FC Dallas and the Four Four Two

Coach Nico Estevez has been rolling with a 4-4-2 base formation of late for several reasons.

First, the injuries have limited the number of 8s he has; second, a two-striker system benefits Jesus Ferreira; and third, both the club’s 6s – Facundo Quignon and Edwin Cerrillo – function better in a double pivot.

Hopefully, the latter idea is more of a 6/8 combo than a double-6.

As he does tactically, Coach Estevez will likely change things up frequently, a characteristic accentuated by the current injuries. But I think there’s a good chance we will see a lot more of the 4-4-2 no matter what as the season goes on. Coach has been talking about how much he likes it and the chance creation he’s getting from it.

So let’s talk about how it will look with FCD’s current personnel if everyone is healthy.

Effectively, this shape is dropping an 8 for a 2nd striker.


This one will be Jesus Ferreira as the “off-striker” and then someone else as the other striker. Who that is can vary with form and opponent. Right this minute, Jader Obrian would be the choice. Jesus Jiminez might be the call if you want a high striker. Maybe Alan Velasco in a double-false-9 look? Maybe Tsiki Ntsabeleng (or Sebastian Lletget) as a deep-10 with Ferreira’s False-9 like we saw before the South African got injured (almost a 4-2-3-1)?

In the 4-4-2, new striker Eugene Ansah probably figures in this striker mix as does Jose Mulato.

Central Mid

The double-6 can work but ideally, this is a 6/8 combo. So one post is Edwin Cerrillo or Facundo Quignon and the other is Paxton Pomykal or Sebastian Lletget. Maybe Tsiki Ntsabeleng.

Wide Midfield

The wide left will default to Alan Velasco most of the time and after he returns Paul Arriola will likely take the right. Both Jader Obrian and Sebastian LLetget can also feature wide on either side as does Bernard Kamungo.

We’ve also seen outside backs like San Junqua, Herbert Endeley, and Ema Twumasi take up some of these roles.

Center Back

Same as it is now with a possible addition of a left-sided player this summer. We hope. So, the three-man rotation of Nkosi Tafari, Jose Martinez, and Sebas Ibeagha will continue with maybe a 4th?

Wide Back

Another status quo. Marco Faran left with Sam Junqua as the reserve.

A stronger one-on-one battle is on the right between Ema Twumasi (the better defender) and Geovane Jesus (the better attacker). When both are healthy, I think you might see the Twumasi/road and Geovane/home swaps continue more.


A can’t see it changing from Maarten Paes first and Jimmy Maurer second any time soon.


FC Dallas probable depth chart in a 4-4-2 for 2023.
The probable FC Dallas depth chart in a 4-4-2 for 2023.

There you go.

1 Comment

  1. Switching to a 4-4-2 means either leaving one of your highest paid players on the bench or playing at least one of them out of position to get them on the field. In a salary cap league it’s an incredibly wasteful way to utilize your roster, essentially no different than paying $3M/yr for a backup striker. When Dallas acquired Lletget last year they essentially committed themselves to a 4-3-3. Pivoting away from that now, after you have extended him for 3 years, is simply stupid. Dallas’ use of their roster spots has been unfocused over the last few years – it feels like they are constantly flailing around without a clear plan on how to build your squad. Very reactionary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *