MLS is Back: Group B Preview – Seattle Sounders on top

MLS, Seattle Sounders (Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MLS, Seattle Sounders (Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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FC Dallas, Paxton Pomykal
FC Dallas, Paxton Pomykal (Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

FC Dallas

2019 Record: 7th in Western Conference; First Round of the MLS Cup Playoffs

2020 Results: 2-0 win vs. Philadelphia Union; 2-2 draw vs. Montreal Impact

Head Coach: Luchi Gonzalez

Projected Starters: Jimmy Mauer; Reggie Cannon, Matt Hedges, Reto Ziegler, Ryan Hollingshead; Thiago Santos, Paxton Pomykal, Miguel Barrios, Jesus Ferreira, Fafa Picault; Franco Jara

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Notable Absentees: Jesse Gonzalez — FC Dallas announced on June 5th that Gonzalez would be indefinitely suspended following his involvement in a reported domestic abuse case.

Reggie Cannon said that he smiled when he saw his club were drawn with the reigning MLS Cup champions. FC Dallas lost a thrilling playoff game to the Seattle Sounders last season. The Sounders went on to win the trophy while FC Dallas were left wondering ‘what could’ve been?’ They have developed a reputation not unlike the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference: an entertaining and talented team that excels in the regular season, only to fall short in the playoffs. Winning the MLS is Back Tournament wouldn’t shed that reputation but it would certainly change the public perception of this club.

Their youth program is top-notch with contributions from players such as Cannon, Paxton Pomykal, Ricardo Pepi, and Jesus Ferreira. Franco Jara’s arrival from Pachuca gives Luchi Gonzalez a good problem to have as he can’t go wrong starting either him or Zdenek Ondrasek while utilizing the other off the bench. The biggest challenge for them will be getting the most out of Jimmy Mauer. Mauer has limited MLS experience but will step in for the absent Jesse Gonzalez between the sticks.