Ahead of the clash, we interviewed BigDSoccer.com to find out about a few of their new players, the health of Mauro Diaz, among other things.
1) After winning the Supporters' Shield and the U.S. Open Cup, what are the expectations for Dallas heading into 2017?
This season is truly going to be centered around success in the CONCACAF Champions League and winning a MLS Cup. The club has done well in the regular season over the last two years and they know how important that is but at the end of the day, they want those two trophies in their trophy case. Winning what they did last year got the monkey off their backs in some ways but the stated goal from day one has always been about the CCL and MLS Cup.
2) There are a number of additions to an already impressive roster, like MLS veteran Javier Morales, and talented youngster Cristian Colman, what roles do you think the new guys will play?
The added depth and talent to this roster this offseason has been impressive to say the least. I was a little skeptical about some players until I actually got to see them on the field but I have to give credit to Fernando Clavijo and company for the types of moves they made. They got players like Roland Lamah, an experienced winger with good speed to replace Fabian Castillo. Javier Morales to be that stop-gap until Mauro Diaz is healthy. Cristian Colman right now appears to be the answer we all have been waiting for at the number nine position.
But for me, I also love pointing out the young Homegrown players that were added like fullback Reggie Cannon or forward Jesus Ferreria, the son of former MLS MVP David Ferreira. While those guys aren't going to get a lot of minutes in 2017, you know Oscar Pareja is going to find a way to work them in to the lineup at some point.
3) Mauro Diaz was the heart and soul of the side until he missed the latter part of the season with an injury and is still recovering from that Achilles injury, what's his status and how much longer does he have to go before he's fully healthy and back to playing soccer?
Right now the continued statement I get from the club is that he is rehabbing well and his tentative return date is in June. I'm a little skeptical of that date simply because anyone you talk to that has had an Achilles injury like this knows it takes a good year to fully heal. Even if that is the case, we're looking at a return date around the time for the club's playoff push. I couldn't imagine a better time to have a fully healthy Mauro Diaz then right at the MLS Cup Playoffs.