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Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby JasonB » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:15 pm

Mustangsabu wrote: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!


I've played soccer my entire life... I was a season ticket holder in MLS from season one until 2 years ago. Traveled to the first ten MLS cups with a group of friends. So yes, I've been to a few games :).

The location isn't great, but it isn't the worst either. Fans manage to find their way to Arlington. If MLS 4.0 had come around when the team was still at the cotton bowl, and the ownership had been willing to invest in it, the Dallas support base would be just as passionate as Atlanta or Seattle. Instead, the Southlake seasons killed off the hispanic fan base, and a lack of investment in the team never allowed them to capitalize on the new stadium in Frisco. The city never got behind Dallas, but Dallas bailed on the city before the evolution of the league.

It is one of the few teams in MLS that is still a team for kids that advertises to kids, sticking with the failed MLS 1.0 experiment.

What do I think they should do?

1) Build a small 5-10K seat stadium in fair park for the new USL team to play in. Have the USL team play there as well as the FCD youth teams, and give that community a local team to come out and cheer for. Get them to build relationships with the players and follow them up to the first team.

2) Add a dynamic, attacking talent that fans will want to come out and watch. Chicharito has been available. Sure, he would cost a lot of money, but you would sell a billion jerseys and be forced to move games to the cotton bowl or Death Star to handle the interest. Sure, that is the easy answer. But you need players that are fun to watch, whether it is a forward or a winger. That draws crowds of actual soccer fans. And having a big name target like that actually takes the pressure off the rest of the roster. It gives space on the field for a young player like Ferriera or Paxton to actually pay. When you have a "plus plus" player in the lineup, it is like having a great center in basketball. The other teams sag in to protect, and it gives more time and space to the other players who might not be ready yet to face a 1v1 challenge in tight space. You are able to move on from an aging Barrios or Badji who will never be worth a transfer, and let the kids fight for their spaces.

While you are at it, stop investing in Brazillians. The rest of MLS has. The good ones stay home or go to Europe. You are getting the leftovers of the leftovers and they are overpriced. There is other talent in south america that is younger, less expensive, and has more upside for a future transfer. Argentinans, Venezualens, and Ecuadorians in particular handle the physicality of the league much better and tend to be better investments. Columbians are a better fit than Brazilians as well. Stay out of Brazil.

3) Start promoting the team to soccer fans, not to little kids. MLS 1.0 was a failure for a reason. When kids get to be 14, they don't want to be around 8 year olds anymore. So you lose those fans to the EPL. 18-28 want absolutely nothing to do with anything considered a kid's team. Look at the EPL and soccer numbers in Dallas. There is a reason The Kickaround exists - because there is a demand. You just aren't fulfilling it. Own that. Just like SMU football needs to own up to not having a good enough team to pull fans off the boulevard and into the stadium. There have always been a shared sales and marketing organization between FCD and SMU. You can see it in the types of promotions they each run. It was like clockwork every year when I was a season ticket holder for FCD. And they each do a similarly poor job. But at the end of the day, the product on the field has to be good enough to appeal to you average college football fan or your average soccer fan. And in neither case is it there yet. I've dropped my season tickets to FCD and kept them for SMU because at least SMU is trying with the investment they have made over the last 3 football coaches, the facilities improvements, and basketball. I can't say the same for FCD.

The challenge is that option 1 requires investment that won't happen. Option 3 requires option 2. Don't give the Hunts an out by claiming that they would do it if the right players are available. The right players are available every single year, because the world is a big place and there are plenty of former youth stars with great talent who originally transferred to huge clubs and just want a shot to get back. Portland, Seattle, Atlanta, NYCFC, NYRB, KC, Toronto, now DC and the list goes on now manage to find them. The Hunts just choose to not make the investment. Look at how the Columbus and KC franchises did with the Hunts in charge compared to after the Hunts let them go, and how much more ambitious those teams have become.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby Mustangsabu » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:01 pm

FC Dallas is one of the most successful MLS teams in history in terms of performance on the field, so first of all let's admit that the only reason we would buy a player like Chicharito (who would cost more than the entire current roster before we had even paid his salary) would be to attract fans. But I don't want to attract that kind of fans who would come just because we have Chicharito. MLS fans should realize that the only way to help grow the game of soccer in the US is to go to games. And they should want those games to be a breeding ground for US players. We have to learn the lessons of major European football. Take the Premiership, the massive money-grab that the premiership has created has, for over two decades, killed the England national team. And even now, when the national team is having some success, it is because of a complete 180 in the approach of the national team set up. MLS has done a lot to avoid that, but it is no surprise that Atlanta United has no national team players. FC Dallas has the best academy in the country (it's why Bayern approached us about a partnership focused on youth development) and should be supported as it tries to turn that success into success at the MLS level. The idea of a side winning MLS that has a large complement of local players is what soccer should be. I LOVED watching Ibra and LA get beat (twice) last season by our ragtag band, and seeing Tesho Akindele put Atlanta to the sword. You can't buy that feeling.

