Best XI | Academy Products

Ed Note: 3rd Degree update to this post in January 2022.

The rules are simple, pick a Bext XI of players who have left the FC Dallas Academy. Beyond each Best XI choice, I’ve put a shortlist of nominees.

Let’s begin.

Forward: Rogelio Funes Mori

This one’s not close yet. And yes, the Funes Mori brothers played for the FCD Academy. It wasn’t very long but they were FCD Academy players. Rogelio has played 321+ professional games at River Plate, Benfica, Eskişehirspor, and Monterrey with over 140 goals.

Ramiro and Rogelio Funes Mori with the FC Dallas Academy in 2008.


  • Ricardo Pepi – Sold to FC Augsburg for approx $18-$20 million.
  • Jesus Ferreira – FCD’s first Homegrown DP.
  • Charlie Kelman – This is kind of a cheat, he played for FCD Pre-Academy and FCD Premier. Moved back to England and joined Southend United’s youth setup before moving to their first team. Currently with Queens Park Rangers. Former US U18 and U20.
  • Johan Gomez – Former FCD U19 striker moved to Porto FC then FSV Zwickau.
  • Santiago Munoz – Another “cheat,” Munoz played for FC Dallas El Paso before joining Santos Laguna. Recently transferred to Newcastle United. Mexico U17 and U20.
  • Ronaldo Damus – Won USL-1 title with North Texas SC and USL-C title with Orange County. Haitian U20 and Senior National Teamer.

Left Wing/Mid: Alex Zendejas

Alex Zendejas shows some Texas pride. (FCD Communications)

Originally from El Paso (pre-move to Chivas) or Ciudad Juarez (post-move to Chivas), Zendejas was FC Dallas’ 13th Homegrown signing. Made 8 appearances with FCD over 2 seasons before being sold for $500,000 to Chivas. He has played for Chivas, Zacatepec, Necaxa, and now Club America. US U15 and U 17. Mexico U21, U23, and senior team.


  • Arturo Rodriguez – Scored the 2017 Dallas Cup Super Group winning-goal against Monterrey. 2019 USL-1 MVP and Young Player of the Year playing mostly as a left wing, but sometimes as a 10. Currently with Phoenix Rising.
  • Shaft Brewer – Played for LAFC and on loan with Phoenix Rising. Currently with Fram Larvik in Norway. Former US U18 and U20.

Attacking Mid: Emerson Hyndman

After leaving the FCD Academy, Hyndman spent a few years in Fulham’s youth team. Professional career at Fulham in the Championship and Bournemouth where he went on loan to Rangers, Hibernian, and then Atlanta United. Joined Atlanta full-time in 2019. US U17, U20, U23, and senior team.

Emerson Hyndman
Emerson Hyndman. (Courtesy MLS)


  • Paxton Pomykal – Pomykal had a breakout season in 2019 and was named to the MLS All-Star team. US U20, U23, USMNT. Has struggled with injuries the last two years and that cost him this spot after earning it back in 2020.
  • Thomas Roberts – FC Dallas Homegrown. Helped North Texas SC win the 2019 USL-1 Championship.  On loan to Austria Klagenfurt.
  • Devin Vega – Former FCD Academy player signed with San Antonio FC after graduating. Has since played for Phoenix Rising, FC Tucson, and Real Monarchs. Has 1 cap for Puerto Rico.

Right Wing/Mid: Dante Sealy

The fact that Sealy is the answer here says something about this position in Academy product history. A US Youth International. Currently on loan to PSV.

Dante Sealy, 2020. (Courtesy FC Dallas)


  • Coy Craft – 6 games for FC Dallas as a Homegrown. Last seen playing with Nyköpings BIS in Sweden in 2018 after stints with OKC Energy (on loan) and Miami FC 2.

Linking Mid: Weston McKennie

“The one that got away.” Bundesliga, Serie A, Champions League, and the USMNT. Moved from Schalke 04 to a tiny club in Italy called Juventus.

Weston McKennie with the FC Dallas Academy. (FCD Communications)
Weston McKennie with the FC Dallas Academy. (FCD Communications)


  • Kellyn Acosta – Former FC Dallas Homegrown recently traded from Colorado Rapids to LAFC. USMNT key contributor and under Gregg Berhalter.
  • Chris Cappis – Blocked by MLS and the Houston Dynamo from signing with FC Dallas, he instead signed with Hobro IK in Denmark. Before moving to Brøndby IF. USMNT.
  • Brandon Servania – FC Dallas Homegrown has been an on-again, off-again starter the last few years. Plays as a 6 or an 8 with the US U20s. USMNT.
  • Tanner Tessmann – Former Homegrown was sold to Venezia. US U20, U23, and senior team.

