Last March, North Texas SC was using Alfusainey Jatta alongside golden boy Ricardo Pepi as the face of their franchise. Now, Jatta is out as he is among the name the organization has declined contract options on.
NTXSC has today announced a handful of roster moves including Jatta. Contract options on Bicou Bissainthe, Richard Danso, Hector Montalvo and Cesar Murillo were also not exercised. Goalkeeper Eduardo “Pollo” Cortes is out of contract.
The club did pick up 2020 contract options on Ronaldo Damus, Arturo Rodriguez and Oscar Romero.
Picking up USL-1 MVP Arturo Rodriguez’s contract is a no-brainer, but as part of the club’s new “take care of our guys” mantra, they should give him a new deal. He’s currently on a semi-pro contract that’s well below a normal professional. Damus too isn’t a surprise.
As for players let go, I had predicted the departure of Montalvo and Murillo. Bissainthe, who lacked playing time late in the season, isn’t a surprise either.
I’m a bit taken back the club exercised the contract on Oscar Romero, I don’t see him as an MLS talent and was expecting the club to move on from him. Perhaps they plan to move him to another club somewhere. NTXSC does want to develop players for other clubs as well as FC Dallas.
But the two biggest shocks are the decline of the options of Alfusainey Jatta and Richard Danso. We don’t know certain factors like how much it would have taken to buy their contracts. But both players had upside far past USL-1.
Jatta was a dominate holding mid and NTX was significantly better with him as the 6. He had also done a credible job filling in as a center back. But it was clear at the end of the season something seemed to have gone wrong as Jatta feel out of favor and was on the bench for a few games.
The biggest surprise for me was Richard Danso. Danso looked like a Fabian Castillo clone. He game-breaking young talent destined for MLS within another season. I don’t understand this move at all and it raises questions in my mind. Was his cost too high? Visa issues? International slot vs domestic? I’m going to have to talk to Coach Eric Quill.
North Texas SC currently has seven players under contract for the 2020 season: Imanol Almaguer, Carlos Avilez, Ronaldo Damus, Brecc Evans, Arturo Rodriguez, David Rodriguez and Oscar Romero.