Welcome, a very merry TFFmas from all of us here at the blog. As we head into the holiday season, there is plenty to look forward to both on the pitch and off it and we are looking forward to the month ahead. This December we will be running the 25 Days of TFFmas, every day up until the big day we will be publishing Christmas wishlists from members of our team for what they would like their club to get for Christmas.
Three days left, begin your countdowns! Today we speak to Charlie Russell on what he would like FC Dallas to receive for Christmas, even if he has left it a bit too late, we all know what deliveries are like this time of year!
FC Dallas’ season was up and down when it came to the league and the MLS Cup. After finishing top of the Eastern Conference and runners up in the Supporters Shield in 2015, Dallas looked to go one better. In 2016, they replicated the previous season, finishing top of the Eastern Conference with 60 points, qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League next year in the process. They also went one better in the Supporters Shield, winning the competition for the first time in their history by having the best record in the MLS across all conferences. However, the playoffs were a completely different story. Getting an automatic bye into the Semifinals, they faced Seattle Sounders (who finished fourth in the Eastern Conference) and were expected to go through. However, losing 4-2 on aggregate saw them crash out of the competition, with the 3-0 loss to Seattle proving to be a mountain that was too big to climb. In the CONCACAF Champions League, they finished top of their group and remain unbeaten in the competition to date. Despite this, they finished 7th in the overall seeding with two wins and two draws and, in the process, drew Árabe Unido of Panama in the next round, who won all four of their group games (ties to be played late February/Early March).
Wish 1: CONCACAF Champions League Success
“FC Dallas have recently reached the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal where they will play Panamanian side CD Arabe Unido. With US Open Cup and MLS Supporter Shield success in 2016, FC Dallas will be confident that they can get a result from this game to take into the second leg! Another bonus for Dallas is that they have extended the contract of Atiba Harris, a veteran of the MLS who will be guaranteed to play a major part as they aim to progress through the CCL”.
Wish 2: For Anibal Chala to settle in quickly
“Anibal Chala (pictured in yellow below) will become an FC Dallas player in the new year as he signs from CD El Nacional, a Christmas present in itself. Chala is an Ecuadorian U20, therefore he should hopefully be key in FC Dallas’ future as they aim to build another trophy winning side for the future. This could be the move to give Chala a chance in a more competitive league and joining one of the biggest sides in the Western Conference will only be a positive thing.”
Wish 3: A similar performance to what we saw in 2016
“FC Dallas were one of the best sides in America throughout 2016. One reason why they were so successful winning the US Open Cup and the Supporter’s Shield. In 2015 they were runners-up in the Shield but in the season just gone they proved they could come back fighting hard, by winning it. Hopefully, the New Year can show a similar performance by The Toros! With new players coming in and a number of current players signing new contracts, things look like they will go well for Óscar Pareja’s side!”
Do you agree with this list?
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Thank you to Charlie Russell for contributing today, we’ll see you tomorrow for another member and another wishlist!