FCD/NTX Roster Rankings – April 6, 2021

The FC Dallas season is two games in, and if those depressed you, at least North Texas SC put in a fun performance in its season opener on Saturday night.

With that in mind, it’s been three weeks since our last look at the growing number of players under contract with FC Dallas and North Texas SC. As much as Buzz could talk about Matthew Corcoran, it’s best we stick to just the contracted players!

As always, it’s a completely scientific deep dive into the vagueness of performance, whether a player has played, and what the media and fans are saying. So here goes.

Bressan FCD v Miami 10-28-20
Bressan marks Gonzalo Higuain in the 2-1 comeback win over Inter Miami at Toyota Stadium, October 29, 2020. (Matt Visinsky, 3rd Degree)

Starting XI:

1 (+)Jimmy Maurer
High: 1 | Low: 4
FCD’s best player over the first two games. Remarkable performances.  Thankfully the news on his injury is relatively good, just a “sprain” should miss 1 or 2 games. – Buzz
2 (+1)Ryan Hollingshead
High: 2 | Low: 3
A mixed bag for a guaranteed starter as Ryan gets used to right back again. Leads the team in tackles, 0.58 goals added leads team. 0.46 xG 2nd highest on team. Also leading in unsuccessful tackles, fouls, and misplaced passes. – Dan
3 (-1)Matt Hedges
High: 2 | Low: 3
Rolled his ankle in game one, taped it up and played on it swollen and in pain all week, including in game two. Which explains the performances and early sub. – Buzz
4 (+1)Bryan Acosta
High: 4 | Low: 5
Top five in virtually every good statistic and Acosta has quit the moon shots in what has been a quietly good start to the season. – Dan
5 (+1)Jose Antonio Martinez
High: 5 | Low: 6
Terrific game one and above average game two. He looks the part, which begs the question as to why Luchi is still playing with three at the back. – Buzz
6 (-5)Andres Ricaurte
High: 1 | Low: 6
Ricaurte is getting the raw end of the deal in playing a 3-4-3 with a lack of freedom in the midfield. Positionally struggling, but still tied for second in key passes going forward. – Dan
7 (+1)Freddy Vargas
High: 7 | Low: 8
He’s become the fulcrum of the FCD offense but hasn’t carried over the spring production to the regular season.  – Buzz
8 (+2)Jader Obrian
High: 8 | Low: 10
For how much Obrian gets on the ball, his production is low but efficient. He’s 3/3 on shots in the box, but needs to make the keeper work harder for that save. Tops key passing. – Dan
9 (+6)Bressan
High: 9 | Low: 15
A case can be made he’s been FCD’s best defender over the first two games. Playing aggressively as the extra center back. – Buzz
10 (+2)Ricardo Pepi
High: 10 | Low: 12
Tops the team in xG and for a real stat is the only goalscorer. The team looks better with Pepi in. That may be because they also switch out of the 3-4-3 but this is your number one form striker right now. – Dan
11 (-)Johnny Nelson
High: 11 | Low: 11
Solid defensively as always but he’s on an island and not seeing enough of the ball.  The wide wings are over writing his best offensive skill: crossing.  – Buzz
Paxton Pomykal CKSmall
Paxton Pomykal models the new FC Dallas 2021 secondary named the “Community Kit” by the club. (Courtesy FC Dallas)

In The Mix:

12 (-5)Franco Jara
High: 7 | Low: 12
The formation does Jara a huge disservice, but he’s missed a couple of sitters and just hasn’t been ‘in the game’ for long periods. He’s only been caught offside once, which is not the number you expect to see against your starting forward as a high nine or even a false nine. – Dan
13 (-4)Jesus Ferreira
High: 9 | Low: 13
The shoulder injury is costing him chances but he’s a big part of the plans at the 9 this year. – Buzz
14 (-1)Tanner Tessmann
High: 13 | Low: 14
Got the start over Ricaurte in San Jose and we really didn’t see much from him. – Dan
15 (+1)Phelipe Megiolaro
High: 15 | Low: 16
Got the chance off the bench. Can he win the start this weekend over Kyle Zobeck? – Buzz
16 (+6)Paxton Pomykal
High: 16 | Low: 22
Paxton has been the sub tasked with bringing life to the game twice when the midfield has largely been abandoned. Showing a little rust in his touch but also some great aggression in aerials and tackles. – Dan
17 (+1)Eddie Munjoma
High: 17 | Low: 18
Made his debut on the left.  Can he prove himself ready for a start? Is he the long-term answer?  – Buzz
18 (+5)Justin Che
High: 18 | Low: 23
Three starts for Bayern’s second team. Well, it was nice while it lasted! – Dan
19 (-5)Edwin Cerrillo
High: 14 | Low: 19
After what was by all reports a fantastic spring he has been dropped in favor of a 3 man backline.  – Buzz
20 (-)Brandon Servania
High: 20 | Low: 20
Servania isn’t getting a regular start over in the Austrian second tier. – Dan
Thibaut Jacquel
Thibaut Jacquel (22) takes on Ft. Lauderdale defender Modesto Mendez (17) in the USL League One match at Globe Life Park.

