Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
7. MLS COUNTDOWN: Morrow casts a new light on FC Dallas
March 28th, 2007 11:43PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily



By Ridge Mahoney

There's something bizarre happening in Dallas. By replacing a Finn, an Irishman and an American with a Colombian and an Argentine, among other changes, Coach Steve Morrow has already transformed the identity of his team.

Effective yet predictable is out, stylish and unorthodox is in.

"I want us to play more one-touch and interchange positions, so the defense isn't sure of what we're going to do," says Morrow, who was Colin Clarke's assistant for two years before being named to replace him. "I think we were too predictable at times last year and teams were able to figure us out. We want to make it a lot harder for them to do that."

Elimination in the first round of the playoffs by lower-seeded Colorado the past two seasons prompted general manager Michael Hitchcock to make several changes. Also traded away was veteran defender Greg Vanney, yet the core of the team that posted a 29-22-13 record during the past two regular seasons is mostly intact.

Morrow, though, wants a different approach, both on the field and in the mind. He unveiled a 4-2-3-1 formation during preseason designed to alter tone as well as tactics.

"I wouldn't mind seeing us play with a bit more flair," says Morrow, a rugged defender for Arsenal in his playing days. "I want us to be solid at the back as well but in the attack I want us to be able to move the ball."

Ramon Nunez logged six goals and four assists last season but objected to being substituted by Clarke, who benched him and moved Kenny Cooper to the left side of midfield. Morrow has moved Nunez into the middle, supported by a pair of central midfielders, with Juan Carlos Toja, a Colombian, and Pablo Richetti of Argentina as the new elements.

FC Dallas retains perhaps the most potent set of forwards in MLS.

Carlos Ruiz scored 13 goals and Cooper netted 11 in his debut season. Roberto Mina, who recently signed a new contract, netted just three in a season marred by injuries, yet during the 2005 season scored seven goals in 21 games and might be the right winger if the 4-2-3-1 is retained.

Knee problems will sideline defender/midfielder Adrian Serioux for at least the first half of the season, and an injury to left back Chris Gbandi further clouds the defensive situation. Gbandi had his best season in 2006, at least until a red card forced Dallas to play with 10 men for 90 minutes in Game 2 of the conference semifinals. He will miss the start of the season.

Morrow has given former U.S. U-23 defender Alex Yi a chance to win a starting spot, perhaps from either Clarence Goodson and Drew Moor. Right back Bobby Rhine, a converted midfielder, has the most experience on the back line.

But regardless of alignment or personnel shifts or trying to spice up his attack, Morrow has also tried to address a serious flaw he detected as an assistant.

"We've tried to build some team spirit and team unity and emphasize teamwork is important as we go forward," says Morrow of his preseason preaching. "Perhaps we can get that little bit of togetherness I felt we didn't have last year."

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Jake Edwards    
"It'll evolve slightly for some of those teams over the coming seasons, I believe. We'll find ...
MLS Decision Day: What's at stake    
The 2016 Supporters' Shield and the final two playoff berths are on the line on Sunday ...
MLS Countdown: Donovan, Gordon are Galaxy wild cards    
Last weekend Landon Donovan started his first game since coming out of retirement yet it was ...
This week in women's college soccer    
Stanford junior Andi Sullivan and BYU senior Ashley Hatch made their national team debuts with the ...
This week in men's college soccer    
One of the most impressive streaks in recent years in men's college soccer is Denver's 32-game ...
What They're Saying: Sigi Schmid    
"I would love to do that, but there's still this thing, stigma, lack of respect or ...
CCL: FC Dallas rallies to clinch group title    
Needing at least a tie to advance, FC Dallas rallied from 2-0 down after 22 minutes ...
USL Final: Red Bulls II favored, but Rangers are ready    
The USL season concludes Sunday at Red Bull Arena, where the home team, New York Red ...
CCL: Seedings give MLS chance of two teams in semis    
Concacaf pairs the teams for the quarterfinals of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League by seeding them ...
U.S. U-18 women lose to England, beat France     
The U.S. U-18 women's national team, coached by April Heinrichs, opened the 2016 Women's International Cup ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives