FC Dallas Fires Nico Estévez

What Does This Mean for the Club's Future?
FC Dallas v San Jose Earthquakes
FC Dallas v San Jose Earthquakes / Bob Drebin/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Announced last Sunday, this change in coaching leadership promises to significantly impact the team's performance, as they currently face a series of challenges on and off the field. Longtime assistant Peter Luccin steps in as interim coach, bringing hope for stability and renewal.

Estévez, hired in December 2021, had a tenure marked by ups and downs. With a record of 28 wins, 27 losses, and 29 draws, he managed to lead FC Dallas to the Audi MLS Cup playoffs in 2022 and 2023, as well as advancing in the Leagues Cup. However, a recent string of negative results, coupled with a wave of injuries plaguing the squad, made his position untenable. Club president Dan Hunt explained that the decision to fire Estévez wasn't easy and required much deliberation, especially considering we're still early in the season.

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Injuries played a crucial role in FC Dallas's performance decline. Alan Velasco, one of the team's key playmakers, has been out since late last year due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Paxton Pomykal is also unavailable for the remainder of the season after suffering a knee injury. Additionally, Petar Musa, the club's record signing, and Jesús Ferreira, who has been battling injuries, have limited the team's ability to remain competitive.

With a record of 3 wins, 8 losses, and 5 draws this season, FC Dallas sits in 13th place in the Western Conference, with 14 points—seven below the playoff line, but with two games in hand. The lack of wins in the last five games, including a 1-1 draw against Minnesota United, was the final straw for the board. Peter Luccin, who has been with the club since 2019 as an assistant coach, has been appointed as interim coach.

The choice of Luccin is a smart move by the FC Dallas board. He deeply understands the club's culture and the players, which could facilitate a smooth transition and possibly improve the team's performance in the short term. Luccin's debut as interim coach is set for the match against St. Louis CITY SC on June 15.

With a squad affected by injuries and underperforming, the FC Dallas board seeks a renewal that can bring new energy and ideas to the team. The coaching market is full of options, and the club will immediately begin the search for a permanent replacement. The challenge will be to find someone who can not only deal with the current challenges but also build a long-term project that takes FC Dallas to the top of the MLS.