Mailbag 2/19 Mosquera
FC Dallas/Claudia Castillo

MONDAY MAILBAG: Formation Options, Winger Depth, Breakout Players and More

FRISCO - The preseason drag is over and it’s time to get back to work for FC Dallas beginning Wednesday in Panama City.

There are lots of questions on formation, players and exactly what we should expect from FCD heading into 2018, so let’s dive right in to this week’s Mailbag

“We saw some experimenting with the 3-5-2 formation this preseason. Is that something that we should expect to see more often this year?” - TC Stowe

I do think we’ll see a decent amount of the 3-5-2 this season, but the 4-2-3-1 will remain the go-to choice for Oscar Pareja in Dallas. I think the pieces are there for a really strong team with Ryan Hollingshead and Reggie Cannon as wing backs burning up and down the field, but there’s so much communication and movement that goes into a three-man back line that I don’t believe we’ll see it a ton to start the season simply because everything has to be perfect there.

Pareja has said it’s an option he likes to have, but I don’t think FCD have gotten the amount of work in it that they need to utilize it over the course of 90 minutes at this stage of the year. We’ll have to see how it comes into play late in games and as the year rolls on.

“With Mosquera coming in, does that mean we will see more of Hollingshed in the LB position and put Pomykal in behind Mosquera on the left?” - Holden Grant

I think with so much depth on the wings, that yes Ryan Hollingshead will likely see some more time at left back this season than at left winger. That being said, coming off the bench it’s easier to have someone like Hollingshead who can play two roles there to give you more options with the other five spots on the bench. It’s like having eight bench spots instead of seven in that sense.

Where I think we’ll see Hollingshead more than anything though is in that wing back role we’ve seen in preseason. That left side fits Hollingshead more than anyone else having played both left back and left winger throughout his time in Dallas. We’ll have to see just how often he’s used there.

Pomykal will still play most of his 2018 minutes in the No. 10 role behind Mauro Diaz on the depth chart. I think he can play on the wing if needed, but the 18-year-old is going to see more time in the middle than out wide.

“Who is your pick for FCD breakout player of the year?” - Marcus Cole

For me, early on, I’ve got to go with Santiago Mosquera. Based on just one week of seeing him in action, I think his speed and ability on the left side of the field is going to help Dallas open up both sides of the attack when he fully gets up to speed with his teammates. Especially when you consider last season that the team couldn’t replicate on the left what Barrios was doing on the right side of the field, Mosquera is going to be a huge asset there in 2018.

That’s the fun thing about a breakout player though, you often don’t know who it’s going to be at this point in the year. I’d be happy to be proven wrong by anyone else on the field.