Second Team:

21 (-)Thomas Roberts
High: 21 | Low: 21
Coming out of rehab. Hopefully, he can start pressing for minutes.  – Buzz
22 (+2)Kalil ElMedkhar
High: 22 | Low: 24
Underperforming wingers plays into Kalil’s favor but you have to wonder if Luchi views him as MLS ready yet. – Dan
23 (+10)Thibaut Jacquel
High: 23 | Low: 33
The red hot scoring star of North Texas. Named USL-1 Player of the Week. Is he the next Pepi? – Buzz
24 (-7)Nicky Hernandez
High: 17 | Low: 24
Carrying on from last season with North Texas, albeit with an MLS contract. – Dan
25 (-6)Ema Twumasi
High: 19 | Low: 25
Recovering from injury, back in training, but hasn’t made either bench.  – Buzz
26 (-)Dante Sealy
High: 25 | Low: 26
On the bench for both first team games. – Dan
27 (+4)Gibran Rayo
High: 27 | Low: 31
Looking really good for NTX on the wing with a goal in game one. Arguably one of their best players this spring.  – Buzz
28 (-)Nksoi Tafari
High: 28 | Low: 28
Nkosi needs some games, so the 3-4-3 may be harming his development with the need for an extra CB in the game-day roster. – Dan
29 (-2)Derek Waldeck
High: 27 | Low: 29
Solid performance at left back in game one to make the USL-1 Team of the Week… but did get beat for pace a couple of times.  – Buzz
30 (-1)Hope Kodzo Avayevu
High: 29 | Low: 30
In the Football Manager games, the perfect comment in a press conference would be “If his debut was this good, I can’t wait to see what comes.” Hope got the assist on Jacquel’s volley, leaving the Floridian backline for dead off a turn before crossing to the Frenchman. – Dan
31 (+6)David Rodriguez
High: 31 | Low: 37
Made his first team debut and then first start for Atlético San Luis. – Buzz
32 (-6)Kyle Zobeck
High: 26 | Low: 32
Maurer injury works for him. Phelipe’s assured performance off the bench may not. – Dan
Michael Maldonado
North Texas SC Signs Defender Mikey Maldonado, March 26, 2021. (Courtesy North Texas SC)

In Reserve:

33 (-1)Bernard Kamungo
High: 32 | Low: 33
What a story, from high school soccer, to open tryout, to North Texas SC, then comes off the bench in game one and scores.    – Buzz
34 (+4)Mikey Maldonado
High: 34 | Low: 38
Great showing at the back. Led the defense in tackling, passing, pass percentage in the opposition half and dominated his duels. – Dan
35 (-5)Colin Shutler
High: 30 | Low: 35
Nothing particularly standout from his game one showing. Neither good or bad. – Buzz
36 (-2)Alisson
High: 34 | Low: 36
Another solid display for Alisson. – Dan
37 (-2)Imanol Almaguer
High: 35 | Low: 37
Solid showing as a 6 in game one when he’s usually an 8.  FCD needs 6s though and not 8s. – Buzz
38 (-2)Alex Bruce
High: 36 | Low: 38
Pushed back into an attacking midfield role. Couldn’t really connect his passes or get involved in the attack. I did love this 50-yard recovery run though. – Dan
39 (-)Beni Redzic
High: 39 | Low: 39
Got a sweet new Homegrown contract. But isn’t on the FC Dallas active roster nor is he playing for North Texas. – Buzz
40 (-1)Kazu
High: 39 | Low: 40
Subbed in in the 71st minute. It’ll be interesting to see if he can break into the team before long. – Dan
41 (-1)Alejandro
High: 40 | Low: 41
Got 1 minute off the bench in game one for NTXSC.  Haven’t seen a lot of him, frankly. – Buzz
42 (-1)Juan Parra
High: 41 | Low: 42
Made the bench but we’ve yet to see him play. – Dan
43 (-)Richard Sanchez
High: 43 | Low: 43
Former FC Dallas Homegrown and U17 World Cup winner. He’s fallen a long way from the heights of Tigres. Is this a shop window favor? – Buzz
44 (-)Rio Ramirez
High: 44 | Low: 44
The 23-year-old Fort Worth Vaqueros captain will be looking to catch on with his ability to play across the back line. – Dan
45 (-)Rickson Van Hees
High: 45 | Low: 45
NTX’s newest signing from NEC Nijmegen in the Dutch second division.. Former US U17. Outside back, mostly right but can left. – Buzz
46 (-)Caiser Gomez
High: 46 | Low: 46
A recent import from the Portuguese third tier on loan. – Dan

Thibaut Jacquel is our big winner this time around with a ten place jump bolstered by that USL-1 player of the week performance. A well hit free kick and a sublime volley did it for the Frenchman.

There was a three way tie for second place as Bressan, David Rodriguez, and Paxton Pomykal each climbed six spots.

Bressan has outshone most of his teammates in the opening games as an aggressive defender that leads the team in passing volume and percentage. Rodriguez made his debut and then first start for Atletico San Luis, and Pomykal is making strides in his return.

On the other side, Nicky Hernandez took the biggest drop slipping seven places after a strong preseason with the FC Dallas first team didn’t turn into a run with the MLS team.

Ema Twumasi and Kyle Zobeck were one behind. Twumasi is still on his return from an injury that kept him out of preseason, and Zobeck drops back as a result of other players excelling around him.

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