American soccer must find its way, it shouldn't buy its way (like China). FC Dallas games are great value and a great night out. The one thing I absolutely agree with you on is that it is not marketed effectively. But the new HOF facility is a huge upgrade to the ground and hopefully that will help.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby JasonB » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:35 pm

FCD is 7th all time in PPG, so they are okay overall. How many Chicago Fire fans stuck around through their horrible teams because of Novak? How many DCU fans stuck around because of Etcheverry? They were fans of the player and then became fans of the clubs. FCD has never, ever made that level of investment.

SMU basketball is a great example. If you invest in a program with exciting players and a great coach, people are entertained and they come out to watch. If you do it over a long period of time, they become fans of the program and the school rather than a particular set of players.

FCD has never done step one - invest enough in the team to get fans out to the stadium. And again, the excellent players who develop out of their program are going to be sold off before they ever step foot on an MLS field.

Now, if they created Junior programs that didn't cost money to flood the FCD system with high quality players, and if they went to the inner city and convinced all the 5'10 point guards to transition to soccer, maybe things would be different. But that isn't happening either.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby Mustangsabu » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:47 pm

Etcheverry the Bolivian? He was only a big name because he was sold as such. On the world scale he wasnt much. Nowak was the same. They were sold as names but they weren't. There are dozens are far more high profile footballers in MLS now than then, indeed I would say that back then Steve Morrow was a far more pedegreed footballer and people did not come to see him play. And we brought in Shaka Hislop and Ronnie O'Brien who were notable signings. When FC Dallas is unable to regularly beat the more glitsy sides in MLS, I will say there is a problem. Until then I will say that Dallas soccer fans need to come out and have a good time. Odds are we will win.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby JasonB » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:59 am

That's the point. It isn't just about winning, it is entertaining. Morrow was a very good player by MLS standards, but didn't stand out significantly above the others on the field.. Ronnie, on the other hand, is a great example of a talented player who stood out. You are right on that one. Etcheverry almost single-handedly got a perennial doormat to the world cup. Novak was a stud in the Bundesliga and a star on the Polish national team. They were very skilled players. It isn't necessarily about name recognition as it is about exceptional talent. Ronnie O'Brien wasn't on a transcendent level like those guys were. Denilson was a huge failure and the Hunts shied away from the big signing after that. We had Mauro Diaz for one season at peak form, before MLS hackathon got the best of him, and they went to the finals and he was entertaining enough that attendance was up that season.

The benefit of the high press and a lot of players coming through the club system is that FCD as a team is much more organized and ready to go than the other MLS teams when seasons start. They turn teams over left and right early on and score on the counter. Once teams integrate their acquisitions mid-season, they are less susceptible to those breakdowns and FCD becomes less effective, which is why FCD has horrible second halves of the season.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby Mustangsabu » Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:02 pm

JasonB wrote:That's the point. It isn't just about winning, it is entertaining. Morrow was a very good player by MLS standards, but didn't stand out significantly above the others on the field.. Ronnie, on the other hand, is a great example of a talented player who stood out. You are right on that one. Etcheverry almost single-handedly got a perennial doormat to the world cup. Novak was a stud in the Bundesliga and a star on the Polish national team. They were very skilled players. It isn't necessarily about name recognition as it is about exceptional talent. Ronnie O'Brien wasn't on a transcendent level like those guys were. Denilson was a huge failure and the Hunts shied away from the big signing after that. We had Mauro Diaz for one season at peak form, before MLS hackathon got the best of him, and they went to the finals and he was entertaining enough that attendance was up that season.

The benefit of the high press and a lot of players coming through the club system is that FCD as a team is much more organized and ready to go than the other MLS teams when seasons start. They turn teams over left and right early on and score on the counter. Once teams integrate their acquisitions mid-season, they are less susceptible to those breakdowns and FCD becomes less effective, which is why FCD has horrible second halves of the season.


