The MLS SuperDraft is right around the corner, on Thursday in fact, but we all know that for FC Dallas it’s the Homegrowns that are more important these days. Particularly where FC Dallas is picking (14th, 17th, 40th, 66th, and 92nd).
We’ve talked a lot about hypothetical Academy Homegrowns on this site, so this time let’s talk about the college Homegrowns for 2020.
College Homegrowns used to be a bit more common with FCD a couple of years ago, back before the Academy became so prolific. FCD signed four-year players like Aaron Guillen, Kris Reaves, and Jordan Cano as well as one-and-done players like Reggie Cannon and Brandon Servania. The college players are sometimes able to contribute more quickly but usually have less upside than a kid worth signing from the Academy.
Now that the play-the-kids movement is in full swing there just isn’t as much room for college-age seniors from the draft. But Homegrowns? A known commodity that can get some roster protection like a Generation adidas player? That’s worth just a bit more.
College Players FCD Should Sign as Homegrowns for 2020
I should say player because it’s just one and he’s a senior.
I’ve watched Munjoma in a couple of FCD summer camps and have been impressed with his progress. He’s been improving each and every season at SMU and that put him atop my watch list.
Then watching him dominate in the 2019 playoffs convinced me, FCD should sign this kid. An outside back with the verticality and attacking skill for Luchi-Ball.
I asked someone who would know and Munjoma is indeed a natural righty. He played left back in his FC Dallas days because they had Reggie Cannon on the right. Still, that flexibility is good and is the kind of thing Coach Gonzalez likes.
And yes, that’s my entire list. That’s it. There are no underclassmen that are ready as far as I am concerned.
College Seniors FCD Should Sign to North Texas SC for 2020
FC Dallas also needs to fill up the North Texas SC roster. Of the college seniors I see one player I would offer an NTXSC contract without making him win a spot in camp.
45 starts in 50 games played at center back for SMU. Has a good short space burst and reads the game well. Ponder was FCD’s starting Academy CB back in 2015.
FCD should sign him to a NTX deal and invite him to FCD spring camp. Who knows, maybe he steps it up and earns a full Homegrown offer.
And again that’s it. One guy that I would offer straight up before camp even opens.
Note: You may have noticed that both guys play for SMU but that’s not just because I’ve seen them play in person. Because of location (ease of recruiting and scouting), FCD tends to send a fair number of talented players there compared to other top tier schools. Although Northern Illinois is apparently trying to change that.
North Texas SC Training Camp Senior Invitees
I do have a list of a few senior names that I would invite to North Texas SC training camp when it opens February 10. These guys will need to win a job if they want one. Finishing school may be more important to them, that’s something only the individual can decide.
Martin Salas – UNC
Irvin Dominguez – Northern Illinois formerly of Richland College. (He may have redshirted this season)
Tosh Yasuda – Grand Canyon, transfer from SMU
Juan Ramirez – Midwestern State
Sergio Lara – Midwestern State
Midwestern State is another school with a whole bunch of FCD kids.
My Underclassmen Watch List
My above senior signing list is a bit boring, I know. Just two guys. One for FCD – although he’ll probably play a lot in USL-1 – and one for NTX.
So let’s dig a little deeper. Here are the four underclassmen who currently interest me the most. None of them are ready yet and none are a lock to be signed as a Homegrown next year either. But a lot can change in a year.
If any did a Brecc Evans and said they were done with college I would like FCD to sign them to NTX deals.
Mark Salas – UNC, Junior. A starter since he walked onto campus. He can pretty much play anywhere in defense. A former USYNT player he joined FCD at age 6.
Brandon Terwege – SMU, Junior. A two-year starter at UCLA before transfer to SMU where he started this year. Former US U20.
Giovanni Montes de Oca – UNC, RS-Junior. Redshirted in 2016. Breakout in 2018 as a sophomore with 8 goals and 4 assists in 19 games (15 starts) in the elite ACC. 2019 should have been his junior year but got injured during UNC’s preseason and missed the season. Not sure if he’ll get a medical redshirt or not. Either way, he has at least 2020 to go at UNC wearing the #10 if he wants.
Daniel Evans – Kentucky, Sophomore. An attacking bench threat as a freshman behind JJ Williams (Drafted 18th overall last year by Crew). Evans broke out this year as the Cats leading goal scorer with 7 goals and 2nd leader in assists with 5 in 21 games.
The Rest of my Watch List
Are those four guys my entire list? No way. There are many, many more. I have about 60 names of former FCD Academy, Premier, and Youth players in college. Most of them, of course, aren’t really pro prospects.
But some could be.
So here’s a list of names that could be in the mix with some progression. They need to show more before I label them as pro prospects. Some of them quite a bit more. If asked, I would encourage them all to stay in school.
Ben Hale – Furman, Redshirt Junior. 2018 Southern Conference Goalkeeper of the Year … then in 2019 seems to have been 2nd choice, was an injury involved? He has one more year at Furman and should get the chance to regain his form.
Brayan Padilla – Maryland, Sophomore. Was on his way to a breakout sophomore season for the Terps – started 6 of the first 7 games – before he tore his left ACL. He’s an attacking forward/wing/mid. 2017 U16 DA Central Conference Player of the Year.
Luis Hernandez – Northern Illinois, Freshman. A late bloomer in the Academy, a full-time starter as a freshman at UNI. 6/8 central mid type.
Michael Collodi – Columbia, Freshman. Starting goalkeeper from day one on campus (15 of 17 Columbia’s games). But there’s no rush, get that big-time education first.
Holland Rula – Wake Forest, Sophomore. Left back or mid, progression is on track. 19 games off the bench as a freshman, 9 starts out of 20 games as a sophomore.
Reed Berry – Oral Roberts, Freshman. Summit League Newcomer of the Year and First Team. An FCD Youth player (00 Che) he’s exploded in NCAA play with 11 goals and 5 assists in just 16 games to lead the Summit League in points.
Blake Willis – Columbia, Junior. A three-year starter at Columbia until midway through this year. Outside back. Update: injured ankle.
Cole Guindon – Kentucky, Sophomore. Starter at LB as a freshman during Cats run to the final four, this year only saw action in half their games.
Judson Burns – Clemson, Freshman. He only played in 5 games as a freshman. Played center back for FCD. I like his athleticism, maturity, and game reading. Needs progression obviously.
Julian Hinojosa – UNC, Freshman. Left back, former USYNT’er. 13 games and 5 starts at UNC as a freshman. Former USYNT’er.
Jalen James – Campbell, medical redshirt Freshman. 21 games, 11 starts, 3 goals, and 2 assists. That’s some really solid freshman numbers. Wing/forward.
Adrian Morales – Campbell, redshirt Freshman. 20 games, 10 starts, 4 goals, and 2 assists. Another forward/mid putting up some good numbers for the offensive juggernaut that is the Camels. #RollHumps