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Can Fabian Castillo step up his game for FC Dallas?

With Blas Perez on international duty, FC Dallas will need Fabian Castillo to step up his game. Can he do it? And what about FC Dallas' Rookie of the Year campaign for Tesho Akindele

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

With the big LA Galaxy game against FC Dallas coming up tomorrow, I had some questions about what the Hoops are up to.  Brian Wachholz of Big D Soccer fielded some of my questions, and his answers to those questions appear below.

1) Dallas will be without Blas Perez on Sunday. How is that going to affect the attack?

The absence of Perez will put greater pressure on Fabian Castillo and the counterattack. Blas' ability to hold up the ball and battle defenders creates space and allows midfielders to run the lanes and build an attack from the half. FCD does not have an equivalent substitute for Blas, so the team will be more reliant on set pieces and speedy youngsters for goal scoring opportunities. Blas is one of those players that I think a lot of MLS hates if he's not on your team. Lucky for FCD fans, we have him. He's invaluable to this organization and has had one of his best years in North Texas in 2014.

2) What do you think of FCD PR's campaign to get Tesho Akindele the Rookie of the Year award?

I don't know how exactly a Rookie of the Year Award is ultimately decided, but I don't think it's a popular vote... it may be some type of vote by a select group. Consequently, I don't know that the campaign is particularly effective with actually winning the award. However it is great publicity for the club. Tesho has gone from unknown to having a year worthy of ROTY discussion. FCD wasn't historically known as being on the leading edge of outreach or media campaigns, so it's fantastic to see the organization go out and produce some quality work now. If nothing else, it definitely raises Tesho's and FCD's profile in a crowded DFW media market.

3) Rumor has it Houston will be in the Western Conference next year. Are y'all excited to have your Texan mates back for a full season series?

Yeah we're definitely excited. The rivalry between Texas' major cities goes beyond soccer alone. It will be better for everyone to increase the number of times we meet and improve the quality of our annual fight over El Capitán - the civil war cannon awarded to the series winner. Although it's worked to Dallas' advantage in recent years, it's harder to boast an annual victory based on only 1 matchup. Additionally, the geographic spread of MLS makes travel to away games difficult compared to other leagues abroad, so I think many of us our looking forward to more matches against our two closest competitors, Houston and Kansas City.