North Texas SC, the professional development squad for FC Dallas, begins 2023 MLS Next Pro league play this weekend at LAFC 2 (7:00 pm at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, CA). The match will be streamed on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app.
With the season around the corner, I thought it worth looking at the North Texas SC roster plus the FC Dallas and Academy players that we predict will play in MLS Next Pro this year.
Let’s do this by position
Antonio Carrera – FC Dallas
Carrera is an FC Dallas Homegrown but he’s FCD’s third keeper and like last year he should start for Los Toritos pretty much every game he is available. He is, however, in the US U20 pool and may miss some time for the World Cup this year. He has a camp that started March 19th that runs until the 29th so he’ll miss the NTX opener this weekend.
Julian Eyestone – FC Dallas Academy
Eyestone is an FC Dallas U17 but he trains almost full-time with the FCD first team. He should get most starts Carrera is missing including the season opener. NTX looked at 5 or 6 different keeper trialists this spring but didn’t keep any of them so far (I expect them to sign one at some point). Eyestone is heading to Duke later this summer unless something changes with his FCD status.
Don’t be surprised to see North Texas SC sign a keeper this week as they don’t actually have one on their roster.
Update (3/21/23 1 pm): NTX signed Irish keeper Michal Webber out of Bowdoin College.
Aaron Salinas – FC Dallas Academy: Since NTX hasn’t yet added another keeper we expect to see FCD U19 Salinas make some benches or possibly even start if Carrera or Eyestone are absent. He’s heading to Furman this fall.
Fabian Enriquez – FC Dallas Academy: The next keeper after Salinas is probably FCD’s other U17 keeper known as “Chooks.” Expect to see him more come fall if Salinas and Eyestone both leave in the late summer.
Isaiah Parker – FC Dallas
FCD’s Generation adidas left back/wing – much to my chagrin – was kept in town rather than being loaned out like Collin Smith. Hopefully, he’s going to push Sam Junqua as the FCD 2nd choice but in the meantime, Parker should see NTX starts.
Tyshawn Rose – North Texas SC
Boston College left back signed for 2023 with a 2024 option. A modern, vertical back. I have yet to see him in person but the college clips are interesting.
Not really. Maybe the next guy on this page.
Left Center Back
Nolan Norris – FC Dallas
The center back conversion is in full swing for the 18-year-old Norris. 4th on the FCD depth chart he should come down and start when he’s not in the FCD game-day roster. He can still left back if needed.
Manuel Caicedo – North Texas SC
A 19-year-old on loan from Cortulua FC with a buy option. Expected to start if Norris isn’t. A player we don’t know a lot about yet. 6-foot-3.
Will Baker – FC Dallas Academy: The FCD U19 (2004, took a gap year) is committed to Michigan this fall. Played some for NTX last season and could do so again this year.
Right Center Back
Amet Korça – FC Dallas
5th on the FCD CB depth chart, Korça is a 22-year-old from Arlington, Texas, who played in Croatia. Like Norris, we should see him start and play a fair number of games with North Texas when he’s not in the FCD game-day roster.
Henri Santos – North Texas SC
Brazilian 21-year-old on loan from Palmeiras with a buy option. Captained the Brazil U17s to the 2019 World Cup title.
Alejandro “Chile” Araneda – North Texas SC
Former mid converting to CB (can still be found in MF too). Played for NTX last year. He’s now 20 and the clock is ticking.
Mason Grimm – FC Dallas Academy: FCD’s U19 center back or holding mid has gotten some NTX training time recently.
“Kaka” Scabin – FC Dallas Academy: FCD U16 but he saw some NTX scrimmage time this spring.
Herbert Endeley – FC Dallas
FCD’s first-round pick earned an MLS contract but we’ve yet to see him in MLS training much since as he’s been with North Texas most of the time. A winger in college he’s also being looked at for outside back conversion but still may factor at wing as well.
Yeicar Perlaza – North Texas SC
A Colombian right back from Atlético Nacional signed for the 2023 season (buy option). He’s 19 and played 52 times for AN’s U21 side before coming to NTXSC.
