Depth chart: 1. Kevin Hartman, 2. Chris Seitz, 3. Richard Sanchez
Strengths: Hartman is the MLS all-time leader in nearly every statistical category for goalkeeping. Though now 37, “El Gato” managed a 1.06 goals-against average in 2011, good for fourth-best in the league. Seitz is also a capable backup if called upon, having started 30 games in his five MLS seasons.
Weaknesses: Though Seitz is competent, Sanchez has never seen the field in MLS play. He did win a FIFA U-17 World Cup with Mexico last summer, but his experience in MLS has been limited to Reserve League action.
Wildcard: A significant injury to Hartman would be devastating to the club. Though he might be the future at the age of 17, Sanchez isn’t ready to be the No. 2. Dallas would be left scrambling for help. Perhaps the Richard Wright trial was a just-in-case experiment.
Depth chart: LB 1. Jair Benítez, 2. Carlos Rodríguez, 3. Moises Hernandez; CB 1. Ugo Ihemelu - George John, 2. Hernán Pertúz, 3. Matt Hedges; RB 1. Zach Loyd, 2. Carlos Rodríguez, 3. Christian Ibeagha
Strengths: Both Benítez and Loyd like to get forward, and Hyndman demands that of his outside backs. With both coming off of solid seasons, the tandem could produce more than seven combined assists in 2012. Rodríguez is also proving to be a solid addition to this group and could push Benítez on the left side.
Weaknesses: Communication. John is back in the fold for now, but missed all of preseason while on loan at West Ham. Pertúz, meanwhile, is adjusting to a new team, a new league and a new language. Hartman and Ihemelu are vocal leaders, but could communication limit the Colombian’s effectiveness?
Wildcard: It was John until he returned from West Ham. With the big defender back in the fold, the team should have good depth at CB, as Pertúz and Hedges form a solid reserve behind one of MLS' best starting tandems.
Depth chart: LM 1. Brek Shea, 2. Carlos Rodríguez, 3. Jair Benítez; CM 1. Andrew Jacobson, 2. Ricardo Villar; RM 1. Fabián Castillo, 2. Andrew Wiedeman, 3. Bryan Leyva; DCM 1. Daniel Hernandez, 2. Bobby Warshaw, 3. Andrew Jacobson; CAM 1. David Ferreira, 2. Ricardo Villar
Strengths: The starting midfield is balanced and fits what manager Schellas Hyndman is looking for. Hernandez and Jacobson fit their roles well in the middle of the field, while Castillo, Shea and Ferreira provide plenty of service and attacking verve.
Weaknesses: Health. Hernandez (knee), Jacobson (knee) and Ferreira (ankle) are all still recovering this preseason from surgery. Can they stay healthy all season? If not, there is concern that the depth isn’t there.
Wildcard: Castillo. The speedy Colombian is a dangerous attacking option on the ball. Should he assume the starting right midfield spot, he could produce big numbers opposite Shea. If he does indeed start, who’s the first guy off the bench?
Depth chart: 1. Blas Pérez, 2. Fabián Castillo, 3. Scott Sealy, 4. Ruben Luna, 5. Jonathan Top
Strengths: Versatility. Pérez is a big target with a powerful finishing stroke. The speedy Castillo is dangerous on the ball and excels in space. When on the field together, these two create the perfect storm for any backline.
Weaknesses: Youth. Outside of Pérez and Sealy, none of the mentioned forwards is older than 20. Luna (20) and Top (19) have seen a combined two games, and Castillo (19) is largely ineffective as a lone forward.
Wildcard: Sealy showed he can score in this league back in his younger days, but he has not found the back of the net since 2008. Should he enter the season healthy and fit, he could become the useful and experienced scorer Hyndman is seeking behind Pérez.