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Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby PonyPride » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:02 am

From FCDallas.com:

FC Dallas Names Luchi Gonzalez Seventh Coach in Club History
December 16, 2018

FRISCO – FC Dallas announced today that it has hired FC Dallas Academy Director Luchi Gonzalez as its new head coach. Gonzalez becomes the club’s seventh head coach in team history. Gonzalez, 38, will be the second youngest head coach in MLS when the 2019 regular season begins. Per team policy, terms were not disclosed.

“Luchi is an outstanding teacher, a smart tactician and has a keen understanding of what it takes to build a successful team,” said FC Dallas Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt. “We are excited about his passion for FC Dallas and his vision for the future of the club. Luchi had championship success with our Academy and we’re confident he will build on that as a head coach in MLS.”

“Since joining FC Dallas, Luchi has proven himself to be a championship-caliber coach within our Academy who has incredible knowledge of the game on every level,” said FC Dallas President Dan Hunt. “During our exhaustive head coaching search, it was clear that his philosophical approach to the game and love for this organization make him the right choice to guide the future of our first team."

Gonzalez has spent the last three years as FC Dallas Academy Director and head coach of the U-16 Academy team. In 2016, he led the U-16s to their second straight U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Championship.

He joined the FC Dallas Academy April 2012 as the U-18 Academy coach. Since joining the club in 2012, the FC Dallas U-17 and U-19 Academy teams have won their division six consecutive years and four USSDA National Championships (U-19s in 2012 and 2016, U-17s 2015 and 2016). The U-17s also made it to the 2016 Generation adidas Cup Semifinals and the U-19s won the 2017 Dallas Cup Super Group Championship.

FC Dallas has signed 15 Homegrown players coached by Gonzalez since he joined the organization: Kellyn Acosta, Danny Garcia, Jesse Gonzalez, Coy Craft, Alejandro Zendejas, Aaron Guillen, Paxton Pomykal, Jesus Ferreira, Bryan Reynolds, Reggie Cannon, Brandon Servania, Kris Reaves, Jordan Cano, Chris Richards and Thomas Roberts.

Gonzalez started his career at Southern Methodist University where he won the 2001 Hermann Trophy his senior year. In his four seasons at SMU, he scored 48 goals and 32 assists. The San Jose Earthquakes drafted him sixth overall in the 2002 MLS SuperDraft.

In 2013, Gonzalez was nominated to be a part of a 16-month youth development course through the MLS and French Football Federation partnership to earn his Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL).

FC Dallas Head Coach History
Dave Dir hired in 1996, dismissed in 2000
Mike Jeffries hired on January 23, 2001, dismissed on September 15, 2003
Colin Clarke named interim head coach September 15, 2003 to December 4, 2003
Colin Clarke hired on December 4, 2003, dismissed on November 7, 2006
Steve Morrow named interim head coach November 7, 2006 to December 11, 2006
Steve Morrow hired on December 11, 2006, dismissed on May 20, 2008
Marco Ferruzzi named interim head coach May 20, 2008 to June 16, 2008
Schellas Hyndman hired on June 16, 2008, resigned on October 18, 2013
Oscar Pareja hired on January 10, 2014, resigned on November 19, 2018
Luchi Gonzalez hired on December 16, 2018
FC Dallas Head Coach Records

Head Coach Seasons Games W L T Pct.
Dave Dir 5 160 81 75 4 .519
Mike Jeffries 3 78 26 36 16 .436
Colin Clarke (interim) 1 6 2 3 1 .417
Colin Clarke 3 94 39 36 19 .516
Steve Morrow 2 38 15 15 8 .500
Marco Ferruzzi (interim) 1 5 2 2 1 .500
Schellas Hyndman 6 179 62 59 58 .508
Oscar Pareja 5 170 78 49 43 .585
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby PonyPride » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:06 am

VIDEO: One-on-one with the former SMU All-America, who is the next head coach of FC Dallas.

https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2018/12/1 ... oplay=true
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby PonyPride » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:11 am

From FCDallas.com:

Why Luchi Gonzalez is the Clear-Cut Choice for a New Era of FC Dallas
December 16, 2018
By Carter Baum

FRISCO - Luchi Gonzalez might not be a big-name hire nationally or internationally yet, but for those around FC Dallas, there’s no more clear-cut choice to carry forth the club’s identity.

The 38-year-old has been in Frisco for nearly seven years, working his way up the internationally-acclaimed Academy system much like the Homegrown players it produces. Much like his predecessor Oscar Pareja.

Dallas’ coaching search over the last month was an exhaustive one, interviewing candidates from a range of different backgrounds and ideologies, but no one left Clark and Dan Hunt as impressed as one of their own. Dan Hunt said this week that from top to bottom, no presentation or interview was as thorough and detailed as the one Gonzalez gave for his vision of this team.

