Did FC Dallas follow the 3rd Degree 2024 playbook?

Back in November, I wrote a plan for rebuilding FC Dallas for 2024. I tried to put myself in their shoes and use the constraints on the club of Hunt ownership, Andre Zanotta as TD, and Nico Estevez as Head Coach.

Since then, FC Dallas has gone step by step through my checklist. So did they just execute my plan?

Of course not.

But, in the end, it was kind of fun to see them seem to run their plan… and the spring isn’t even over yet.

It’s rather simple actually, Anyone could see the larger problems the club had. Several national writers mentioned ideas similar to mine. You can go back and read my plan for the details if you want to catch up.

Let’s run through my list again for fun.

Phase One – Roster Preparation


Step 1: Pick up Asier Illarramendi contract


Step 2: Buyout Jesus Jimenez

Not yet, but he’s being moved on. A buyout is still possible but if they get rid of him and his cap hit via loan or sale that’s just as good if not better.


Step 3: Dump Salary by Declining Options

It was time, I said, to move on from Jose Martinez, Facundo Quignon, and Jader Obrian and clear their cap.


Phase Two – Making Moves

Adding pieces.

Step 4: Add a Starting Left Center Back

Ok, Omar Gonzalez wasn’t what I had in mind. I wanted a starter grade left CB.

But Zanotta and Coach Nico are both stoked to get Gonzalez. Both pushed back on how healthy he is and how big a contribution he will make. So he’s the 3rd center back.

Ideally, I would love Omar as the 4th center back with a new 2nd center back paired with Nkosi Tafari thus moving Sebestien Ibegha to 3rd CB.

So Donesorta?

Take note, another center back link has surfaced even after Zanotta said they were good to go at CB. So they might still be looking to add more quality at the position.

Step 5: Move Alan Velasco to Injured Reserve

Zanotta laughed at this idea. It’s not happening. The best we might see is short-term IR. FCD is hoping Alan Velasco comes back in August or so and adds something.

Not done.

Phase Three – The Big Decisions

Big Boy Pants time.

Big Boy Pants Money (Part A): Get a DP 9, Don’t Miss

Looks like FC Dallas is about to pull it off with Petar Musa. Amazing.

Done (about to be).

Big Boy Pants Money (Part B): Move Jesus Ferreira to wing or off-striker.

Jesus Ferreira has spent pretty much all of the spring until he was injured, playing wing or off-striker. The position change appears to be fully on.


Medium Money: Upgrade the 6

The upgrade of the 6 comes by playing Asier Illarramendi there. Liam Fraser is starting to look like an upgrade as well. And now the club has signed Patrickson Delgado, a nice-looking Ecuodrian prospect in that same spot. Nolan Norris is also progressing.


Why not both? Super Fun Time Double Bonus!!

Amazingly… Done.

P.S. Return to Form

FC Dallas has a lot of money wrapped up in Paul Arriola and Sebastian Lletget. Both those players need to return to 2022 form.


P.P.S. Oh Crap!

Don’t sell Jesus Ferreira!
Close call, they almost did.


For now.


Of course, they didn’t follow my plan. But it was a good plan and FC Dallas has pretty much nailed it with 8 out of 10 items accomplished.

The only thing they didn’t do was season-ending IR for Velasco. And we’ll see if Lletget and Arriola rebound.

Hope it all pays off or I might look stupid.


  1. So much more excited for the season than I was a month ago. But CB does seem like an odd place to skimp if they’re going to play more 3 at the back. Maybe Farfan can play LCB in a 3? If Tafari, Ibeagha and Gonzalez are your three starters, then that only leaves Korca as a backup.

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