Due to call-ups and injuries, FC Dallas is in the middle of a massive player shortage with the most pressing and concerning game coming in a week and a half against the San Jose Earthquakes on June 8th.
Major League Soccer has a rule for circumstances just like this, where injuries or call ups have decimated a club’s roster. Here’s the MLS rule in question:
Clubs may add players to their roster in cases of “Extreme Hardship.” Extreme Hardship exists when an MLS club has fewer than four available outfield substitutes. (Less than 14 outfield players available).MLS Rulebook
Potentially missing June 8
U20 World Cup: Paxton Pomykal, Brandon Servania, Edwin CerrilloGold Cup: Bryan Acosta, Reggie CannonCopa America: Carlos GruezoToulon Tournament: Pablo AranguizOn Loan: Moises Hernandez (San Antonio FC), Dante Sealy (North Texas SC)Injured: Santiago Mosquera
I’m assuming Reto Ziegler will be recovered by then. That’s right on the potential time frame for a Mosquera recovery too.
Important note: Francis Atuahene and Cristian Colman aren’t on the MLS Injury Report any more and aren’t technically “injured,” they just aren’t fit. That’s different than being injured.
So, can FC Dallas field 14 field players on June 8th?
Let’s count ’em. And remember, keepers don’t count.
Available field players June 8th
1. Dom Badji2. Michael Barrios3. Bressan4. Jesus Ferreira5. Jacori Hayes6. Matt Hedges7. Ryan Hollingshead8. Callum Montgomery9. John Nelson10. Zdenek Ondrasek11. Bryan Reynolds12. Thomas Roberts13. Ema Twumasi14. Reto Ziegler
That’s 14 without using Atuahene or Colman.
So can FCD sign a hardship player?
So what kind of team are we looking at to face San Jose? Something like this maybe…
Bench: Jimmy Maurer, Bressan, Callum Montgomery, Bryan Reynolds, Ema Twumasi, and Dante Sealy*. And if either is deemed healthy/fit: Francis Atuahene, Cristian Colman. So, Atuahene could maybe be the 7th bench player?
* There is no North Texas SC game June 8th, so why not recall Dante Sealy for the bench.
So you can see that it would take a few more injuries to hit the less than 14 player limit, anywhere from 1 to 5 injuries depending on how MLS enforces their rule. It would be quite interesting to see if MLS would deem Atuahene and Colman as being “available” and if the would force a recall of Moises Hernandez and/or Dante Sealy before allowing a hardship signing.
It’s going to be interesting either way.
Potential Hardship Signing
I just said FCD isn’t going to be able to sign anyone, but for fun let’s talk about who they might sign if it did happen. You know, hypothetically.
I think it safe to assume FC Dallas would just use a North Texas SC player as a hardship signing. Technically, they could use any USL loan, but it seems silly to use anyone but NTXSC for this. That’s the point of NTXSC isn’t it?
Who FCD would sign would depend on what role FCD thinks they need filling.
Holding mid – Alfusainey Jatta: A player I think is destined for bigger things. Potentially an FCD MLS signing for 2020 anyway. Massive range and size, wonderful ball skill, great passer, and solid defender in the midfield. Jokingly called the Gambian Pogba for a reason.
Linking mid – Tanner Tessmann: Currently an Academy player but one with the talent to be at least a USL-1 signing and potentially a Homegrown. FCD is probably looking to sign him this summer anyway. Another tall mid with great field vision and ball skill. Wonderful long range shooting ability and incredible versatility.
Attacking mid/wing – Arturo Rodriguez: Currently the brightest, creative attacking-mid in the North Texas team. His younger brother David has potential more upside but the 20-year-old Arturo currently is the creative engine of the North Texans with 2 goals (on 8 shots), 3 assists (2nd USL-1), and 16 chances created (2nd in USL-1).