FC Dallas and North Texas SC Roster Rankings – Dec. 15, 2020

It’s time to begrudgingly place every contracted player in an order for the final time and say goodbye to MLS soccer for the year as we power rank the FC Dallas and North Texas SC rosters.

There’s no scientific formula since it’s a power ranking. We look at who played well, who played at all, and who is being talked up by coaches, the media, and fans.

After the recent roster moves it’s a nice short list today!

Starting XI:

Nelson 20201031_fcd_34796
FC Dallas defender John Nelson brings the ball down in the MLS match against Houston Dynamo. (Daniel McCullough, 3rd Degree)
1 (+2)Bryan Reynolds
High: 1 | Low: 20
When you’re hot, you’re hot and this young man is Buster Poindexter hot. (That’s Hot, Hot, Hot for all you kids out there.) His winter sale price is climbing. – Buzz
2 (-1)Andres Ricaurte
High: 1 | Low: 21
Really the only threat to breaking open Seattle in the playoffs. – Dan
3 (-1)Matt Hedges
High: 1 | Low: 7
The rock that the FC Dallas sturdy defense is built upon. When he’s missing it’s a mess. Make Hedges Captain Again. MHCA?  – Buzz
4 (-)Ryan Hollingshead
High: 4 | Low: 12
Buzz and the Dallas Beer Guardians both named Ho’head as team MVP. His versatility came in handy in those last couple of weeks. – Dan
5 (+1)Thiago Santos
High: 1 | Low: 6
He may not look impressive to the average eye, but he’s doing the hidden, unheralded work. Led MLS in duels won. He looks much better playing once a week. – Buzz
6 (+1)Jimmy Maurer
High: 3 | Low: 21
Winning penalty save against Portland and such a steady hand at the back. – Dan
7 (+4)Fafa Picault
High: 7 | Low: 16
Started to put in consistent performances in the last few weeks of the season. Enough to be the answer at wing? – Buzz
8 (-3)Michael Barrios
High: 2 | Low: 8
Mikey has been a step off all season, and his decision making is being exposed when he can’t just blow past players. Dropped when it mattered most. – Dan
9 (+1)Bressan
High: 9 | Low: 17
Finally got a starting run, but probably isn’t a starter in 2021. WIll he take the pay cut to return? – Buzz
10 (+6)Johnny Nelson
High: 10 | Low: 22
So reliable at left back and seamlessly came in to start at the tough time of the year. His Luchi-ball qualities are rapidly growing, but he’d be a starter for the majority of teams in MLS as it is. – Dan
11 (-3)Franco Jara
High: 4 | Low: 18
The production doesn’t match the salary. The club needs more from it’s leading goal scorer. – Buzz

In The Mix:

Paxton Pomykal
Paxton Pomykal. (Courtesy FC Dallas)
12 (-)Tanner Tessmann
High: 6 | Low: 19
Another young player trusted to start in the playoffs. His turns out of pressure made such a difference in Portland. – Dan
13 (+2)Bryan Acosta
High: 7 | Low: 15
A player with his resume ends up this low because he played in only 50% of FCD’s games this year.  – Buzz
14 (+3)Ricardo Pepi
High: 9 | Low: 17
Getting more minutes and crucially scored the goal in Portland to force extra time and penalties. – Dan
15 (+30)Paxton Pomykal
High: 2 | Low: 45
A hot name in the minds of fans. How’s his recovery? When is he going to be back?   FCD needs Pomykal healthy. – Buzz
16 (-3)Jesus Ferreira
High: 10 | Low: 17
Dropped to the bench for the playoffs. Jesus needs to find his place in this team. – Dan
17 (+5)Phelipe Megiolaro
High: 17 | Low: 22
Via his Instagram he’s re-signed with Dallas for 2021. Seems to be the clear #2 at this stage. – Buzz
18 (-)Ema Twumasi
High: 18 | Low: 27
Appeared off the bench in both playoff games and looked pretty good. Scored the winning penalty in Portland, and importantly survived a big round of cuts at the end of the season. – Dan
19 (-)Brandon Servania
High: 14 | Low: 19
Losing PT to Tanner Tessmann. Something needs to change for this talented young player.  – Buzz
20 (-)Thomas Roberts
High: 19 | Low: 29
Getting some work done in Scotland before heading out on further trials to look for a loan in 2021. – Dan