Cristian Gallo – FC Dallas Academy: FCD U19 right back saw some spring scrimmage time.
Malachi Molina – FC Dallas Academy: FCD and Jamacia U17 with upside. Modern and vertical back, he plays wing as well.
Michael Cortellessa – FC Dallas Academy: Ryan Hollingshead 2.0. The FCD and US U16/17 (2007) can play either side or really anywhere on the field. I’ve seen him at LB as much as RB.
Carl Sainté – North Texas SC
20-year-old Haitian International acquired from New Mexico United. He’s got first-team camp time while Facundo Quignon was injured. He’s the guy for NTX in this spot. After him, it’s a little thin.
Alejandro “Chile” Araneda – North Texas SC
We talked about him in the CB discussion but he used to play CM and can play here if NTX is short-bodies for some reason. We pencil him in here but it’s not the main plan for him.
Jared Aguilar – FC Dallas Academy: FCD’s U19 holding mid who played a fair bit for North Texas last year. College commitment is to Tulsa.
Diego Hernandez – FC Dallas Academy: FCD U19 who can 8 or 6. Talk around FCD says he’s taken a step forward. Historically he’s a bit more of an 8 in my mind but is often deployed deep as a play-making 6. Headed to Furman this fall.
I would prefer to see both of those players at the 6 than Araneda.
Andre Costa – North Texas SC
A 21-year-old holdover from the last Next Pro season. Costa’s been a frequent first-team training invite when FCD is missing an 8 as he can handle the level. One of the most important players for North Texas in 2023. He is perhaps atop the “next to MLS?” list and I expect a big season from him.
Ale Urzua – North Texas SC
The latest Academy signing to North Texas out of the FCD U17s. We believe, but have yet to confirm, that he has a hybrid NTX/FCD contract so think of him as the same caliber as Paxton Pomykal. Expect to see him play a lot alongside Acosta in the double-8. He trains a bunch with the MLS side as well. Urzua is used as a 6 too as FCD seems to be trying to figure out his long-term future position.
Diego Garcia – North Texas SC
Fascinatingly, a 16-year-old signed to a pro deal from El Paso Locomotive’s academy. He made his USL-C debut last year on an amateur contract. First of a new kind of prospect, in a sense, poached from another club. Can’t wait to see what he’s got.
Theo Henrique – North Texas SC
A creative mid from Brazil, clips of him show a 10-type player but he’s played some 8 as well according to google. Can he adapt to the double-8 system? Not as athletic as I might like from the tape.
Santiago Ferreira – FC Dallas Academy: FCD U19 played a bunch for North Texas SC last year and could factor again. Jesus Ferrreira’s younger brother. His college commitment is unknown but he graduates in May (he’s a 2004). He’s also been used as a 6.
Dylan Lacy – FC Dallas Academy: FCD U19 playmaker 10 learning to 8 (like all the rest of them). Came to FCD from Philadelphia Union and previously New York Red Bull. Can false wing a bit as well. Talent on the ball.
Jared Salazar & Caleb Swann – FC Dallas Academy: A U17 (2006) and U16 (2007) respectively, depending on what happens this fall with Ferreira and Lacy, and depending on the progression of these two young talents, you might see either get some PT in the second half of the year.
Hope Avayevu – North Texas SC
The other player on our “next to MLS?” list. This could be and should be, the year of Hope at North Texas. Discovered by FCD playing in the Dallas Cup at 16, he was signed at 18 to a relatively long NTX contract. He’s been good but now is the time to dominate.
Bernard Kamungo – FC Dallas
Signed the FCD contract and so far has been making game-day rosters for FCD so we don’t expect him to come down very much. But you might still see him with NTX from time to time if he needs minutes. Our hope is he gets enough PT with FCD to not need MLS Next Pro game time.
