FC Dallas and North Texas SC roster rankings: August 3, 2020

We last visited our roster rankings four and a half months ago when MLS shut down, but with North Texas SC back in the flow of things, it’s time to dust them off.

The rankings are based on who’s playing, who’s being talked about by us, other media, coaches, fans, and whoever else. Like all power rankings, there is nothing scientific about it but it’s a good way to discuss things we hear about the direction of the team that may not make it into an article. So let’s get to it:

Santos: MARCH 07 MLS - Montreal at FC Dallas
FRISCO, TX – MARCH 07: Thiago Santos battles during the MLS game between FC Dallas and Montreal Impact on March 7, 2020, at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX. (Photo by Matthew Visinsky, 3rd Degree)

Starting XI:

1 (-)Thiago Santos
High: 1 | Low: 1
Santos impressed in the early games on both sides of the ball. Luchi made concessions for Thiago who hadn’t ‘learned’ the defense at that point so it’ll be interesting to see how that carries after several months of training but no games. – Dan
2 (-)Zdenek OndrasekHigh: 2 | Low: 2Kobra kept everyone entertained in Florida with his antics and positive spirit. If he keeps scoring he’ll keep his spot. – Buzz
3 (-)Michael Barrios
High: 3 | Low: 3
It’s Mikey, come on! – Dan
4 (+3)Matt Hedges
High: 4 | Low: 7
The Rock. – Buzz
5 (-)Paxton Pomykal
High: 5 | Low: 5
Was set for the start in game 3 before the pandemic. Fully healthy, we think. – Buzz
6 (+4)Ryan Hollingshead
High: 6 | Low: 10
With the expected flex to a 3-5-2, Ho’head is in his element. – Dan
7 (-3)Reggie Cannon
High: 4 | Low: 7
No bids for Reggie, yet. Covid may have ruined his price and thus his move. – Buzz
8 (+7)Bryan Acosta
High: 8 | Low: 15
Ready to resume his starting role whenever the soccer does eventually happen. – Dan
9 (+7)Bressan
High: 9 | Low: 16
The primary beneficiary of any 3-5-2 use is the 3rd CB. No brainer. – Dan
10 (+11)Jimmy Maurer
High: 10 | Low: 21
The new FCD #1.  He’s also become an outspoken leader and other players consider him almost a coach. – Buzz
11 (+2)Reto Ziegler
High: 11 | Low: 13
The captain is slowing down a little but a back three would help keep him in the game. – Dan
Reto Ziegler
Reto Ziegler flexes. (Courtesy FC Dallas)

In The Mix:

12 (-)Callum Montgomery
High: 12 | Low: 12
Was pressing Bressan for 3rd on the depth chart, he’s on a short term loan to SAFC to get him high level games and get ready for MLS PT. – Buzz
13 (-5)Fafa Picault
High: 8 | Low: 13
Seems to have the start on the left wing locked down, but a formation change could see Fafa’s time reduced. – Dan
14 (+3)Brandon Servania
High: 14 | Low: 17
Pressing Acosta hard for the 8-spot now that he’s healthy. – Buzz
15 (-1)Jesus Ferreira
High: 10 | Low: 15
See The Ferreira Conundrum. – Dan
16 (-10)Tanner Tessmann
High: 6 | Low: 16
With the return of Acosta and Servania to health, he’s now the 3rd choice 8. But expect him to continue to contribute and get PT. – Buzz
17 (-8)Ricardo Pepi
High: 9 | Low: 17
The pandemic crushed El Tren’s momentum before Jara arrived, but soccer may return just in time for him to still have a pre-Jara impact. – Dan
18 (-)Franco Jara
High: 18 | Low: 18
Not fully integrated into the team, nor fully focused on soccer (his stuff just got here and his wife is pregnant during a pandemic), nor fully healthy. – Buzz
19 (+1)Bryan Reynolds
High: 19 | Low: 20
On the ups as always and waiting patiently for Reggie’s transfer. Can he force the issue? – Dan
20 (+5)Ema Twumasi
High: 20 | Low: 25
Luchi kept him in Dallas – unlike Atuahene – but he should probably go back to Austin Bold on loan at some point. – Buzz
Ema Twumasi is enjoying training with FC Dallas, June 29, 2020. (Courtesy FC Dallas)

Second Team:

