Five Interesting Players in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft for FC Dallas

We’ve talked this winter about some of FC Dallas’ player needs. The MLS Expansion Draft is on Tuesday (4:30 CT on MLSSoccer.com) and Los Toros aren’t involved. There are plenty of players available and perhaps one or two might interest FC Dallas. Players can be drafted and traded, it would just take some dialog with either Nashville SC or Inter Miami for a trade.

What’s the cost to get one of these players from either expansion team and would FCD pay it? I have no idea, that’s down to Andre Zonatta, Marco Ferruzzi, and Luchi Gonzalez.  Of course, some of these players might interest Inter Miami and Nashville too.

But here’s my list of five hypothetical unprotected names that might interest FCD.

Lee Nguyen – LAFC

Wait, what the heck? I know, I think this one is crazy myself.  I would have said between Paxton Pomykal and Jesus Ferreira that FCD was set at the 10.

Then Dan Hunt went and said the following

“In the midfield, depending on what we want to do, is there a piece that’s a No. 10 that can help in attacking situations? Jesus Ferreira is a unique No. 10, a non-typical No. 10. Then you ask yourself is Paxton Pomykal’s best position a No. 10 or out on the wing? We go back and forth. I think you’ll see us add in the midfield.”

Dan Hunt

Ok, well… here’s an attacking mid type who can play as a 10. Nguyen is also a local, hailing from Plano. His $530,000 is steep for a backup – particularly one who is 33 – but based on what Hunt said maybe we’re not talking about a backup. 

Lee Nguyen of LAFC tries to close down Jacori Hayes of FC Dallas in the club’s meeting on May 19, 2019. (Matt Visinsky, 3rd Degree)

Dillon Powers – Orlando City

I said in my off-season projections, both on 3rd Degree the Podcast and on the blog, that Coach Gonzalez needs some depth at the 6. Powers can do that.  He’s another local kid from Plano, the son of Sidekicks great Michael Powers.

At $200,000, Powers is pretty affordable. That’s a bottom of the senior roster number for a player with a proven MLS game. He can still get it done at 28 and has a really high motor and work rate. I think he’s quite capable of playing as a single 6.

Might he be happy to come home and play a few years in the Metroplex during the latter stages of his career?

Jonathan Campbell – Seattle Sounders

With the release of Moises Hernandez, the Huntsmen could use some center back depth.  On just a Supplemental Roster contract of $70,250, Campbell is quite affordable.  He’s a lefty side player and could serve as a left back emergency player in a pinch. He’s also scored a few header goals in his career.

At 26, the former Tar Heel played 72 games for the Chicago Fire from 2016-2018 after being picked 12th overall. He was released by the Fire after 2018 but the Sounders picked him up. This season with Seattle he only played 4 games, but we’re talking about a depth piece.

Campbell is a career 83% passer, so he probably can handle Luchi-Ball having hit 88% of his passes in 2018 with the Fire.

Sebastien Ibeagha – NYCFC

Another cheaper center back, he too makes Supplemental Roster money ($74,250).  Originally from Oklahoma, but played for the Houston Dynamo Academy. After four years at Duke, Ibeagha tried his hand in Europe playing for Danish club Horsens, Fredericia in Denmark, and Fram Reykjavik in Iceland.

Returning to Texas in 2016 with the Dynamo he was loaned to RGV and Rayo OKC. Ibeagha signed with San Antonio FC the following year where he earned the 2017 USL Defender of the Year award. With NYCFC the last two seasons, he’s started 29 or the 49 games he’s played.

Mostly a center back, Ibeagha’s played some right back as well so could provide a little versatility in the back if needed.  An 85% passer in two seasons with the Pigeons, the Nigerian native should also be adaptable for the FCD passing game.

Richard Sanchez – Chicago Fire

1 April 2012 – FC Dallas goalkeeper Richard Sanchez (#1) during the Dallas Cup Gordan Jago Super Group match-up between Manchester United of England and FC Dallas of the United States. Manchester United won 2-0. (Matt Visinsky, 3rd Degree)

Sanchez obviously is a former FC Dallas Homegrown goalkeeper so FCD keeper coach Drew Keeshan knows him intimately. Dallas sold Sanchez to Tigres back in 2014 and he rejoined MLS in 2017 making 27 starts for the Fire that season.  If FCD were to acquire Sanchez it would be the third time he has been in hoops as he was loaned back to the Frisco club for a short stint in 2014.

Is FCD unhappy with Kyle Zobeck? Not specifically, Zobeck has made great strides since joining FCD but he’s never seen the MLS field only playing in USL-1 with North Texas – bringing home the USL-1 Final Trophy it’s worth noting.

But professional soccer is a tough business sometimes. Would FCD want a player that could challenge for MLS time instead of Zobeck who will be 30 in 2020? Sanchez is at $150k easily affordable on the senior roster but can’t be on the supplemental at that price.

Does FCD need to plan for a day someone comes in with a crazy offer for Jesse Gonzalez? At 25, Sanchez’s best days are, in theory, still ahead of him.  

Roland Lamah – FC Cincinnati

LOL, just kidding.

(An eye-popping $806,250 guaranteed in 2019, option declined for 2020)

Anyone Else?

Like our list? Hate it? Who did we miss? Tell us about it below.

3 Comments

  1. Ibeagha was playing for USL side San Antiono Fc 2 years ago and won he best defender in USL. Fcd then went to south America and European b
    lower leagues looking for defenders!!!???? If FCD wants to be the Moneyball team of MLS they have to start signing experienced MLS waiver or expansion draftees for better depth such as Ibeagha. FCD for many years has been horrible at this. I think that when players get hurt or are in a slump, they need to be benched. I think not having a strong experienced bench makes the annual late session melt downs on Aug or Sept seem very logical. Sometimes this is better money spent on slightly more expensive players than trying to get younger foreign players that might not adjust ro MLS or pan out to being good enough to play in MLS. For goodness sake FCD please give the Ibeaghas a chance (stop passes on these players) and build stronger more reliable teams year to year!!!! Fans that have stuck with your team since 96 are humbly asking.

  2. Any interest in Darren Mattocks or Nemanja Nikolic? Nikolic had a really strong initial run of form in MLS, and Mattocks might be a fun platoon winger on the opposite side of Michael Barrios.

    Nikolic may be a bit too redundant considering what Kobra brings to the table at that age, but I wouldn’t complain about quality striker depth.

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