FC Dallas Practice Observations: February 25 – Cutdown

You can run on for a long time, Sooner or later God’ll cut you down.

The Man in Black

MLS roster compliance day isn’t until Friday, but for FC Dallas it’s happened already.  Today was the first session I’ve seen this spring with what appears to be the final roster in place going into the season.

Well, final minus one or two incoming players. One of whom arrives this summer, Franco Jara. The other… I’ll get to in a minute.

It was just short of 60 degrees today at FCD training with the sun peaking in and out of the clouds. So coat and knit cap (shout out Bugeaters) on I was warm, then cold, then warm, then cold, then sunburned.

News and Notes

Cal Jennings is gone and isn’t getting a first-team contract. I don’t think we’ll see him sign with North Texas SC.

Nkosi Burgess, Eddie Monjoma, and Dante Sealy sit out the session. They played for North Texas SC in the scrimmage at 2 pm against FC Tulsa.

Paxton Pomykal is back in full training. That’s good.  And there’s a smile back on his face.  Being able to train and being game fit for the 18 are different things though. So no idea right now if Paxton will play this weekend.

Bryan Acosta is outside jogging and Brandon Servania is doing some rehab work. Both are on a 2-3 week schedule now, but neither is likely to be back prior to the Montreal Impact game on March 7. Servania, maybe, looking slightly more ahead.

Still with the first team and still wearing first-team gear is none other than FCD U19 Tanner Tessmann. Given his presence and involvement 4 days before opening day I’m now expecting Tessmann to sign a Homegrown deal before the end of the week.

Derek Waldeck and Juan Manual Alvarez who both traveled to Florida with FCD have returned to North Texas SC.

Callum Montgomery is still here but is still set for a loan to San Antonio FC (he played with them against Orlando in Florida).  I expect he will be heading back and forth this season, at least early on.  Callum took some reps at left back today which was interesting.  He again stayed out after everyone else doing extra work. This kid’s got guts.

Luis Zamudio, NTXSC’s 2nd keeper, took part in FCD training today.  Carlos Avilez didn’t as he started for NTX.

Johnny Nelson got wrecked hard and had to leave training. But I’m told he’s fine. I think he got taken inside just as a precaution.

Ryan Hollingshead looked damn good today, even better than usual. Confidence is an amazing thing.

Nice to see Ema Twumasi having made the roster for 2020 apparently. I would expect he might go to Austin and play with the Bold some if he’s not making the FCD 18 week to week.

Training Observations

Not a lot to talk about today, as it wasn’t a session with large game type situations in it.  Lots of work on pressing and ball recovery after a turnover.

Late on the session, some 5+keeper teams played 30-yard games.  Team Red was your big winner. Team Red: Kobra, Twumasi, Cerrillo, Hedges, Picault, Maurer.

Catching up with Luchi Gonzalez

You used the 3-5-2 against Philly, was that intentional to disguise what your normal tactics might be against them?

I don’t know? Maybe? [Chuckles]

It is a tactic that we tried a few times in the preseason. It wasn’t just against Philly.  We like certain things about it.  We gotta now decide with personnel, home, away, what conditions for us, and what the opponent maybe looks like, and how we can be affected using it.  But it’s certainly a formation that we have in our pocket.

I don’t know, we might still use it. We might still use it this weekend.  We haven’t made anything clear we’re gonna keep training and figure that out.

Nice to have Paxton back 100 percent and training?

Yeah, it’s great to have him back.  Not just for his quality as a player but just you know, having him have a smile on his face whether it has mustache or not. [group chuckles]

Pomykal and his sweet, sweet ‘stach. (Courtesy FC Dallas)

What do you think of that mustache?

Oh, it’s fine. I embrace different styles and swagger and all that, so that’s cool. I used to have long hair and different things. We have our personalities, even different colors…

So yeah, great to have Paxton back. Just another piece of quality, good human, great teammate. We’re gonna see if he’s gonna be ready to make the roster. We’ll make those decisions here in the next two days.

Tanner is still here, what’s that mean? You’re a week out from the season and he’s playing out there with guys who might possibly be first-team choices… Where are were you with him?

Tanner, the family, the player, or the club… we’re all in good communication and going in a direction of professionalism. We’re just taking those steps.

But yeah, he’s a player that is… that I’m really proud of.  He’s come through the academy and made a big sacrifice.  To leave his family at, really, a young age, to come from Alabama and be in our residency and not be with his parents.  That’s not easy for a young man to do at 14 and now to be 18 going to be 19 and have a professional opportunity.  I’m really proud of him

I know nothing’s all final and said and done. I’m sure Andre or Dan can update you on that, but I know it’s going in a positive direction.


  1. Are you still expecting Kobra to be out for the opener for this mystery procedure? Seems strange he’d still be in full training if he had something going on.

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