Second Team:

Gibran Rayo 20200823_ntxsc_21214
North Texas midfielder Gibran Rayo pulled down by his jersey in the USL League One match between North Texas SC and Union Omaha. (Daniel McCullough, 3rd Degree)
21 (+6)Kyle Zobeck
High: 15 | Low: 27
Finally made his MLS debut, got a start, but was exposed by FCD in the Expansion draft. Fantastic teammate and really good 3rd keeper.  – Buzz
22 (+3)Dante Sealy
High: 20 | Low: 28
Didn’t travel for either playoff. Sealy needs regular NTX minutes but didn’t get that with the 2020 Covid measures. – Dan
23 (-)Eddie Munjoma
High: 23 | Low: 39
Plenty of upside here but not MLS ready. Needs more North Texas SC. – Buzz
24 (-)Nkosi Burgess
High: 24 | Low: 33
Exposed in the expansion draft but kept over Montgomery. His first real year playing is yet to come after just a couple of games with NTX due to Covid restrictions. – Dan
25 (+3)Edwin Cerrillo
High: 23 | Low: 37
From making starts in early 2019, the progression hasn’t gone the way we expected.  Late 2020 improvement with NTXSC was really good to see. – Buzz
26 (+4)Justin Che
High: 26 | Low: 31
With no Reto or Montgomery, there’s a little talk among fans of Che making a first team bid in 2021. – Dan
27 (+2)Nicky Hernandez
High: 27 | Low: 33
The best player left with Los Torolitos after the winer purge. He might have the game for MLS.  – Buzz
28 (+8)Gibran Rayo
High: 28 | Low: 42
Really progressed through the season both in the rankings and in terms of performance. Roberts really denied Rayo playing time so the potential Roberts loan may help fix that. – Dan
29 (+3)Alex Bruce
High: 29 | Low: 42
Played most of 2020 injured. We’re all looking forward to seeing his game healthy in 2021.  – Buzz
30 (+5)Alisson
High: 30| Low: 43
One of the few survivors of the NTX cull, and an important piece for Eric Quill’s side next season. – Dan
31 (+3)Derek Waldeck
High: 31 | Low: 45
Most improved with NTX in 2020. Earned a second season. Good leader.  – Buzz
32 (+5)Imanol Almaguer
High: 32 | Low: 44
2020 was one big blip between injury and the obvious. He needs a big season in 2021. – Dan

In Reserve:

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David Rodriguez heads the ball in the North Texas SC game against Chattanooga Red Wolves, August 8, 2020. (Craig Marcho, 3rd Degree)
33 (+7)David Rodriguez
High: 33 | Low: 41
D-Rod’s North Texas PT declined in 2020 as he appeared more for the U19s than the USL-1 side. Needs a spark. – Buzz
34 (-)Hope Kodzo Avayevu
High: 34 | Low: 34
I know Buzz is hyped about Hope Kodzo, and cited that he has been given the longest contract we know of for any North Texas SC player. I asked Eric Quill about him, and he shares Buzz’s excitement, mentioning that he would have been signed sooner if Covid had not prevented Kodzo getting back over from Ghana. – Dan

Winners and losers are difficult in this circumstance but Paxton Pomykal makes the most moves by far with a 30 place jump. We’re talking up Paxton’s 2021 as he should return after an injury-hit couple of years.

With 12 fewer spots in this final list than the previous one, there were a few North Texas players setting new highs this week.

On the other end, Jesus Ferreira, Franco Jara, and Michael Barrios each take the biggest drop – albeit only three places. Ferreira and Barrios both found themselves out of the lineup come the playoffs, while Jara did little to affirm his place as the team’s highest paid player with Buzz even calling for FC Dallas to try buying out his contract.

1 Comment

  1. At 7 I lost steam. I feel much better about players below FafaPicaltrane. Tessman any one? In the 11 last for only Johnny has upside.

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