This week, FC Dallas signed Franco Jara to a pre-contract. The center-forward can become a top MLS goalscorer, representing a change in approach for the Texas club.
FC Dallas have signed perhaps their most high-profile striker in club history. Franco Jara is set to join Dallas when the summer transfer window opens. As a result, he won’t be seen for the first few months of the season but his potential impact could still be massive.
Jara will arrive from Pachuca of Liga MX. The 31-year-old striker has been a member of the Mexican club since 2015. Before joining Pachuca, Jara played for Olympiacos in Greece.
His career in Mexico’s top flight has been full of goals. In 158 appearances for Pachuca, Jara has scored 76 goals. That equates to a strike-rate of nearly a goal every other game, which is not too shabby whatsoever.
FC Dallas have not had a pure striker put together a double-digit goal season since the days of Blas Perez. Last year, they relied on Dominique Badji and Zdenek Ondrasek to provide the goals. The two combined for 13 goals in the regular season.
Predominantly, FC Dallas have spread the goals around. In 2019, they had six players score five or more goals. The year prior, they had four players top five goals. And in 2017, they again had six players score five or more goals. The goalscoring responsibility is spread throughout the team, especially from the wide attackers and central midfielders.
But in Jara, Dallas now has a prolific, out-and-out center-forward who knows how to score clinically and prolifically. The club will hope Jara can help put together a half-season full of goals to aid in their quest to return to the playoffs.
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FC Dallas barely made it into the postseason in 2019 and they will want to avoid another close call. By adding Jara, they instantly increase the capacity of the team as a whole. A higher playoff seed should certainly be a goal for a club that has been one of the premier teams in the Western Conference this decade.
Dallas has typically not pursued high-profile signings like Jara in years past. But as MLS evolves and investment in teams becomes increasingly necessary and normal, the Texas club has recognised the need to keep up. With other Western teams like Sporting KC and Vancouver now spending heavily this offseason despite having rarely done so throughout their history, Dallas understands what they must do to keep pace.
This, then, is a great step forward for the club as they try and compete. Jara should be able to throw his hat in the ring when it comes to talking about the best goalscorers in the league. He will want to be up there with Carlos Vela and the Los Angeles Galaxy’s new addition Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez.
By adding a player capable of scoring double-digit goals in a season, FC Dallas may enter a new era in club history where a stand-out star leads the way. Jara could be a huge difference-maker in the outcome of the 2020 season for Dallas. He represents a change in approach. He might also represent a change in fortune.