Since the creation of the Homegrown Player signing category in 2008, FCD has developed a reputation as having one of, if not the, best academies in MLS. Dan Hunt has stated the dream of an entire starting 11 of Homegrowns.
31 players have been signed by the Huntsmen from their Academy system, that’s a remarkable feat. While some have been great successes, not all of them have made it in MLS.
Let’s take a look back at each of them in order of their signing.
32 Homegrown Players
1. Bryan Leyva – (Chihuahua, Mexico)
Attacking midfielder. First came on the soccer radar when as a kid he was invited to train with the Mexican National Team when they visited Dallas. After joining the FCD Academy in 2008, he became the first Academy player signed in 2009 at the age of 17. Leyva played for Mexico in the FIFA U17 World Cup in Nigeria in 2009. Made 9 appearances for FCD before being let go at the end of 2012. Leyva has been held back by injury and his size (5’6″) and his career has never reached the heights imagined. Invited by FC Dallas Head Coach Oscar Pareja to FCD spring camp once or twice, he was last seen playing for Dallas City FC in the NPSL.
2. Victor Ulloa – (Wylie, Texas)
Holding midfielder. Singed by FCD in 2010 for the 2011 season. Released by the club after the 2013 season but immediately brought back by Pareja for 2014. Including regular season and playoffs, he has made 125 appearances for the club. In many ways, he represents everything the FCD Academy and FC Dallas is in the Pareja era. Traded to FC Cincinnati after the 2018 season and traded again to Inter Miami at the end of 2019.
3. Ruben Luna – (Ciudad Victoria, Mexico)
Forward. Luna has an amazing youth career. Named U16 Developmental Academy Player of the Year in 2009 (38 goals in 27 games) and U18 DA Best XI in 2010. Made one appearance with Mexico U20s. Signed with FCD the same day as Ulloa and Hernandez. Played 27 games for FC Dallas, scoring 3 goals, before being released at the end of 2012. During his time at FCD he scored 2 goals in a CONCACAF Champions League game and led the reserve league in scoring with 10 goals in 9 games in 2011. In 2013 led the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL to their first-ever championship. Played with Inter Playa del Carmen in the Mexican 2nd division in 2014 and 2015. Last played for Rio Grande Valley FC Toros in the USL scoring 11 goals in 35 games in his time there.
4. Moises Hernandez – (Seagoville, Texas)
Defender. Signed with Luna and Ulloa in 2010. Made 33 appearances for FC Dallas before his release at the end of 2016. He was sent on loans to Comunicaciones (Guatemala), Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica), and Rayo OKC (NASL) during his first FCD stint. Returned to Comunicaciones for the 2017 season making 26 appearances. Rejoined FCD in 2018 but has mostly been on loan with San Antonio FC since. Represented USA at the U20 level and Guatemala with 15 caps on the senior level.
5. Jonathan Top – (Fort Worth, Texas)
Forward. Signed with FC Dallas in 2011, made 4 appearances. Loaned to Arizona United in 2014, joined them in 2015 after being released by Dallas. Joined Comunicaciones in 2016 but is unaffiliated from 2017 on. A former US U20, Top earned one cap with Guatemala back in 2015.
6. Richard Sanchez – (Mission Hills, California)
Goalkeeper. Sanchez played with Texas FC and Atletico Madrid’s U16s before joining the FCD Academy. Sanchez has represented Mexico at the U17, U20, and U21 levels; winning the FIFA U17 World Cup in 2011 (4-0-0), played in FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey (1-3-0, 1.25 GAA), and won the CONCACAF U20 Championship in 2013 (5-0-0, 0.20 GAA). After a loan stint with Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Sanchez was sold by FCD to Tigres UANL for a reported $1 million. Loaned by Tigres back to FCD then to Tampico Madero for two seasons. Released by Tigres in 2017, Sanchez signed with MLS and was taken by the Chicago Fire via the MLS Allocation process.
Signed with NTXSC in 2021.
7. Kellyn Acosta – (Plano, Texas)
Holding Midfielder. Born 13 miles from Toyota Stadium. Joined the FC Dallas Academy in 2009 and named USSDA Central Conference Player of the Year in 2011-12. Signed with FC Dallas in July of 2012. Although he has represented the US at the U17, U18, U20, U23 and senior level he could have chosen to play for Japan as his father was born there. Played in the 2011 FIFA U17 World Cup and was the youngest member of the US team at the 2013 FIFA U20 World Cup. Has made 117 appearances for FC Dallas.
Traded to Colorado Rapids on July 23, 2018, for Dom Badji and other assets.
8. Bradlee Baladez – (Mesquite, Texas)
Forward. The slightly rarer Homegrown Player who played in College first. Part of the FCD Academy team that went to the USSDA Finals in 2009 and 2010, Baladez played three seasons at the University of South Carolina. Signed as a Homegrown prior to the 2013 MLS season (12/19/12). Made one appearance for FCD while spending most of 2013 on loan to Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Released by FCD at the end of 2013, Baladez played with Arizona United in 2014 and Carolina Railhawks in 2015. 2019 signed with Mesquite Outlaws.
