FRISCO, Texas — The 2019 season has concluded for FC Dallas after suffering a first-round playoff defeat to the Seattle Sounders, 4-3, in overtime. FC Dallas had the youngest roster in MLS with a first-year head coach who gave the second-most amount of minutes to Homegrown players — only trailing Real Salt Lake.
The season had its ups and downs, but the highs were significant. The team was developing its own identity and style of play throughout the year — something that will only continue to improve moving forward.
To wrap up 2019, we caught up with different members of the media who cover FC Dallas — including Carlos Alvarado, the Spanish voice of FC Dallas, The Dallas Morning News's Jon Arnold, ProSoccerUSA's Arman Kafai, and FC Dallas broadcasters, Mark Followill and Steve Davis.
This Roundtable discussion will be split up into six parts — each one going over different topics. Part One, where the media graded the coaching staff's performance, is here. Part two will cover who was this season's Offensive MVP.
Who is your 2019 FC Dallas Offensive MVP?
Alvarado: Jesus Ferreira, despite his youth, and not only playing like a nine, he was the team's leading goal-scorer.
Arnold: Do I have to? There's a case to be made for a fair number of players here, but no one showed a high level of consistency. Ferreira ended up as the top scorer. Michael Barrios ended up having a load of assists. Those numbers, however, masked a lot of weeks over the course of the season in which they weren't able to perform at the needed level. I guess I ultimately would go with Barrios because he was there and so often (as usual) with 31 starts and ended up setting a career high for assists.
Davis: Barrios’s season went under the radar in a lot of ways. We all got excited by the young guys, by the ongoing development of Paxton Pomykal and Jesus Ferreira in particular. And that’s great. But Barrios tied a club record with 15 assists! When we talk about “club records” now, we are covering almost 25 years. Ask yourself this: Where would FCD’s offense be without Barrios’s ongoing contributions? And then ask this: What if Dallas had a big-time, first choice striker, as opposed to the rotation at the No. 9 spot that we saw in 2019? It seems reasonable to project that Barrios’ assist total could have climbed to 20 or into that neighborhood, which would have left him challenging for MLS leadership in assists. Suffice to say, he had another outstanding season.
Kafai: Barrios. He was the consistent threat in the final third in a year where the offense struggled for many periods of time. He led MLS in pure assists (assists not including hockey assists) and just provide an element of dynamism on the wing, being able to take defenders on one-on-one and square it to a man in the box. Barrios is so lethal and once again, has proven his worth for this team.
Followill: Michael Barrios. He tied a team record in assists with 15 and all but two of those were primary assists. He was the most likely player to create chances in any given game, and if you add up his 5 goals, 15 assists and two own goals that game directly off crosses from Barrios that involves him in 22 of their 48 goals. Those numbers are definitely worthy of team Offensive MVP.