Early January 2024 FC Dallas roster check-up

Doctor, Doctor, give me the news. I’ve got a bad case of lovin’ you. No pill’s gonna cure my ill. I’ve got a bad case of lovin’ you.

Robert Palmer

The 2023 FC Dallas season ended with the Game 3 loss to Seattle back on November 10th. The 2024 season begins on February 24th. So right now, here in the first week of January, Los Toros are – give or take – halfway through the offseason build.

So now is as good a time as any to check in on the progress of said build.

Players are slated to report to camp on the 13th of January and, following physicals, begin camp on the 15th or 16th. (The official camp schedule should be out soon.)

For this post, I’m going to look at the roster in two ways. First, using Coach Nico Estevez‘s preferred tactical system, the 4-3-3, lay out the depth chart of every player in the mix right now.

And second, a straight count of the players using my roster breakdown system.

Opening of Camp Depth Chart

Pending news this week, these are all the names for the opening of FCD camp 2024. This list can and probably will change this week based on trialists, signings, and North Texas SC invitees.

I am putting the players in one position each, the one I believe they will most factor (wings are interchangeable, don’t get too excited). Observing camp, scrimmages, and friendlies will alter the shape and list as we go on.

Fcd Depth Jan 4 2024 1
FCD’s Depth chart as of January 4, 2024. (As compiled by 3rd Degree)

Two player x-factors that are out of contract but were on FCD’s stated list of “still talking” are Jimmy Maurer and Amet Korca. We shall see when camp opens if those two players are going to be in the mix.

Generation adidas
Unsigned draft picks

The 30-Man Roster

Here’s a straight list of players for the 30-man roster.

My roster build method consists of 2 deep everywhere, an extra striker, an extra keeper, an extra center back, and 5 “whatever you want” players. For a deeper dive, you can check out the start of the offseason breakdown.

Two (solvable) problems jump out right away.
1. FCD already is 2 players over the limit and arguably needs to add 2 or 3 more players.
2. FCD has 10 international players and only 8 slots currently.

This isn’t as big of a deal as it used to be. I’ll explain why below.

Roster SlotPositionPlayerNotes
1Striker 1Jesus FerreiraYDP
2Striker 2Jesus JiminezTAM, Int 1
3Striker 3Jose MulatoInt 2
4Extra Striker Logan FarringtonSigned
5Extra StrikerMalik-Henry ScottHG
6Wing 1Paul ArriolaDP
7Wing 2Bernard Kamungo
8Wing 3Eugene AnsahInt 3
9Wing 4Enes SaliU22, Int 4
10Extra WingDante Sealy
11Extra WingTarik ScottHG
12Free Eight 1Sebastian LletgetTAM
13Free Eight 2Tomas Pondeca
14IR Free EightAlan Velasco YDP, Int 5. IR?
15Linking Eight 1Paxton PomykalTAM
16Linking Eight 2Tsiki NtsabelengInt 6
17Holding 1Asier IllarramendiInt 7, TAM.
18Holding 2Liam Fraser
19Extra 6/8/CBNolan NorrisHG
20Extra 6/8Alejandro UrzuaHG
21Left Back 1Marco Farfan
22Left Back 2Sam Junqua
23Extra Left BackIsaiah ParkerGA
24Center Back 1Nkosi Tafari
25Center Back 2TAM signingReplace Martinez, TAM
26Center Back 3Sebastien Ibeagha
27Center Back 4Start capableAmet Korca?
28Center Back 5Turner HumphreyUnsigned
29Extra Center BackMads WestergrenInt 10. Unsigned
30Right Back 1Ema Twumasi
31Right Back 2Herbert Endeley
32IR Right BackGeovane JesusU22, Int 9. IR?
33Goalkeeper 1Maarten PaesInt 8
34Goalkeeper 2Antonio CarreraHG
35Goalkeeper 33rd KeeperJimmy Maurer?

TAM = salary over the DP line but bought down under with Target Allocation Money.
HG = Homegrown roster status
GA = Generation adidas
Int = International
U22 = U22 Initiative signing
Unsigned Draft Pick

Notes, Comments, and Conclusions

Asier Illarramendi is, in roster build terms, Facundo Quignon‘s replacement as Eugene Ansah essentially replaced Jader Obrian.

Of the 2-3 players FCD needs to add, we at 3rd Degree see these needs as a TAM center back (to replace Jose Martinez), a depth center back who can start if needed (Korca last season), and a 3rd goalkeeper.

The aforementioned depth CB might end up being Amet Korca again. Or Nolan Norris (although at this point he seems more like a midfielder). One of the drafted center backs being better than we expect sooner than we expect could also factor here as the 4th or 5th CB.

FCD is after Julian Eyestone as a homegrown as the 3rd keeper but I’m hearing that isn’t going well. They may return to Jimmy Maurer or go some other direction instead.

We would still like to see FCD buy out Jesus Jimenez. That will save FCD a lot of salary cap and an international slot.

TD Andre Zanotta tells me that MLS teams can now carry a 31st “inactive player” and as many Homegrowns as they want (can afford) but these players have to be placed on the “active roster” to play.

In addition, while Zanotta ruled out putting Alan Velasco on season-ending injured reserve, the club can (and should) put both Velasco and Geovane Jesus on “short-term” IR which carries a 6-game minimum. (Both players are expected to be out longer than 6 games.) While this short-term IR move won’t give FCD any cap relief it will give roster relief until the club is ready to activate them.

Players can, of course, be loaned to other clubs or North Texas SC to clear this roster log jam. In my mind, Malik Henry-Scott is more a 9 who can wing, and Tarik Scott is more a wing who can 9. Your mileage may vary. Put ’em both where you like as both, or either, could start the year at North Texas SC. As could Ale Urzua.

Paul Arriola could be bought down (TAM/GAM) to being a non-DP player if FC Dallas wanted to open a DP spot.

The MLS transfer window should open around the end of January and run till about April. Players can sign pre-contracts if they are going to be out of contract this winter. Any player free already can be signed at any time.

What Else?

Here’s the thing…
All of the above is just basic roster building. In the above build, it’s all pretty much just standing pat for 2024.

So is this it? Is there an ambitious move to help climb the standings?

Is FCD going to carry a TAM player with a DP-level salary that provides almost nothing? Are they counting on Lletget and Arriola returning to 2022 form as the way forward? What of the reported interest in Senior Nips from Liga MX teams?

So far, beyond Illarra replacing Facu and a new hypothetical center back in for JAM, we see little that makes the team better. Enes Sali is just 17 and more about the future, Coach already tapped the breaks on the kid having an instant impact. Think of him as Homegrown-like instead.

But there’s plenty of time…
The season doesn’t start will late February.

It sure would be nice to see some signs of movement soon though.


  1. I didn’t realize that the transfer window doesn’t open until the end of January. Seems like it puts the league at a disadvantage to other leagues around the world.

  2. In my opinion, eugene might be a starter. Yeah he only scored 3 in all comps in 2023 but as someone who watches the israeli premier league i can say that when he started he was crazy good. Nico should give him a chance..

Leave a Reply

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