9. London Woodbury – (McKinney, Texas)
Outside Back. Another college homegrown player. A former US U18, won a gold medal at the Australian International Olympic festival in 2008. FCD Academy in 2008-2009, played college soccer for Maryland where he was a 3rd Team NSCAA All-American in 2012. Played PDL with the Baltimore Bays that year. Signed to a Homegrown deal in January 2013 and played one season with FC Dallas (8 games). Released in early 2014, played with Arizona United that year. In 2015 Signed by the New England Revolution, making 43 appearances in 3 seasons. Nashville FC in 2018, Austin Bold in 2019.
10. Jesse Gonzalez – (Edenton, NC)
Goalkeeper. Grew up in Dallas where he played for CD Independiente prior to joining the FCD Academy in 2011. Signed with FC Dallas in March of 2013. Loaned to Pittsburgh Riverhounds in 2015 but only played one game. Became a starter for FCD in the final run of 2015 and remains the #1 today. Led all MLS goalkeepers with a 0.91 GAA in 2015. Played for Mexico at U18, U20, and U23 level; started for El Tri at the 2015 CONCACAF U20 Championships and the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup. In 2017 opted to play for USA at the senior level as part of the Gold Cup and is now cap tied to them.
11. Danny Garcia – (Dallas, Texas)
Midfielder. Joined FCD Academy in 2012 helping them win the U18 DA title that year. Played one season at UNC and was named ACC Freshman of the Year when he scored 4 goals and 6 assists. Signed with FC Dallas in June of 2013. Loaned to Arizona United in 2015. Released at the end of 2015. In 2016 played with San Antonio FC, which is owned by the Spurs. A former US U18 and U20 including the 2013 CONCACAF U20 Championship and the 2013 FIFA U20 World Cup. Unattached after 2017.
12. Coy Craft – (Abingdon, Virginia)
Forward, Midfielder. Joined FCD Academy in 2011 and won 5 consecutive USSDA Texas/Frontier Division titles. Signed a homegrown deal on August 1, 2014, and has made 6 appearances with FC Dallas. On loan to OKC Energy in 2016. A US U18 and U20 he won the 2017 CONCACAF U20 Championship. Departed FC Dallas after the 2018 season. Played for Miami FC 2 and Nyköpings BIS in 2018.
13. Alex Zendejas – (Ciudad Juarez, Mexico or El Paso, Texas)
Winger. A.k.a. Alejandro Zendejas Saavedra. Born in El Paso, until he was sold by FC Dallas to Chivas after which they listed him as being born in Juarez (because of the Chivas fielding only Mexican players thing). Joined FCD Academy in 2012 and signed with FC Dallas in late 2014 making him the first Homegrown signed from an FCD affiliate, FC Dallas El Paso. Made 8 appearances with FCD over 2 seasons before being sold for $500,000. A former US U15 and U17, as part of signing for Chivas, Zendejas says he will only play for Mexico from now on. Has played 4 games for the Mexico U21s as of this writing. On loan to Zacatepec 2017-2018.
Back with Chivas in 2019, Loaned to Necaxa in 2020, and sold to Necaxa in 2021.
14. Aaron Guillen – (Chihuahua, Mexico)
Defender. He moved to El Paso when he was 8. FC Dallas Academy 2011 and 2012, joined from El Paso affiliate. Won the 2012 U18 DA National Championship with FCD. Played four years of college ball at Florida Gulf Coast University where he was named 2015 Atlantic Sun Conference Defender of the Year as a senior. Signed homegrown deal with Dallas prior to the 2016 season. Played PDL with Austin Aztex in 2013. Loaned to Tulsa Roughnecks in 2017 for a few games. Made 8 appearances with FC Dallas and was released after 2017. North Carolina FC 2018-19. Signed with Tampa Bay Rowdies for 2020.
15. Paxton Pomykal – (Lewisville, Texas)
Midfielder. FC Dallas Academy 2014 to 2016 winning national championships at U16 and U18. Signed as a homegrown player in September of 2016. Has made two appearances with FCD and remains with the club. A former US U18 and U19. At his request, he currently wears FCD’s #19 dedicated to the memory of Bobby Rhine and assigned only to homegrown players. Emerged as a starter and MLS All-Star in 2019.
16. Jesus Ferreira – (Santa Marta, Colombia)
Forward. The son of former FC Dallas midfielder and 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira. An FCD Academy player from 2009 to 2016, Ferreira signed his homegrown deal at age 15 (Nov 17, 2016). Scored a goal in his professional debut becoming the 2nd youngest player to score in MLS history. USMNT and U23. Was FCD’s leading scorer in 2019 with 8 goals and 6 assists.
17. Bryan Reynolds – (Fort Worth, Texas)
Winger. As an FCD Academy player won the 2015-16 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Championship. The youngest player ever signed as a homegrown by FC Dallas (Nov 12, 2016). His father Keith played at SMU under Schellus Hyndman and was a US Youth International. Spent most of 2017 with the US U17s in preparation for the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup. Made his FCD debut in 2019 and took over as the starter after Reggie Cannon’s sale in 2020.