A contract was never discussed with, much less offered to, any other candidate.

Gonzalez said he hates the notion of selling himself during an interview. Instead, he simply presented what he knows, which is every corner of FC Dallas and his love for the club.

He knows the roster from either being around first-team trainings over the last several years or coaching the players himself. He knows the model set forth to harness the immense talent in the region and build a roster from within because he himself has been in charge of it. He knows success by transforming the FCD Academy into the best in the nation and an international powerhouse. He knows the culture, the history and the hunger of the club and its fans for the ultimate prize left to be won.

Luchi Gonzalez is FC Dallas through and through. You can’t get that from the outside.

During his time in the Academy, Gonzalez has coached nearly a third of the club’s active roster - and led them to success. Every Homegrown currently in Frisco is a product of an FCD Academy era with the new boss was at the helm.

The core of his back-to-back U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-16 National Championship teams? Names like Reggie Cannon, Jesus Ferreira, Paxton Pomykal, Brandon Servania and Bryan Reynolds. Jesse Gonzalez’s last Academy coach before signing as a Homegrown? It was Luchi Gonzalez’s first year at the helm of the U-18s in 2012-13.

In an offseason that’s seen the departure of some big-name veterans from the locker room, the hiring of Gonzalez confirms that Dallas is turning its eye to the next generation - on the field and off. There is no better person to lead the next generation than the person who knows its core most.

FC Dallas next season is going to be a team of warriors. Those are words directly from Gonzalez’s mouth. The clear-cut identity that he has for this team going forward - the identity that set him apart from other candidates - is one that we’ve seen him implement in the youth ranks over the last few seasons.

Gonzalez believes in dominating the game by maintaining possession and dictating the game with numbers on both sides of play. He asks a lot of the players on the pitch, but has a proven track record doing so with players already inside the first-team room.

Offensively, FCD will be a well-rounded team that can score in a methodical 20-pass build up, but also be just as capable of striking in just two passes off the counter. Look for Dallas to be organized and press high defensively to win the ball back as quickly and as far from its own goal as possible.

Both he and the club know the work is only beginning. The next few months are going to be full of growth, learning and adaptation. They would be with any new hire coming in. The hope is that the process is eased with a wide breadth of inherited knowledge, a meticulous plan and a deep love for what's in place in Frisco.

Gonzalez isn’t one to sell you on who he is today, but rather show you on the field come 2019.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby PonyPride » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:12 am

From FCDallas.com:

Photo gallery: Luchi Gonzalez through the years

https://www.fcdallas.com/gallery/luchi- ... ough-years
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby PonyPride » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:14 am

From FCDallas.com:

Luchi Gonzalez résumé:

https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2018/12/1 ... eer-resume
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby JasonB » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:20 am

He shouldn't be the head coach of a top division soccer team. Not yet. His resume is nice, but he should have the chance to coach the new FCD USL team, not the first team. Prove himself at a lower level and move his way up. Like the rest of the soccer world does.

His hiring is just an indication that no coaches with experience are interested in coming to FC Dallas. From Morrow on, they have been completely set on hiring people that come from within the organization.

The Hunt family refuses to change their model to support the new MLS. Having a bunch of OK players can get you points in the long regular season. Their playing style gets points early when teams are disorganized and susceptible to the counter, but they struggle after mid-season as the other teams come together. And at the end of the day, to win championships you need stars.

The Hunt's goal is to limit expenses and then sell youth players to make a profit. They are part of the effort to get clubs compensated for youth leaving, so that they can make money off of McKinney. And they will make a ton off of Reggie Cannon. But that is why no quality coaching candidates are willing to come here.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby Hoofprint » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:36 am

I agree: congratulations to one of SMU's own. Good luck, Luchi!
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby HorsePower » Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:27 pm

Look for FCD to draft more Mustangs.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby Mustangsabu » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:15 pm

JasonB wrote:He shouldn't be the head coach of a top division soccer team. Not yet. His resume is nice, but he should have the chance to coach the new FCD USL team, not the first team. Prove himself at a lower level and move his way up. Like the rest of the soccer world does.

His hiring is just an indication that no coaches with experience are interested in coming to FC Dallas. From Morrow on, they have been completely set on hiring people that come from within the organization.

The Hunt family refuses to change their model to support the new MLS. Having a bunch of OK players can get you points in the long regular season. Their playing style gets points early when teams are disorganized and susceptible to the counter, but they struggle after mid-season as the other teams come together. And at the end of the day, to win championships you need stars.

The Hunt's goal is to limit expenses and then sell youth players to make a profit. They are part of the effort to get clubs compensated for youth leaving, so that they can make money off of McKinney. And they will make a ton off of Reggie Cannon. But that is why no quality coaching candidates are willing to come here.


