FC Dallas and North Texas SC roster rankings: August 25, 2020

The games are coming thick and fast, and I guess the roster rankings have to as well. FC Dallas and North Texas SC are in a collective struggle, with three draws and a loss since we last judged every player under contract.

As always, this is a power ranking based on who is playing well, playing at all, who the fans are talking about, who the media are talking about, and rather importantly who the coaches are talking up. It’s not a prediction of who should start or rating by talent, and if you think we’re wrong, feel free to tell us in the comments!

Matt Hedges poses with a jersey commemorating his record-breaking 248th game for FC Dallas. Marco Ferruzzi (left) and Andre Zanotta join him. (Courtesy FC Dallas)

Starting XI:

1 (-)Matt Hedges
High: 1 | Low: 7
Man of the Match, MLS Team of the Week, and broke Kreis’ record for most regular season games for FCD. Build the statue now! – Dan
2 (+3)Paxton Pomykal
High: 2 | Low: 5
He sure looks like FCD’s most dangerous player when he comes in. Why can’t get healthy and start? – Buzz
3 (+4)Jimmy Maurer
High: 3 | Low: 21
Jimmy put up six saves against Houston. Were they particularly threatening? No. Have we seen previous keepers *cough* Raul Fernandez *cough* let those types of chances in before?  Yes. – Dan
4 (-2)Michael Barrios
High: 2 | Low: 4
FCD’ most important player the last 3 years looks like he needs a game off.  – Buzz
5 (-1)Thiago Santos
High: 1 | Low: 5
If you did a hockey-style ‘three stars’, Thiago has a case to make for all five games so far. He’s the only midfield starter in the last three games that has performed. – Dan
6 (+5)Reto Ziegler
High: 6 | Low: 13
Slowing, but still FCD’s smartest defender and a great leader.  A big part of the good defense. – Buzz
7 (-1)Reggie Cannon
High: 4 | Low: 7
Reggie Cannon quietly is putting together solid games as always. Buzz reported interest from Portugal this week to add to the Russian, French, and Belgian suitors. Enjoy him while you still can. – Dan
8 (-5)Zdenek OndrasekHigh: 2 | Low:8Why is he not playing? He’s still FCD’s leading goal scorer with 2. – Buzz
9 (+3)Ryan Hollingshead
High: 6 | Low: 12
Ho’head is due out of his quarantine on Wednesday and Luchi said he’s kept in great shape through his family emergency. As good as Nelson has been defensively, Luchi has broken his ‘Wednesday rule’ for Ryan before to add to the attack. – Dan
10 (-3)Bryan Acosta
High: 7 | Low: 15
Way too static in midfield, not getting forward or linking. I question why he is still starting. But he is starting, so he stays in the top 10. – Buzz
11 (+6)Bressan
High: 9 | Low: 17
The Brazilian is getting a lot of time as Luchi plays with a three-man backline. I said on the pod last week that he needs to play regularly if we hope to see the highly touted Libertadores winner and not the error-prone defender we saw last season. – Dan
Kobra and Thiago Santos are all smiles in FC Dallas training, August 19, 2020.

In The Mix:

