Friday Lunch: FC Dallas’ Treble Chances

Posted: August 19, 2011 in mls, professional sports, soccer, sports
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

By Evan Ream

In 15 previous years in MLS, a team has done the double (defined as winning two trophies in one season) nine times. No team has ever achieved the treble. It is nearly September in MLS year 16, and FC Dallas could very well be the first team to achieve this rare feat. FC Dallas are currently still alive in four competitions: MLS Cup, Supporter’s Shield, US Open Cup and the CONCACAF Champions League. Obviously they can’t win the Champions League this year because the final isn’t until 2012, but what are their chances of winning the other three competitions?

Note that for all purposes pretty much ever on this site, I don’t count the CONCACAF Champions Cup, the predecessor to the CONCACAF Champions League, as a major trophy based on the lack seriousness that teams took the tournament.

US Open Cup

Current State: Play Seattle in the semifinals August 30 in Seattle

Chances of winning: Whichever team wins this semifinal is going to win the final, as the other semifinal is Chicago vs. Richmond (2nddivision). The problem will be beating Seattle in a tournament that they’ve never lost in. Seattle are trying to be the first team in the MLS era to win three consecutive US Open Cups. Three Open Cups would also put them in second place among MLS teams behind Chicago’s four. I like Dallas’ chances in this one though. They just became the first MLS team to ever win a competitive game in Mexico, which should give them the confidence they need to go into Seattle and win this game.


Supporter’s Shield

Current State: 43 points through 25 games, in second place behind L.A. who have 48 points in 25 games

Chances of winning: Though five points behind L.A., Dallas have a very manageable schedule left in the season including games against Vancouver, New England, San Jose and Chicago. Seattle and L.A., the two other teams in contention for the Supporter’s Shield, both have CONCACAF Champions League games, and thus are on a level playing field with Dallas in terms of schedule congestion. Really it comes down to how well each team plays in the last part of the season. All three teams have been in excellent form and are trending upwards, but LA is 5 points ahead of Dallas and 6 ahead of Seattle, making their triumph most likely.



Current State: On track to make the playoffs as the 2nd seed in the West

Chances of winning: Their chances will be MUCH better if they win the Supporter’s Shield and get to play the worst team left in the playoffs. The playoffs are always a crapshoot of sorts, but this year it will be especially different considering the new format. Dallas have proven to get results both at home and on the road, which is promising, but more promising is the fact that they lost last year’s MLS Cup; they will be extra motivated to get back and win it this year. The cup should be a tossup between the four top teams in the west (L.A., Seattle, Dallas and Salt Lake) because no other team has the same quality as them, but stranger things have happened.


And just for the hell of it, CONCACAF Champions League

Current State: 3 points through one game. In second place behind Toronto on the goals scored tiebreaker, but have already played their hardest game (Pumas away).

Chances of winning: Who knows? But I do think that Dallas has already cemented a place in the knockout round despite playing just one of six games so far. Dallas became the first team to win away in Mexico, and their opponent Pumas doesn’t seem to be taking the competition too seriously. After seeing what Toronto FC did to Tauro of Panama on the road, I’m confident that Dallas can actually register full points in their group. The fact that MLS teams are a perfect five for five in the group stages doesn’t hurt their chances either.

So what will happen? Dallas will probably win at least one of the four trophies, with MLS Cup and the US Open Cup being the most likely, but it’s really unknown. Dallas has great depth and one of the best young players in CONCACAF in Brek Shea. Additionally, Marvin Chavez has been playing very well and they will soon welcome back 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira to the team. I would expect Dallas to only win one trophy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they won all four.


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