The offseason is upon us so it’s time to start tearing apart the FC Dallas and North Texas SC rosters. We’re going to talk a lot about the FC Dallas roster on the podcast this week so I’m starting with North Texas SC in this space.
2021 was a relatively positive season for this young North Texas team. After a rough start, the club climbed back into the playoffs but was unfortunately eliminated in the first round.
Coach Eric Quill’s got a bunch of talent, some of which are worth holding on to and developing.
So let’s dig in.
Earned an FC Dallas Camp Invite
These are the four players I think should get a shot with FC Dallas in the spring. What happens after that is different for each.
|Richard Sanchez||GK||Contract ends.||I’ve come to believe Sanchez was signed in 2021 as a health/skill check to potentially be one of the 3 keepers with FCD in 2022. An insurance plan, if you will. He owned the NTX starting spot down the stretch and I think he will be joining FCD for ’22 as Phelipe’s replacement. If Sanchez doesn’t join FCD then NTX should move on from him as he’s 27.|
|Caiser Gomes||CB||Loan ends.||NTX should buy from F.C. Alverca. Bring him to FCD camp with an eye at being the 5th center back in 2022. If he makes FCD, great, if not, keep him with NTX again as he’s still a developing prospect.|
|Kazu||LB/LW||Loan ends.||NTX should buy too. Invite Kazu to FCD camp as a competition for Johnny Nelson for the 2nd left back spot. If he’s not up for it yet, use him at NTX one more year. He’s got MLS potential in our book.|
|Gibran Rayo||F/M||Option for ’22.||Rayo was NTX’s most consistent performer at the top end in 2021, earning a USL-1 2nd team nod. Pick up his option, give him a look in FCD camp, if it’s not happening sell/loan him to a USL-C team. No reason to keep him with NTX. It’s FCD or move him.|
Sell or Help Find a USL-C Job
These are the guys following the Arturo Rodriguez and Ronaldo Damus path. It’s time for them to take a step up from North Texas and into USL-C. I don’t think they are getting that FC Dallas shot.
|Imanol Almaguer||CM/RB||Contract ends.||He’s playing the best soccer of his career, but I just don’t see him in MLS despite how much I like watching him play. FCD/NTX should help him to the next level as I think he’s a USL-C level talent.|
I said “guys,” then it turns out to be only one guy at this point unless Sanchez and Rayo don’t make the FC Dallas roster.
Keep and Develop
These should be the core North Texas players for 2022. They are the ones in my estimation to keep and continue working with. There are more “keep” players here than in the last two years.
|Alejandro||F/M||Option for ’22.||Pick up his option. Super interesting Mexican attacker. At one point he was the driving force in the team. Hurt most of the second half of the year but he’s worth working with again. Needs to stay healthy.|
|Hope Kodzo Avayevu||AM/Wing||Contract through ’23 w/ options ’24 and ’25.||Big talent, long-term contract. Hopefully a big future. Even at 16, he could handle FCD first-team training. Needs to command a starting spot next year.|
|Devin Benton||D||Option for ’22.||Pick up his option. Played a fair bit after his late-season signing. Enough game was on display that I want to see more. Decision-making needs work.|
|Blaine Ferri||CM||’22 option.||Pick up his option. Immense progress since singing. Looks legit, maybe even MLS good. FCD has plenty of 8s or he would get an MLS look already. Keep him with NTX next season cause the upside is showing. The plan should be continued progress leading to an FCD contract in ’23.|
|Bernard Kamungo||F||’22 contract w/ ’23 option.||Already under contract for ’22. This kid has so much upside. No rush, keep him at NTX for 2022. Play lots, enjoy the goals, continue to polish this diamond.|
|Lucão||CB||On loan through 2022||On loan from F.C. Alverca for ’22. There is a buy option but he came in late in the season and is probably mostly a player for 2022. Wait on the buy.|
|Mikey Maldonado||M/D||2022 option.||Pick up option. He’s young and if nothing else he’s a valuable, versatile roster piece.|
|Gabriel de Morais||F||Loan through 2022||Brazilian forward on loan from F.C. Alverca for ’22 with a buy option. We barely saw him so far, like Lucão I think he’s more for ’22. Wait on the buy.|
|Mark Salas||D||Contract ends.||Re-sign Salas. The versatile defender signed mid-way through ’21. He’s good enough to keep with NTX. A college draftee, he will add some leadership to the young core team.|
|Colin Shutler||GK||Option for ’22.||Lost out on bench spots to Academy keeper Antonio Carrera in late ’21. At one point he was an emergency loan when FCD was down to one keeper. Decline the NTX option but invite him to NTX camp if he wants to compete. If Sanchez moves up, NTX might need a keeper in ’22.|
|Collin Smith||RB||FCD Homegrown thru ’23 w/ 2 options.||Not technically signed to NTXSC but rather on loan from FCD. He needs to spend ’22 with NTX again, start every game at RB, and push for complete 90-minute performances.|
|Derek Waldeck||DM/LB||’21 Option ends.||Captain and leader, re-sign him if he wants to come back. If he wants to be a coach someday, give him an assistant job in the Academy and/or make him a player/coach with NTX. Even if he’s not a lock starter he can be captain and leader.|
Thanks and Good Luck
It’s time to move on from these players. Two years is pretty much the limit with North Texas SC.
|Alisson||DM||Contract ends.||Just not enough progression in his game. After two seasons I’m not seeing the MLS pathway. 21 years old.|
|Alex Bruce||F||Contract ends.||A good worker and leader by example, Bruse has a place in a USL squad, but after two seasons it’s time to move on. 23 years old.|
|Thibaut Jacquel||F||Option for ’22.||Deline the option. Jacqual had a hot spring training but couldn’t find space or deliver the goals consistently in USL-1. He’s also 24.|