That's an interesting take.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby mustangxc » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:13 pm

JasonB wrote:That's the point. It isn't just about winning, it is entertaining. Morrow was a very good player by MLS standards, but didn't stand out significantly above the others on the field.. Ronnie, on the other hand, is a great example of a talented player who stood out. You are right on that one. Etcheverry almost single-handedly got a perennial doormat to the world cup. Novak was a stud in the Bundesliga and a star on the Polish national team. They were very skilled players. It isn't necessarily about name recognition as it is about exceptional talent. Ronnie O'Brien wasn't on a transcendent level like those guys were. Denilson was a huge failure and the Hunts shied away from the big signing after that. We had Mauro Diaz for one season at peak form, before MLS hackathon got the best of him, and they went to the finals and he was entertaining enough that attendance was up that season.

The benefit of the high press and a lot of players coming through the club system is that FCD as a team is much more organized and ready to go than the other MLS teams when seasons start. They turn teams over left and right early on and score on the counter. Once teams integrate their acquisitions mid-season, they are less susceptible to those breakdowns and FCD becomes less effective, which is why FCD has horrible second halves of the season.


Etcheverry and Moreno were both stars for Bolivia as well as DC United.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby JasonB » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:31 am

mustangxc wrote:
JasonB wrote:That's the point. It isn't just about winning, it is entertaining. Morrow was a very good player by MLS standards, but didn't stand out significantly above the others on the field.. Ronnie, on the other hand, is a great example of a talented player who stood out. You are right on that one. Etcheverry almost single-handedly got a perennial doormat to the world cup. Novak was a stud in the Bundesliga and a star on the Polish national team. They were very skilled players. It isn't necessarily about name recognition as it is about exceptional talent. Ronnie O'Brien wasn't on a transcendent level like those guys were. Denilson was a huge failure and the Hunts shied away from the big signing after that. We had Mauro Diaz for one season at peak form, before MLS hackathon got the best of him, and they went to the finals and he was entertaining enough that attendance was up that season.

The benefit of the high press and a lot of players coming through the club system is that FCD as a team is much more organized and ready to go than the other MLS teams when seasons start. They turn teams over left and right early on and score on the counter. Once teams integrate their acquisitions mid-season, they are less susceptible to those breakdowns and FCD becomes less effective, which is why FCD has horrible second halves of the season.


Etcheverry and Moreno were both stars for Bolivia as well as DC United.


That's my point :). Saying Etcheverry wasn't a big deal isn't true, he was a great player...
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby Mustangsabu » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:02 pm

Greatest Bolivian should not necessarily be the yardstick. Bolivia only scored 1 goal in the WC, losing all three games and, other than success at DCU, he had an unremarkable record in internationals. 13 goals in 71 games does not really rate. He was a huge success in MLS because the standard back then was terrible. The league has come a long, long way since those days in terms of the quality. But when you look at strikers the realities do not really support the idea that stars improve your team. That Houston striker who was third or fourth this seas in terms of goals is a prime example. A Colombian of no real pedigree in terms of international soccer. MLS fans need to understand that it is in their best interests to walk before they can run. The development of domestic talent is the overriding factor and that needs to be the focus. They have a long way to go with that because the socio-economic facts of soccer in the US are so different than everywhere else, but one step at a time.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby mustangxc » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:42 pm

Bolivia is in CONMEBOL which is the second best soccer confederation in the world. No matter what they did in the world cup they still had to win enough games in CONMEBOL to qualify. Also, in 1997 Marco Etcheverry and Jaime Moreno were starters for Bolivia's Copa America runner-up squad. By the way that same 1994 World Cup, a Colombian squad that was favored to win the tournament did not even manage to get out of the group phase with losses to the USA and Romania.
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Re: Luchi Gonzalez named head coach of FC Dallas

Postby JasonB » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:43 am

Mustangsabu wrote:Greatest Bolivian should not necessarily be the yardstick. Bolivia only scored 1 goal in the WC, losing all three games and, other than success at DCU, he had an unremarkable record in internationals. 13 goals in 71 games does not really rate. He was a huge success in MLS because the standard back then was terrible. The league has come a long, long way since those days in terms of the quality. But when you look at strikers the realities do not really support the idea that stars improve your team. That Houston striker who was third or fourth this seas in terms of goals is a prime example. A Colombian of no real pedigree in terms of international soccer. MLS fans need to understand that it is in their best interests to walk before they can run. The development of domestic talent is the overriding factor and that needs to be the focus. They have a long way to go with that because the socio-economic facts of soccer in the US are so different than everywhere else, but one step at a time.


They have been walking for 25 years. Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, Orlando, Minnesota, Sporting KC, LAFC, and NYCFC have shown that the audience is ready for at least a steady jog. FCD is still trying to walk.

Also, the league WAS awful back then. No question about it.

But if you think a team today would be better than RDA, Moreno, Etcheverry, Harkes, Richie Williams, Pope, Agoos, Marsh, Llamosa, Sanneh... that team was absolutely loaded.
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