Anthony Ramirez – FC Dallas Academy
FCD, Mexico, and US U19 (He’s not locked into US or Mex yet). A player high on my homegrown list for some time, he’s a 2005 but a December baby (17) so he won’t graduate high school till May 24. I expect him to take a step into greater involvement with NTX this season. Usually more of a left wing than right to my memory, he can also 10 in a double pivot look. Stylistically he plays like Alan Velasco.
Herbert Endeley – FC Dallas
We talked about Endeley in the right back section where we think he will play most of the time. But he may factor at wing as well.
Tomas Pondeca – North Texas SC
21-year-old right wing out of Marcus High School. Played for the US Futsal Team at the FIFA World Cup. NTX said he came through the open tryout but I’m inclined to think he was invited to said tryout with the idea he would be signed unless he totally crapped out.
Tarik Scott – FC Dallas
Unfortunately, with the knee injury, the FCD Homegrown Scott is out for the year.
Bryce Outman – FC Dallas Academy: It’s a long shot cause he’s still so small and young, but this kid is a baller. FCD and US U16 (2007). The time will come when FCD wants to test him in MLS Next Pro, perhaps later this year when he’s a U17.
Jose Mulato – FC Dallas
The other player, along with Kamungo, that made the North-Texas-to-FCD jump this winter. Originally from Deportivo Cali but “discovered” playing for the Bayern World Team. Bayern Munich was involved in Mulato coming to FCD and some reports indicate Bayern has a buy right or right of refusal but that has never been confirmed by FCD. With FCD trading for Jesus Jimenez, Mulato may still factor a fair amount at NTX.
Pablo Torre – North Texas SC
19-year-old striker from Mcallen, Texas, signed through this season with a ’24 option. He should see improved PT with Mulato having signed with FCD. It’s time to see some progression from Torre.
Diego Pepi – FC Dallas Youth
Ricardo’s younger brother come up through the FCD system at the ECNL level but I’ve never understood why he wasn’t in the Academy. All of a sudden this spring he’s been involved a bunch with North Texas SC. He’s been deployed as a 9 in NTX scrimmages but I’ve also seen him at wing or even 8/10 while playing for FCD Youth.
Nayrobi Vargas – FC Dallas Academy
FCD and Honduras U17. He remains inconsistent but can dominate when motivated as seen at the Concacaf U17 Championships. He’s already signed with an agent so it’s pro or bust. The time is right to see him reach this level sometime in 2023, if he stays on track.
Manny Martinez – FC Dallas Academy: FCD U19 who can play a couple of offensive spots. Not on my homegrown watch list but he works his tail off and grinds with a great mentality. It won’t surprise me at all to see him get here. Grand Canyon U commit.
Head Coach: Javier Cano
The third coach in North Texas SC’s short history he replaces Pa-Madou Kah after just one season. Poached from Austin FC’s Academy, the 39-year-old Cano has more than 23 years of coaching experience that includes stints in Spain, the Czech Republic, and the US. He speaks Spanish, English, Italian, and Czech.
Assistant Coach: John Gall
Former FCD Academy coach – most recently the U19s – and still director of Boys Academy coaching. Former Marcus HS Head Coach.
Assistant Coach: Michel Garbini
A former player with FC Dallas and Club Athletico Paranaense to name a few. He’s been an NTX assistant since 2019. He also coaches the Foro adult UPSL side.
Goalkeeper Coach: Kyle Zobeck
Former FC Dallas and New York Cosmos goalkeeper. Retired at the end of 2021. Helped North Texas SC win the inaugural USL-1 Championships in 2019. Re-joined the organization as a keeper coach this season.
U of Tulsa announced Aguilar as a signee on their Twitter in January, so unless something changed I suspect that’s where he’s going.
For wing depth in the back half of the year, keep an eye on Ian Witis-Hughes. Maybe not the long-term prospect Outman is, but he’s (a) physically ready for NTX in a way Outman just isn’t (W-H one of the bigger/faster kids on the U17s as a U16), and (b) scoring a bunch for the U17s.
Thanks for the Aguilar info.
I’m aware of IWH. Just have him behind Outman for now.