FC Dallas, and a look over MLS generally, is evidence that you do not need "stars" (whatever that means) to be successful in MLS. Atlanta United is a team of no real stars (in terms of achievements at prior clubs) and has dominated since arriving on the scene. Look at the Galaxy who signed the biggest star seen in MLS since Beckham and couldn't make the playoffs. The Luchi hire is risky because of the lack of MLS wins but it makes total sense since FCD is looking to really move forward with its youth development model. I would also point out that Pep Guardiola came to manage Barcelona from the development team and had not coached a first division game in his life. I loved Oscar but when the season settled in Oscar stopped giving game time to young players and I think it hurt the team at the end of the year. FCD wants to sell players to fund itself, sure, and some people do not like that. But I would wager those people fail to understand that the club has to fund itself that way. If people want to change that they should get off their asses and get to the games. It is certainly time that FCD actually makes money on selling players though, something that has not happened heretofore. The new structure will help.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby Mustangsabu » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:19 pm

And also, it is ridiculous that US clubs are the only clubs in the world not compensated for developing talent. It puts clubs at a massive disadvantage and only hurts the future development of the national team and the domestic league.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby JasonB » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:35 pm

Mustangsabu wrote:And also, it is ridiculous that US clubs are the only clubs in the world not compensated for developing talent. It puts clubs at a massive disadvantage and only hurts the future development of the national team and the domestic league.


MLS put itself in that bind. They didn't want to sign up because, for example, FCD didn't want to pay the Texans for the development prior to a player joining their club. It wasn't until McKinney left FCD for Schalke that MLS suddenly started complaining and is now willing to make the change. But don't get me started about how our club soccer scene ruins player development...
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby Mustangsabu » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:44 pm

The system is a mess, of that there is no doubt, but it doesn't help when domestic soccer has yet to reach a point where it can sustain itself. Attracting top-grade coaching is not an FCD problem, it is a league wide problem. Clubs have to develop talent for other markets in order to succeed financially, and until Toyota Stadium is rocking with 20,000 every game, or more lucrative TV rights, this model represents their best chance. The partnership with Bayern will be a help, too.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby JasonB » Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:14 pm

Mustangsabu wrote:
JasonB wrote:He shouldn't be the head coach of a top division soccer team. Not yet. His resume is nice, but he should have the chance to coach the new FCD USL team, not the first team. Prove himself at a lower level and move his way up. Like the rest of the soccer world does.

His hiring is just an indication that no coaches with experience are interested in coming to FC Dallas. From Morrow on, they have been completely set on hiring people that come from within the organization.

The Hunt family refuses to change their model to support the new MLS. Having a bunch of OK players can get you points in the long regular season. Their playing style gets points early when teams are disorganized and susceptible to the counter, but they struggle after mid-season as the other teams come together. And at the end of the day, to win championships you need stars.

The Hunt's goal is to limit expenses and then sell youth players to make a profit. They are part of the effort to get clubs compensated for youth leaving, so that they can make money off of McKinney. And they will make a ton off of Reggie Cannon. But that is why no quality coaching candidates are willing to come here.


FC Dallas, and a look over MLS generally, is evidence that you do not need "stars" (whatever that means) to be successful in MLS. Atlanta United is a team of no real stars (in terms of achievements at prior clubs) and has dominated since arriving on the scene. Look at the Galaxy who signed the biggest star seen in MLS since Beckham and couldn't make the playoffs. The Luchi hire is risky because of the lack of MLS wins but it makes total sense since FCD is looking to really move forward with its youth development model. I would also point out that Pep Guardiola came to manage Barcelona from the development team and had not coached a first division game in his life. I loved Oscar but when the season settled in Oscar stopped giving game time to young players and I think it hurt the team at the end of the year. FCD wants to sell players to fund itself, sure, and some people do not like that. But I would wager those people fail to understand that the club has to fund itself that way. If people want to change that they should get off their asses and get to the games. It is certainly time that FCD actually makes money on selling players though, something that has not happened heretofore. The new structure will help.


Atlanta not having stars? They spent big bucks building that roster. Not on aging players, but on guys who could actually play. Almeron and Martinez were two of the very best young prospects in South America and Atlanta paid big to bring them in and develop them. You are right - paying big bucks for a Zlatan or Villa brings entertainment value, but not necessarily championships. The way MLS 4.0 works is that you develop youth and you bring in additional talent to supplement the youth.

On top of that, FCD has really only produced a handful of players so far. Certainly not enough to field an entire team. Most of their signings go on loan and never show up. And then stay in the USL, so it isn't like they are not given the opportunities to contribute. The other part that comes into play is that FCD has a very visible youth system internationally, so the really top talent like Roberts and McKinney get seen early and will never step foot in MLS for the first team. So the "stars" aren't going to develop through the system. Reggie Cannon is a very, very good player who will ship out soon, after a single year. Acosta was never top tier enough to take the next step in his development, although he is a very nice player for MLS and the US national team. Ulloa is more like the reality - a solid MLS player. Paxton will be the same as Acosta - there is a reason he hasn't broken into the first team despite all the injuries, and it wasn't Pareja. He has limitations that give him a ceiling.

