Eddie Munjoma, the 27th homegrown in FC Dallas history, has found early minutes on the pitch in his second year with the club having registered 4 appearances, 3 starts, and 232 minutes.
Despite the 22-year-old right-back being one of the newer faces at the pro level, Munjoma is comfortable with the organization and his role as a professional due to his time in the Academy.
Munjoma, an FC Dallas Academy and SMU product, has played on one of two teams to have won the (the now-defunct) U-16 and U-18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy championships in consecutive years. Weston McKennie and Reggie Cannon were fellow teammates that partook in the 2016 FC Dallas Academy Class.
“It’s amazing,” Munjoma said. “Coming back to basically home, that’s basically what it is. I was able to win both U-16 and U-18 championships and it was obviously a blessing. I’m always going to be very happy with that. I won it with a group of guys that were very talented and very good players and we’re still in touch today.”
Munjoma says it means everything to him to be a homegrown signing and to have the coaches believe in him “I’m going to be very grateful for that and this is the club that gave me my very first steps at the professional game. I’m thankful in general and grateful to be home.”
After his college soccer days, Munjoma signed a professional contract with FC Dallas in the winter of 2020. While he didn’t find time on the field in for FC Dallas in 2020, the young defender found last season to be a valuable learning experience.
“I didn’t get any opportunities [with FC Dallas] last year and a lot of what I spent doing last year was learning,” Munjoma said. “Learning from Reggie [Cannon] and learning from [Bryan] Reynolds.”
Toward the end of 2020, Munjoma featured for North Texas SC playing 429 minutes over 5 starts. These first professional minutes gave fans a chance to see the young defender at a competitive level.
“That was a very good experience, a very positive experience,” Munjoma said of the North Texas Experience. “Not just for me but for the other first-team players as well who weren’t getting minutes.”
“At the end of the day [I thought], ‘I’m not playing with FC Dallas and the first team but those were my first professional minutes, and it’s good to get those.’ It took some time and it was another process.”
“My first game [with North Texas SC] didn’t go the way that I wanted and I didn’t have any game rhythm,” Munjoma says that with time everything began to fit. “I’m not worried about my comfort, but it was a very enjoyable experience and it definitely prepared me very well for what I’m experiencing now,” said Munjoma.
Known for his ability and comfort to get up the field, Munjoma’s playstyle is well suited for Luchi Gonzalez’s desire for his full-backs to contribute to the Dallas attacking play.
While Eddie will want to contribute to the Dallas attack, defensively Munjoma has seen that playing in MLS has required some adjustment to the physicality and higher quality of play in comparison to his previous experiences.
“Coming in after SMU – and having a successful time at SMU – I knew one of the main things I needed to do was to improve my defensive capabilities, just my defending in general. I was pretty successful at SMU with my attacking and I know that I have that [quality] all the time,” said Munjoma.
Munjoma says that at the end of the day, playing right back is about defending and that he takes pride in that.
“A lot of what the coaches instilled all throughout last season and into this preseason, was improving [my defending]. I’m still learning and I’m still growing. I’m sure with time – I’m not worried and I know what I can do when attacking – but it will come with time.”
The #2 jersey and right-back position means a great deal to Dallas fans especially after the recent successes that Reggie Cannon and Bryan Reynolds had at the position. For Eddie Munjoma, inheriting the role doesn’t phase him as he’s eager to compete and cement his name as the starting right-back while forging his own legacy during his time.
“Reggie had a different path and Bryan had a different path and I’m sure I’m going to have a different path as well. I respect everything that they did but at the end of the day, I’m my own person.”