21 (-2)Johnny Nelson
High: 19 | Low: 21
Nelson could do with some game time somewhere. Hollingshead isn’t budging from the lineup. – Dan
22 (-4)Francis Atuahene
High: 18 | Low: 22
On loan to 1st-place San Diego w/ 2 starts, 6 games played. Leads Loyal in scoring with 2. But he’s not in Luchi’s plans and was allowed to leave on loan back in spring training. – Buzz
23 (+4)Kyle Zobeck
High: 23 | Low: 27
GOATbeck just got upgraded to #2. He’s not an MLS starter but his growth in the last two years really does help his standing as an MLS backup now. – Dan
24 (+4)Dante Sealy
High: 24 | Low: 28
Was one of the hype young players heading into MLSisBack.  I still expect him to make his MLS debut soon as he was kept with FCD rather than sent to NTX during the downtime. – Buzz
25 (+4)Thomas Roberts
High: 25 | Low: 29
He needs to get to NTX ASAP and start dictating games ASAP. – Dan
26 (+7)Nkosi Burgess
High: 26 | Low: 33
Kept with FCD rather than NTX where we expected him to be, possibly because of the 3-man back line and Montgomery short term loan. – Buzz
27 (+20)Lamar Batista
High: 27 | Low: 47
Named to USL-1 Team of the Week in week 2 (NTX game 1).  Showing leadership and composure in a backline made of 2 academy kids and a (slow) converted mid. – Dan  
28 (-6)Arturo Rodriguez
High: 22 | Low: 28
Currently injured, he only has 2 appearances for RSL Monarchs, 1 start and 1 sub. – Buzz
29 (-5)Santiago Mosquera
High: 24 | Low: 29
Lost the starting spot and didn’t really seem to respond. Maybe his third preseason of the year will bring him back to preseason Santi of 2019. – Dan
30 (-7)Pablo Aranguiz
High: 23 | Low: 30
He’s playing and doing amazing things in the Chilean league (4 goals and 2 assists in 5 games, really?) but he’s never coming back to FC Dallas. – Buzz
31 (+5)Brecc Evans
High: 31 | Low: 36
Sat on the bench for Austin Bold before being recalled. NTX has a shortage at the back so we’ll see how long before he’s loaned out again. – Dan
32 (+6)Ronaldo Damus
High: 32 | Low: 38
Picked up right where he left off 2019 with a goal on opening day 2020. – Buzz
Damus vs Madison
Ronaldo Damus scores the winning goal in the North Texas SC 2-1 win over Forward Madison in the club’s opening game of the 2020 season. (Daniel McCullough, 3rd Degree)

In Reserve:

33 (-7)Juan Manuel Alvarez
High: 26 | Low: 33
He was all the hype in the preseason as he got invited to Florida with FCD, that’s how good he was playing. But so far he looks just ok with NTX. – Buzz
34 (+5)David Rodriguez
High: 34 | Low: 39
David is under pressure thanks to his brother’s 2019, but the younger Rodriguez is picking up and dictating possessions. Has he always had that nice left-footed shot? – Dan
35 (+7)Luis Zamudio
High: 37 | Low: 42
The new #1 at NTX.  So far looking pretty good.  If he holds off Avilez he might start climbing this list given the club’s (likely) need for a keeper. – Buzz
36 (-6)Alex Bruce
High: 30 | Low: 36
Hasn’t scored yet (although looked to have against Omaha) but a high pressing 9 is the thing NTX missed last year. – Dan
37 (-2)Edwin Cerrillo
High: 32 | Low: 37
With Santos’ amazing play, he’s not getting off the bench. Now he can’t go to NTX for the PT he desperately needs. – Buzz
38 (-3)Eddie Munjoma
High: 35 | Low: 38
Another player that needs that FCD-NTX fluidity back once the virus settles. – Dan
39 (+2)Derek Waldeck
High: 39 | Low: 41
The conversion to LB is going ok, great soccer brain. But he’s Ted Eck in an era where Ted Eck probably isn’t good enough. – Buzz
40 (+4)Imanol Almaguer
High: 40 | Low: 44
Returned with a sub appearance amidst Cyclone Omaha. – Dan
41 (-7)Carlos Avilez
High: 34 | Low: 41
Got the Homegrown deal and a shot at MLS… and now he’s with NTX and appears to be a USL-1 Back up. That’s not good. – Buzz
42 (-5)Gibran Rayo
High: 37 | Low: 42
Hanging out on the bench waiting for opportunities to open up. – Dan
43 (-3)Alisson
High: 40 | Low: 43
Hard tackler, ok distribution. But too static and doesn’t cover enough ground. – Buzz
44 (+2)Pedrinho
High: 44 | Low: 46
Will eventually decide which name to use. Alves, Pedrinho, Cuadrado, or Concecaio. – Dan
45 (-2)Philip Ponder
High: 43 | Low: 45
Injured. Has yet to play, which is part of why Brecc Evans was recalled. – Buzz
46 (-1)Oscar Romero
High: 45 | Low: 46
Injured and Beni Redzic’s form isn’t going to help his cause upon returning. – Dan
47 (-36)Jesse Gonzalez
High: 11 | Low: 47
You know why. – Buzz

Given that the first ranking was before some of the new North Texas SC signings had even made it to town, there are a few jumps. Lamar Batista’s 20-place leap being the largest.

Batista has been the key piece of the North Texas SC backline in its first two games – responsible for darting across to support both full backs. Unfortunately, both goals have come from that, but some defensive cover is on its way. A place in the USL-1 Team of the Week for Batista confirmed a lot of what LAFC and Portland saw in the OKC-born center back.

At the other end of things, Jesse Gonzalez plummeted all the way to the bottom. If you listen to the podcast you’ll know we don’t expect to see the homegrown in an FCD jersey again given the length of this investigation into an allegation of domestic assault, and the position reflects that.

One swap happened as Anders Engebretsen left North Texas SC, dropping off the ranking entirely, while Franco Jara finally arrived.

As always, if you’ve watched North Texas’ first two games and have a HSO then let us know it!

1 Comment

  1. I totally agree about Santos. He’s the best player on the team already. He’ll be the absolute heartbeat of the time when he gets in the full swing of things. Love the guy.

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