The other factor that plays into this, of course, is that MLS is a very physical league. When you look at the Dutch league, they blow the whistle on everything so that really young, physically under developed players have the opportunity to succeed and show off their skills before they turn 18. For MLS, you get the odd Davies who can play early before eligible to play in a foreign league, but the reality is that most are like Paxton, who are too frail to play in the league because of lack of protection. So if MLS changes the way they call games, then maybe the development process becomes more productive and the play is more entertaining. But they haven't done that for 23 years, why start now.

So, sure, MLS is a selling league. But it is a selling league that provides entertaining value for its fans by supplementing homegrown youth with foreign youth studs and a sprinkling of veterans. FCD is Fulham without the threat of relegation. They don't spend money on bringing top players in, so the attendance is horrible; instead they rely on other teams to sign stars and attract viewers. As time goes on, they will sink further and further towards the bottom of the league because they aren't willing to spend the money. Pareja should be commended for making the current team competitive, because they don't have anyone close to being best 11 right now with the exception of Hedges and Cannon. Pareja left because he realized that the club was at peak performance right now. If FCD wants people in the stands, they need to evolve from MLS 2.0 to MLS 4.0. Which they refuse to do. There are real soccer fans out there to attract, but they don't bring in the quality of player and they still market primarily to the kids, just like Colorado does.

Sorry, that post represents the frustrations of a 20 year season ticket holder who bailed two years ago :).
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby JasonB » Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:27 pm

Mustangsabu wrote:The system is a mess, of that there is no doubt, but it doesn't help when domestic soccer has yet to reach a point where it can sustain itself. Attracting top-grade coaching is not an FCD problem, it is a league wide problem. Clubs have to develop talent for other markets in order to succeed financially, and until Toyota Stadium is rocking with 20,000 every game, or more lucrative TV rights, this model represents their best chance. The partnership with Bayern will be a help, too.


Look, the owners deserve a lot of credit for investing and growing the league, they really do. But the reason they don't make a profit is because they have decided to continue investing in the league. Expansion fees are what, 150M now? They used to be 5, and then it was amazing when it went up to 20M. If they weren't investing in growth, a single 150M expansion fee would cover the operational costs of the entire league for over a year. So this losing money thing is really just smoke and mirrors.

FCD comes very close to breaking even when you add in the concerts. Very close, like they actually broke even a couple of years. If they sell a player, they make a profit. But all of that pales in comparison to the valuation of the franchise. They are taking a minimal loss every year on a franchise that has grown in value from 5M to well over 100M. Smoke and Mirrors. If the Hunts ever wanted out, they could sell and make quite a hefty profit.

Look at who LA Galaxy just hired as their coach. Atlanta. Attracting coaches isn't a problem for the ambitious teams. It is only a problem for the FCDs of the world. And make no mistake about it, the ownership if FCD, Colorado, and NE are the ones keeping MLS from really breaking through and becoming self-sustaining. Most of the other cities have great stadiums and great fanbases.

You don't need a zlatan or anything like that. But take a look at what NYRB does, with a combination of heavy investment in youth development and spending on really good players to fill out the roster. That is what the model of FCD should be.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby Mustangsabu » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:34 am

Do you go to games? I always thought of you as all-football but it's nice to see another SMU fan with at least a passing interest in soccer. I think it is possible that bringing in a star would boost attendance, and the Hunt's are not as wholly opposed to that as people think. But it has to be the right star, and that is hard to find. I think they have been caught between a rock and a hard place for a while but the Luchi hire is all about youth, and it is nice to see commitment in one direction. When they are developing sellable players there will be money to further invest in the squad, and they will. They have actually made some really great off-season signings this year. They are understandably gun-shy because the city has never gotten behind them. My personal belief is that if the City of Dallas had ponied up in the early 2000's and had some vision for soccer in the city, we might be in a better place, but the reality is that we are saddled with an early MLS type stadium in an unfavorable location where other teams are now building state-of-the-art facilities that attract fans. It is what it is.

Your comment on coaches is interesting too. I don't see Dominic Kinnear as a coach with any future outside MLS (he failed in Scotland - albeit with a very small budget), and Frank DeBoer at Atlanta is a real risk. Huge success at Ajax but has failed miserably at his last two stops. Personally I like the hire, and I hope he does well, but he certainly wasn't showing up on many coaching searches in the major European leagues. I look forward to seeing how next season shakes out.

Hopefully we will see you at some games!
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