12 (-4)Franco Jara
High: 8 | Low: 18
Starting but not producing.  I have concerns.  – Buzz
13 (-)Ricardo Pepi
High: 9 | Low: 17
Luchi talked up Pepi’s game during Monday’s press conference, and that’s another game where he’s got in ahead of Kobra. – Dan
14 (-4)Jesus Ferreira
High: 10 | Low: 15
A player in whom the coaches have all the confidence in the world but who doesn’t have a position to play. – Buzz
15 (+7)Johnny Nelson
High: 15 | Low: 22
A fullback rather than a wingback, Nelson is improving every game and Buzz even filed Johnny under Bueno in the Houston draw. – Dan
16 (-)Fafa Picault
High: 8 | Low: 16
Showed something in his sub appearance, even if he did look a little stiff from lack of playing time of late. – Buzz
17  (-2)Callum Montgomery
High: 12 | Low: 17
A hammy tweak has kept Montgomery from the last two games for San Antonio. – Dan
18 (-)Brandon Servania
High: 14 | Low: 18
The team elevated when he came in, Coach Gonzalez says he’s working on fitness. Could he start soon? – Buzz
19 (-5)Tanner Tessmann
High: 6 | Low: 19
The role that Tanner excelled in alongside Santos has been an issue for three games and we haven’t seen Tessmann in that time, even off the bench. – Dan
20 (-1)Bryan Reynolds
High: 19 | Low: 20
We think he’s Reggie’s replacement. When is that happening?  Negotiating a new deal with FCD.  – Buzz
Nelson Montgomery 2020 Metal cutdown
John Nelson and Callum Montgomery, 2020. (Courtesy FC Dallas)

Second Team:

21 (-1)Andres Ricaurte
High: 20 | Low: 21
The plan was for Ricaurte to get into town this week to begin a quarantine period. The midfield looks increasingly like it needs him. – Dan
22 (-)Phelipe Megiolaro
High: 22 | Low: 22
FCD’s new 21-year-old keeper.  Is he here to compete as the coach says or does he walk in the door and start? I hope it’s the former.  – Buzz
23 (+3)Thomas Roberts
High: 23 | Low: 29
Tommypoo seems to be coming back. His performances with North Texas are improving each week. In just 3 games he leads Los Torolitos with 6 chances created. – Dan
24 (+7)Edwin Cerrillo
High: 24 | Low: 37
What an amazing performance for North Texas SC and that’s not even counting his stunning goal. – Buzz
25 (-4)Ema Twumasi
High: 20 | Low: 25
Ema has started all five games since returning to Austin. The thing that sticks out is how clean he is in the opposition half, Twumasi’s last game saw a 90% success rate in Tulsa’s half. 70% in the opposition half is a good number, 90 is ridiculous. – Dan
26 (-3)Francis Atuahene
High: 18 | Low: 26
Has started 2 straight games for Loyal, remains their leading scorer with 2 goals in 9 games, 4 starts.  – Buzz
27 (-3)Kyle Zobeck
High: 23 | Low: 27
GOATbeck backing up Jimmy like a champ. – Dan
28 (-3)Dante Sealy
High: 24 | Low: 28
Where’s he at?  Needs North Texas PT badly. – Buzz
29 (-2)Nkosi Burgess
High: 26 | Low: 33
USL restrictions are preventing Burgess from getting some playing time with North Texas, which is a real shame for a player who has already grown so much without that luxury in his rookie year. – Dan
30 (+2)Ronaldo Damus
High: 30 | Low: 38
With Beni Redzic out, he looks like the only dangerous NTX player.  Without Arturo Rodriguez he’s not getting the feeds he needs. – Buzz
31 (-2)Santiago Mosquera
High: 24 | Low: 31
Santi can’t get off the bench, and you then start to wonder if recalling Twumasi would be a better option in a pinch. – Dan
32 (7)Luis Zamudio
High: 32 | Low: 42
Appears to have won the NTX starting keeper spot having started 4 of the 6 games total. Playing fairly well with 16 saves and a 70% save pct. – Buzz
Edwin Cerrillo celebrates 20200823_ntxsc_21208
Edwin Cerrillo runs toward the crowd after scoring the opening goal in the USL League One match between North Texas SC and Union Omaha. (Daniel McCullough, 3rd Degree)

In Reserve:

33 (-5)Arturo Rodriguez
High: 22 | Low: 33
Wasn’t in the game day squad for Real Monarchs. Presumably he’s still hurt. – Dan
34 (-4)Brecc Evans
High: 30 | Low: 36
Has just been OK since his return.  A bit off the pace and rusty but he’s got a lot less help this year in the back this year. – Buzz
35 (+7)Gibran Rayo
High: 35 | Low: 42
An early sub against Fort Lauderdale before returning for the start and his first goal of the season against Omaha. – Dan
36 (-3)David Rodriguez
High: 33 | Low: 39
Moments of such brilliance, but he’s far, far too inconsistent, and loses out on PT to FCD homegrowns like Thomas Roberts. – Buzz
37 (-1)Eddie Munjoma
High: 35 | Low: 38
Munjoma is in a weird spot. If Reggie leaves he may suddenly find himself on the bench in MLS, but he badly needs time with NTX but some restrictions are preventing that. – Dan
38 (+5)Alisson
High: 38 | Low: 43
Showed versatility starting at center back this week, but still looks way too slow for my taste. – Buzz
39 (+8)Oscar Romero
High: 45 | Low: 46
Back healthy with a sub appearance and a start for North Texas SC. – Dan
40 (-6)Lamar Batista
High: 27 | Low: 47
Relegated to the bench since Evans returned.  How long will that last with the defense playing poorly? – Buzz
41 (-4)Imanol Almaguer
High: 37 | Low: 44
A knee injury forced Almaguer off early in the Fort Lauderdale game, and was enough to keep him out of the weekend’s game. – Dan
42 (-7)Alex Bruce
High: 30 | Low: 42
Another player relegated to the bench. He did have a nice assist last game though. – Buzz
43 (-5)Carlos Avilez
High: 34 | Low: 43
Gone from signing an MLS deal to being the rotation option/backup in USL in a very short time. – Dan
44 (-4)Juan Manuel Alvarez
High: 26 | Low: 44
Injured. – Buzz
45 (-4)Derek Waldeck
High: 39 | Low: 45
Still in this project to turn Waldeck into a left back. It still doesn’t look a great fit. – Dan
46 (-1)Philip Ponder
High: 43 | Low: 46
Only getting garbage minutes in a poor defense. – Buzz
47 (-1)Pedrinho
High: 44 | Low: 47
Justin Che is a great prospect at center back, but when he’s keeping you on the bench by playing out of position, that doesn’t sound like the coach can depend on you. – Dan
48 (-4)Pablo Aranguiz
High: 23 | Low: 48
He ain’t coming back. An FCD player in name only.  – Buzz

North Texas SC has given us both the biggest winner and loser of the week!

Alex Bruce takes a seven place plunge. There were high hopes for seeing Bruce reunite with his coach from the USSDA National Champion Texans SC, and replicate some of the form from Lansing last season. Instead it’s been just six shots in six games, and a place on the bench.

Lamar Batista was just one behind, as the former LAFC defender is relegated to the bench on a team that conceded five goals this week and has averaged two goals per game against this season.

NTXSC-Champions-9sm
Oscar Romero of North Texas SC cuts back against the grain in the USL League One Final won by North Texas SC, October 19, 2019.(@CMARCHO | Craig Marcho / 3rd Degree)

The week’s big winner was Oscar Romero. Last season, he disappeared from view then put a solid run in the team together. He’s back from injury and started ahead of Bruce and David Rodriguez in the last game. He moves up eight spots.

Behind Romero is a four-way tie of players moving up seven spots. Johnny Nelson is starting to look the part for FC Dallas, while Edwin Cerrillo finally got playing time and his first career goal. Luis Zamudio and Gibran Rayo join them after re-cementing their claims for playing time with NTX.

4 Comments

  1. Do you get a feeling that perhaps there’s something in the works to sell Sealy abroad? Assuming he’s fully healthy, you’d think he would at a minimum be getting NTSC minutes, but maybe an interested club is asking for him to be held out?

    1. I hope something is in the plans to get him PT somewhere. It’s hard during covid as you have to isolate. He can’t go to NTX without antibodies which he doesn’t have.

      1. Ah, ok I didn’t realize that (about the antibodies). Guess that indirectly tells us who was infected in the bubble as well.

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