If Hyndman indeed goes to a 4-4-2, having a dependable striker is of the utmost importance.
Develop depth at center back
Starters Ugo Ihemelu and George John both missed significant time in 2010 due to injury. Rookies Zach Loyd and versatile Brazilian Jackson Gonçalves both did admirable jobs filling in, but each player appears better-suited to play elsewhere on the pitch. FCD will need additional depth in central defense if they want to make another run at the MLS Cup, and Kyle Davies could very well fill that role if he can stay healthy.
Groom a new captain
FCD captain Daniel Hernandez is a warrior and epitomizes what someone who wears the armband should be. But the 34-year-old isn’t getting any younger and he played the better part of this season battered and bruised. He can’t go on like that forever, so there’s no better time like the present to start looking at possible successors.
[inline_node:323707]Make each position more competitive
They say that competition breeds excellence, and Hyndman is definitely a believer of that adage, which is why he would like nothing more than to have some healthy battling amongst team members for a starting spot going on. With backup 'keeper Darío Sala likely done in Dallas, Hyndman could very well bring in some fresh blood in that position to push starter Kevin Hartman (right). Although Ferreira is famous for his work ethic, he, too, could have a fire lit under him, as the club is in talks with an attacking midfielder from Europe.
Capitalize on success at the gate
It’s a good sign that in the wake of Dallas’ first-ever trip to MLS Cup, their advance season ticket sales for 2011 are on the upswing. The good news is that Hyndman’s side plays an attractive brand of attacking soccer that produces plenty of goals, which is a sure way to attract new fans.
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