18. Reggie Cannon – (Chicago, Illinois)
Right Back. Played recreational level soccer with Predators prior to joining the FCD Academy for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Played one season at UCLA. Signed a homegrown deal prior to the 2017 season (Dec 22, 2016). A former US U17 and U19. Has been the FCD starting right back since 2018 and has cemented his place in the USMNT pool.
19. Brandon Servania – (Birmingham, Alabama)
Signed as a Homegrown following his freshman year at Wake Forest (Jan 3, 2018). A key member of the US U20 team in Concacaf Qualifying and at the 2019 World Cup. Broke through as an FC Dallas starter in the second half of 2019. Won the U16 USDA National Championship in 2016 and the Dallas Cup Super Group in 2017 as an FCD Academy player.
20. Kris Reaves – (Atlanta, Georgia)
Signed as a senior coming out of the University of Portland after playing his first two college seasons at Wake Forest (Jan 10, 2018). Originally joined the FCD Academy in 2012. Played two games for FC Dallas in 2018 but did not return in 2019. Currently on the roster of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks.
21. Jordan Cano – (Dallas, Texas)
Signed with FC Dallas (Jan 11, 2018) after his senior year at SMU where he was 2017 AAC Defender of the Year. Former US U17 and Captains of the FCD U18s during his Academy days. Did not play in 2018 and was not retained for 2019.
22. Chris Richards – (Birmingham, Alabama)
Joined FC Dallas for his final year at the Academy level after winning the DA Championship with Houston Texans under Coach Eric Quill. Signed with FC Dallas as a Homegrown on April 12, 2018, was loaned and then sold to Bayern Munich.
23. Thomas Roberts – (Little Rock, Arkansas)
Signed as a Homegrown on July 25, 2018. Made his MLS debut in 2019 playing in 6 games. Former US U17. Roberts had two training stints with Bayern Munich alongside Chris Richards. Spent the latter half of 2019 playing for North Texas SC, winning the inaugural USL League One Championship.
24. Edwin Cerrillo – (Waco, Texas)
Signed as a Homegrown on February 14, 2019, after previously committing to play at the University of Maryland. Played in 12 games in 2019, making 11 starts. Joined the FCD Academy in 2015. US U20 for the 2019 Concacaf Championship.
25. Dante Sealy – (Brooklyn, New York)
Signed as a Homegrown on February 26, 2019, making him the second-youngest Homegrown signing in franchise history. Spent all of 2019 on loan to North Texas SC playing in 19 games and making 10 starts with 1 goal and 3 assists. Holds dual eligibility for both the U.S. and Trinidad and Tobago federations but has only represented the US at the U16 and U17 levels.
On loan to PSV.
26. Ricardo Pepi – (El Paso, Texas)
Signed as a Homegrown on June 21, 2019, after tearing up USL-1 in the first half of the 2019 season. Was North Texas Soccer Club’s first signing in team history on December 6, 2018. Played in two US Open Cup matches for FC Dallas right before signing. Member of the US U17s for the 2019 Concacaf Championships and the World Cup. Joined the FCD Academy in 2016 from the club’s youth affiliate, FCD El Paso. Born to Mexican parents, Pepi has the ability to represent both Mexico and the United States but chose the USA.
27. Eddie Munjoma – (Dallas, Texas)
Right back. Four-year player at SMU. Terrific getting forward and attacking.
28. Tanner Tessmann – (Hoover, Alabama)
The latest U19 Academy signing. A linking-8 who can really play all over the field due to his size and athleticism. 6’3″ Grown Ass Man. Sold to Venezia.
29. Carlos Avilez – (Dallas, Texas)
Goalkeeper. The newest FCD Homegrown. Originally signed to a “USL affiliate” deal through the club relationship with OKC Energy. He was essentially a training player and wasn’t on FCD’s senior team roster. Officially signed to North Texas SC in 2019. FCD Academy player starting in 2012, started for FCD’s 2016 USSDA Championship team.
His Homegrown deal turned out to be short term and he returned to North Texas to finish 2020 and his option was not picked up following the season.
30. Justin Che – (Frisco, Texas)
After a season playing right back and center back with North Texas SC, Che signed with FC Dallas in October of 2020.
Loaned to Bayern Munich for the remainder of their 2020-21 season. Returned to FCD but wanted to Bayern.
31. Beni Redžić – (Carrollton, Texas)
After a solid 2020 with North Texas SC, Redžić spent all of the 2021 spring camp with FC Dallas and signed a homegrown contract in April prior to the season.
32. Collin Smith – (Frisco, Texas )
Smith was signed following his solid 2020 contribution as a sometimes starter on the right wing for North Texas SC while still a teenager. But he was signed – at 17 – as a project to convert to right back. Wore 32 with North Texas, presumably, as the 32nd Homegrown signed by FC Dallas.