FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas is back with a new striker and new formation as it takes on Nashville SC in the first of two back-to-back matchups at Toyota Stadium. Let's dive a little deeper into Luchi Gonzalez's starting XI in tonight's Lineup Notes presented by UnitedHealthCare.
Undoubtedly the biggest news in tonight's Starting XI is that new forward Franco Jara starts up top in his FC Dallas and MLS debut. The Argentine forward joined the club earlier this summer from Pachuca where he scored 66 goals in 139 league games over five years in Liga MX. Jara wins the starting spot ahead of FCD's current leading scorer Zdenek Ondrasek and 17-year-old Homegrown Ricardo Pepi. While it's his FCD debut, Jara has played (and scored) in Toyota Stadium before when Dallas hosted Pachuca in the 2017 Concacaf Champions League. Tonight is his first chance to repeat that feat in FCD colors.
Luchi has opted to stray from his usual 4-3-3 formation instead preferring a 3-5-2 for tonight's match. Brazilian center back Bressan has been inserted into Dallas' three-man backline and fullbacks Reggie Cannon and Ryan Hollingshead have been pushed further forward to operate as wing backs and supplement the midfield. Dallas utilized the 3-5-2 to good effect in last season's 2-1 away win over to Atlanta United and Luchi has experimented with the formation in preseason and recent training sessions. With an extra man in midfield, Dallas has a better chance of keeping possession and dictating the pace of the game.
The Man Between the Sticks
For the first time in over a year, goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer starts between the sticks for FC Dallas. Despite his recent lack of game time, the 31-year-old is certainly an MLS-calibre starter as he proved two seasons ago when he impressed over a 13-game span while former first-choice keeper Jesse Gonzalez was injured. Still, this is a big opportunity for Maurer to cement his place as Dallas' new No. 1 going forward.
Starting XI: Jimmy Mauer; Ryan Hollingshead, Reto Ziegler, Matt Hedges, Bressan, Reggie Cannon; Thiago Santos, Bryan Acosta, Jesús Ferreira; Michael Barrios, Franco Jara
Substitutes — Kyle Zobeck, John Nelson, Edwin Cerrillo, Tanner Tessmann, Paxton Pomykal, Fafa Picault, Santiago Mosquera, Ricardo Pepi, Zdenek Ondrasek