Holding Mid: Victor Ulloa

214 MLS appearances and counting with almost 15,000 MLS minutes played gets Ulloa this spot. FC Dallas to FC Cincinnati, to Inter Miami. The quintessential stay-at-home holding mid with a keep-it-simple philosophy.

Victor Ulloa, Texan at heart. (FCD Communications)

Other Nominees:

  • Edwin Cerrillo – Current FC Dallas Homegrown and sometimes starting 6.

Left Back: Moises Hernandez

During his first stint with FC Dallas started 33 games as a left back. Hernandez has also played some left back for Guatemala (28 caps). Between his first stint for FCD and his second, he became a center back. He’s played for Comunicaciones, Deportivo Saprissa, Rayo OKC, San Antonio FC, FC Dallas, Antigua, and Municipal. Former US U20.

Moises Hernandez playing for San Antonio FC in 2019. (SAFC)


  • Jonathan Gomez – Aka JoGo. Former Academy U17 signed with Louisville City recently moved to Real Sociedad. He’ll probably take this spot soon.
  • Aaron Guillen – 8 games played at left back over two seasons as a Homegrown for FC Dallas. Played at Tulsa Roughnecks on loan. He’s continued his pro career in USL with North Carolina FC and Tampa Bay Rowdies.
  • Niko Hämäläinen – Signed for Queens Park Rangers out of the FCD Academy. Played 7 games for QPR and has been on loan since to Dagenham & Redbridge, LAFC, and Kilmarnock. 2 caps with Finland, former Finland U18, U19, and U20. Has also been in a US U23 camp.

Center Back: Ramiro Funes Mori

Like his brother, he had a short stint at FC Dallas Academy before moving to River Plate’s youth team. Played for River, Everton, Villarreal, and Al-Nassr. 26 senior caps with Argentina. 

Ramiro Funes Mori in MLS Sueno (left) and signing with Everton (right).

Center Back: Chris Richards

Richards gets the other center back spot. Bayern Munich player on loan to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. USMNT debut vs Panama (Nov. 2020).

Chris Richards playing for the FC Dallas U19s in the 2018 Dallas Cup.
Chris Richards playing for the FC Dallas U19s in the 2018 Dallas Cup. (Collodi Photography / Dallas Cup)


  • Nico Carrera – Former FCD U19 signed with Holstein Kiel. Mostly a HK U23 to this point.
  • Moises Hernandez – See above, these days he plays center back.
  • Jonathan Tomkinson – Plano native who played for FC Dallas and Solar before making the jump to Norwich City where he has played since. Commonly a U23 but has had cups of coffee with their senior side.
  • Justin Che – US Youth International and FCD Homegrown. On loan to Hoffenheim.

Right Back: Reggie Cannon

Former FCD Homegrown. MLS career: 67 games, 64 starts, 2 goals, 5 assists. Transferred to Boavista in 2020. US senior international. He’s holding this spot by the fingernails ahead of Reynolds and Moore.

FRISCO, TX – MARCH 23: FC Dallas defender Reggie Cannon (#2) dribbles upfield during the MLS game between FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids on March 23, 2019, at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Visinsky, 3rd Degree)


  • Bryan Reynolds – Homegrown sold to AS Roma. Signed at 15 as a wing but was converted to right back. USMNT.
  • Shaq Moore – Left the FC Dallas Academy for a shot in Spain with Valencia but didn’t catch on. Has played 136+ professional games with Huracan, Oviedo B, Levante B, Levante, Reus, and now Tenerife. USMNT.
  • London Woodberry – Signed as an FC Dallas Homegrown after playing at Maryland. Made 8 appearances for FCD in two seasons. Joined Arizona United after FC Dallas. Played 46 games for New England Revolution after returning to MLS. Spent 2018 with Nashville SC and signed with Austin Bold in 2019.

Goalkeeper: Jesse Gonzalez

101 MLS starts with FC Dallas. His domestic troubles have cost him his job with FCD but he remains the best Academy product goalkeeper. Was a Mexican youth international, he’s chosen to play for the US at senior level but has yet to receive a cap.

Jesse Gonzalez of FC Dallas. (FCD Communications)


  • Richard Sanchez – Won the 2011 U17 World Cup playing with Mexico. A former FC Dallas Homegrown (loan stint at Fort Lauderdale Strikers) who was sold to Tigres for a reported $1 mil. Did not play for Tigres but did have loans (back) to FC Dallas and Tampico Madero. Now back in MLS, he’s played for Chicago Fire, Sporting KC, North Texas SC, and just signed with LA Galaxy.

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