FCD/NTX Roster Rankings – October 18, 2021

It’s been a minute since we last took a look over the 50 contracted professionals at FC Dallas and North Texas SC.

FC Dallas was bad on the road, then got good, and seemingly bad again. Luchi was in charge, now he’s not. El Tren just keeps steaming on though!

There’s nothing scientific to our power ranking, it’s not a ranking of talent or performance but it’s a mix of those, who is being talked up in the media, and who the fans are talking about.

Ricardo Pepi receives the ball in midfield in the MLS match between FC Dallas and Minnesota United. (Daniel McCullough/3rdDegree)

Starting XI:

1 (+1)Ricardo Pepi
High: 1 | Low: 13
El Tren just keeps scoring for club and country, and his transfer fee seems to rise daily according to the Twitterverse. – Dan
2 (+3)Jesus Ferreira
High: 2 | Low: 16
The Jesus has been on absolute fire playing the best soccer of his career. 4 Goals and 3 assists since our last ranking. – Buzz
3 (+1)Ryan Hollingshead
High: 2 | Low: 4
Ryan Hollingshead seems like the big winner from Marco Ferruzzi’s interim head coaching role. Back as the firm left back starter, Ryan was unlucky with the letter of the law denying him a goal against Minnesota. – Dan
4 (+6)Matt Hedges
High: 2 | Low: 10
D’Goat is back to full health, it seems, and is a lock-starter under Marco. He’s back to the form we know and love. – Buzz
5 (+1)Paxton Pomykal
High: 6 | Low: 22
Still starting is the main thing. Paxton needs to maintain his fitness and he’ll be back to form in the next year. – Dan
6 (-5)Jimmy Maurer
High: 1 | Low: 6
Some injury setbacks have him in and out of the lineup and that really hurt FCD over a 5 game stretch (1W-3L-2D). – Buzz
7 (-4)Facundo Quignon High: 6 | Low: 9Some bright spots and some real meh moments have led to Facu falling down the pecking order under Marco. – Dan
8 (+4)Bressan
High: 5 | Low: 15
The mid-season lock-starter is now in a battle for a spot with Jose Martinez.  Which player starts seems to be determined by matchups. – Buzz
9 (-)Bryan Acosta
High: 1 | Low: 9
Team MVP Bryan is long gone, but he’s still got a big role to play. – Dan
10 (+1)Jose Antonio Martinez
High: 5 | Low: 11
Seems mostly recovered from the injury plaguing him and is getting some starts with Hedges.  Can he beat out Bressan down the stretch? – Buzz
11 (+4)Ema Twumasi
High: 11 | Low: 25
He’s a lock at full back, an emergency backup winger, and can even do a job in central midfield. One of the few success stories of 2021. – Dan
Jáder Obrian celebrates his goal against the Portland Timbers, May 1, 2021. (Matt Visinsky, 3rd Degree)

In The Mix:

12 (+6)Jader Obrian
High: 8 | Low: 18
With no real challengers at right win under Ferruzzi, Jader’s become the full-time starter at right wing. While his all-around game isn’t great his production is fairly good. – Buzz
13 (+5)Brandon Servania
High: 13 | Low: 22
Six starts and a sub appearance in the past eight games. It’s all starting to come together for Brandon, ahead of the likes of Acosta. – Dan
14 (-)Edwin Cerrillo
High: 14 | Low: 23
Emerging talent at the 6. The gap from Edwin to Quignon is rapidly shrinking and he might be close to claiming the starting spot after the game against the Loons. – Buzz
15 (-7)Szabolcs Schön
High: 8 | Low: 15
Marco doesn’t seem to think of the Hungarian as a starter for some reason. Got the start against England in the week. – Dan
16 (+4)Phelipe Megiolaro
High: 8 | Low: 20
Made 5 unimpressive starts filling in for the injured Maurer but then stood on his head against Minnesota causing many observers to say, “where the hell has that been?” – Buzz
17 (+6)Dante Sealy
High: 17 | Low: 26
Scored his second goal for Jung PSV in 7 games with only 2 starts. Even if it’s only limited success, that drives the conversation for who is sold after Pepi. – Dan
18 (-5)Andres Ricaurte
High: 1 | Low: 18
He’s gotten sub opportunities under Marco but doesn’t look close to claiming a start. – Buzz
19 (-12)Nkosi Tafari
High: 7 | Low: 28
Nkosi has been the team’s best defender over a portion of the season but has been benched in favor of some more trusted vets. How that affects Dallas’ chances of keeping Tafari is going to be interesting when his contract is likely up over the winter. – Dan
20 (+2)Kalil ElMedkhar
High: 20 | Low: 24
He’s been on absolute fire for North Texas of late, scoring big goals and getting assists… where is the deserved reward of playing time for FCD? – Buzz
21 (-5)Justin Che
High: 14 | Low: 23
Lost out to Ema Twumasi at right back, but he’s established enough film at his highest level yet for scouts to peruse. – Dan
22 (-5)Franco Jara
High: 7 | Low: 22
The PK miss and later whiff against Vancouver were flat-out brutal and cost FCD the game.  He hasn’t played since. – Buzz
Derek Waldeck passes the ball back to Caiser Gomes in the USL League One match between North Texas SC and Union Omaha. (Daniel McCullough/3rdDegree)

Second Team:

23 (+1)Freddy Vargas
High: 7 | Low: 25
Two months since last appearing for FCD, and three NTX starts in the last few weeks. – Dan
24 (+3)Gibran Rayo
High: 23 | Low: 31
Playing the best ball of his career. Starting as the 9 (false) of late for NTX and scoring some goals. Actual production has long been his bugaboo and this might be the step in progression that gets him an MLS shot. – Buzz
25 (-)Caiser Gomes
High: 25 | Low: 46
Not quite living up to when he was loaned from one loan club to another, but he’d been a fixture up until sustaining a foot injury at the start of the month. – Dan
26 (+5)Eddie Munjoma
High: 17 | Low: 31
Playing for North Texas again as either an outside back or wing. He should have been playing down much more this year as time’s running out for him with FCD. – Buzz
27 (+5)Blaine Ferri
High: 27 | Low: 35
Really made a center-mid spot his own, and added three assists since our last ranking. – Dan
28 (-)Kazu
High: 28 | Low: 40
A starter at left back or left wing when he’s not shoved out by someone from FCD coming down like Vargas or ElMedkhar. NTX’s leading scorer. A player with a future at a higher level. – Buzz
29 (-)Imanol Almaguer
High: 29 | Low: 37
Occasionally picking up the armband, Ima is proving a real leader as well as a staple of Eric Quill’s midfield. – Dan
30 (+6)Nicky Hernandez
High: 17 | Low: 36
After a really rough season, he’s at least back to being a starter for North Texas. But this isn’t what FCD had in mind when they drafted him, I don’t think.  – Buzz
31 (+4)Richard Sanchez
High: 31 | Low: 48
After rotating for a while, the former Homegrown has had four straight starts in goal. – Dan
32 (+8)Derek Waldeck
High: 27 | Low: 44
NTX Captain. Solid, steady, dependable, leader. I bet he would be an amazing coach.  Hey FCD, hire this man now!  – Buzz
33 (+8)Kyle Zobeck
High: 26 | Low: 45
If the weird Jimmy Maurer is/isn’t injured thing gave us anything, it was the notion that an unfit Maurer is preferred to a fit Zobeck. – Dan
Mark Salas with the ball against Fort Lauderdale CF (Courtesy USL League One)

In Reserve:

34 (+12)Mark Salas
High: 34 | Low: 46
He’s started 8 of 13 games since signing this summer. Another solid, dependable player who can play anywhere in the backline. – Buzz
35 (-9)Thomas Roberts
High: 21 | Low: 35
Only getting reserve games is not making for a great loan in Austria. – Dan
36 (-6)Bernard Kamungo
High: 30 | Low: 36
The run of starts is over for now but he’s still a high-impact sub.  At 18 this kid is one for the future and has such a big upside. No rush here. – Buzz
37 (-3)Mikey Maldonado
High: 34 | Low: 46
The period began with a decent run of starts, but those are turning into late cameos. – Dan
38 (+12)Lucão High: 38 | Low: 50He’s started 4 times now in the back but is still getting used to the new team. He’s really a signing for 2022, I think. – Buzz
39 (+5)Collin Smith
High: 39 | Low: 44
Ten straight starts. Good minutes for a player looking to prove he could potentially make the MLS jump eventually. – Dan
40 (-)Devin Benton
High: 40 | Low: 40
1 start and 5 sub appearances since signing about a month ago. An attractive athlete with some potential. We need to see a lot more of him before any real determination is made. – Buzz
41 (-8)Rio Ramirez
High: 33 | Low: 48
No minutes for close to a month now. – Dan
42 (+1)Hope Kodzo Avayevu
High: 29 | Low: 43
PT is dropping off but this is a kid with immense upside who needs a TON of coaching. He’s got a long-term deal because of how much upside there is and how much work he needs.  – Buzz
43 (+4)Gabriel Morais
High: 43 | Low: 47
The #9 shirt and now pushing ahead of Alex Bruce and Thibaut Jacquel in minutes. – Dan
44 (-2)Alex Bruce
High: 36 | Low: 44
Only 5 starts in this his second season with NTX.  Time is running out on Bruce it seems. – Buzz
45 (-)Thibaut Jacquel
High: 23 | Low: 45
The Frenchman hasn’t played in over a month. – Dan
46 (-9)Colin Shutler
High: 27 | Low: 46
He’s been dropped from the 18 twice now to make room for Academy keeper (and future Homegrown?) Antonio Carrera. Since Shutler’s not hurt (I asked), that’s not a good sign. – Buzz
47 (-26)Johnny Nelson
High: 11 | Low: 47
That 6-8 month timeline leaves Nelson returning a couple of months into the 2022 season. – Dan
48 (-10)Beni Redzic
High: 29 | Low: 48
What we expected to be a short injury has turned into a really long one. There’s no clue when he might be back and he’s in a walking boot these days after surgery.  – Buzz
49 (-10)Alejandro
High: 33 | Low: 49
Missing for a long time. – Dan
50 (-1)Alisson
High: 34 | Low: 50
He’s been out long-term with an injury and is on the verge of return… But it’s not going to be in time to help NTX this year. His run here is probably up.  – Buzz

Notes and Comments

No surprises, Ricardo Pepi moves to number one as we come towards the end of his breakout season.

North Texas SC duo Lucão and Mark Salas share the spoils after both moving up 12 places in their second rankings. Both started near the bottom before proving themselves quickly in the development team.

Injuries have shaped the other end, as three of the four biggest drops all came with ouchies attached. Johnny Nelson’s back surgery dropping the left back furthest as the only first-team player to see their season ended prematurely. Here’s to a group of successful recoveries!

Nkosi Tafari was the uninjured player. After putting a string of solid performances in, he was dropped by Marco and even played for North Texas SC recently. Tafari dropped 12 spots.

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