Let’s be very clear – FC Dallas has yet to make a permanent move in regards to Jesse Gonzalez, who is still in the league-mandated SABH program. If they do end up needing to make a move with Gonzalez, FC Dallas will then, perhaps, need a new starting no. 1. Or another backup.
FC Dallas should be doing their due diligence and looking into the keeper market, just in case. So let’s do the same.
Here is a look in at a few potential replacements for FC Dallas at shot-stopper. Characteristics that would suit a Luchi keeper the most would be aggressiveness, passing ability, and reflexes.
It is worth noting that before the team left for Orlando, the club signed homegrown keeper Carlos Avilez from NTXSC.
Potential Goalkeeper Targets
Foreign Based Options
The following is a collection of goalkeepers from across the world who will be free agents during the upcoming transfer window:
Sebastian Sosa: UruguayEmbed from Getty Images
- Profile: 6’ tall, 33 years old.
- Sosa’s contract with Monarchs ends June 30th.
- Stats: 18/19 — 12 games, 2 clean sheets, 63% SV, 94% pass accuracy in own half.
- Pros: 5 years of experience in North American soccer, exceptional reflexes.
- Cons: average passer and a poor long passer, on the shorter end of the goalkeeping spectrum.
Marcos Diaz: ArgentinaEmbed from Getty Images
- Profile: 6’1”, 34 years old.
- Contract with Boca Juniors expires June 30th.
- Stats: 18/19 — 15 games, 7 clean sheets, 75% SV, 80% pass accuracy in own half.
- Pros: Extensive experience at a big club, expert passer, great reflexes.
- Cons: Would command a bigger contract due to experience at Boca, age.
Kevin Muller — Germany
- Profile: 6’3” 29 years old.
- Contract with 1.FC Heidenheim 1846 expires June 30th.
- Stats: 19/20 — 29 games, 14 clean sheets, 71% SV, 82% pass accuracy in own half (Avg of 28 own half passes per game).
- Pros: European experience in Germany, coming off a fantastic season in the 2. Bundesliga, great reflexes.
- Cons: more likely to stay in europe.
Jefferson Martinez — Colombia
- Profile: 6’2” 26 years old.
- Contract with Millonarios expires June 30th
- Stats: 2019 — 20 games, 6 clean sheets, 77% SV, 85% Pass accuracy in own half
- Pros: Good shot-stopper, young.
- Cons: Has a club option for another year after his contract ends on June 30th, does not pass often
Domestic Based Options
The following are MLS/American goalkeepers who are currently under contract:
Andrew Tarbell: Columbus Crew
- Profile: 6’3” 26 years old.
- Currently backing up new signing Eloy Room at Columbus Crew.
- Stats: 2018 — 29 games, 1 clean sheet, 60% SV, 76% Pass accuracy in own half
- Pros: Had a solid 2018 season with SJE, solid passer, good penalty saver.
- Cons: Error-prone, sub-par reactions, over a year since his last MLS appearance
Matt Turner: New England Revolution
- Profile: 6’3” 25 years old.
- Currently backing up/sharing time with Brad Knighton.
- Stats: 2019 — 21 games, 5 clean sheets, 77% SV, 88% Pass accuracy in own half
- Pros: Average passer, aggressive, good at saving shots from outside the box
- Cons: acquiring him might be difficult since his role is not clear as backup or starter.
Joe Bendik: Philadelphia Union
- Profile: 6’2” 31 years old.
- Currently backing up Andre Blake at Philly Union
- Stats: 2019 — 6 starts, 0 clean sheets, 54% SV, 91% Pass accuracy in own half
- Pros: MLS Veteran, solid short passer, aggressive
- Cons: Poor long passer, slow, very few starts in 2019
Jeff Attinella: Portland Timbers
- Profile: 6’2” 31 years old.
- Currently backing up Steve Clark in Portland
- Stats: 2019 — 10 games, 0 clean sheets, 64% SV, 80% Pass accuracy in own half
- Pros: Experience, aggressive, comes for crosses, good reactions
- Cons: does not play with his feet much
Logan Ketterer: El Paso Locomotive FC (USL-C)
- Profile: 6’3 26 years old.
- Currently under contract at El Paso.
- Stats: 35 games played, 13 clean sheets, 69.4% SV, 4 penalties saved
- Pros: had a solid 2019 campaign in the USL-C with 12 clean sheets in 32 games, reflexes
- Cons: Positioning, no top-flight experience (had a stint backing up Zack Steffen at Columbus Crew in 2017, never saw the pitch)
- Story on Ktterer from the El Paso Times.
Thomas Olsen: Las Vegas Lights FC
- Profile: 6’3”, 25 years old.
- Currently under contract at Las Vegas Lights FC
- Stats: 31 games, 9 clean sheets, 64%SV,
- Pros: Comes for crosses, aggressive, longshot saves
- Cons: Decision making, communication
- Additional Note: Hard to gage him by his numbers since the LV Lights home field is a baseball field roughly the same size that NYCFC plays on.
Nicholas Hagen of CSD Municipal is heading to the MLS. Considering FC Dallas is currently without a number 1, the club would be a possible landing spot for the 23-year-old.
In case of emergency, Ben Hale (Furman), Seth Wilson (Clemson signee), and Antonio Carrera are Academy/NTXSC keepers who could be signed as Homegrowns if necessary. North Texas SC also signed 22-year-old Luis Zamudio earlier this year and he’s their presumed #1 with Avilez moving to FC Dallas.
Major League Soccer puts a dampened value on goalkeeping, due in part to the limited roster space available for international players. Only 10 MLS goalkeepers are from somewhere other than the US or Canada, and of those 10, only 5 are taking up international spots on their teams.
If FC Dallas decides to follow the minority, Jefferson Martinez from Millionarios would be my pick for the future, seems to have a solid foundation in the shot-stopping department but has a bit to prove with his feet.
In a different world, signing Marcos Diaz from a South American powerhouse would be a big move for the club, as such a signing would draw attention from South American fans in the metroplex. But with home games being unlikely for the majority of the year, such a move is not in the cards.
Kevin Muller is the best keeper on the first list and would be an elite free-agent signing but I don’t think such a move would ever happen as he likely fancies to continue playing in Europe.
Of the domestic choices for goalkeeper, Matt Turner is first-team material and would be a great addition in place of the departed. He has great reflexes and a good reach for long shots. However, his ability to come for crosses and play with his feet is a bit of a concern.
Andrew Tarbell is another interesting choice but his 4 errors committed that led directly to goals in 2018 are a cause for concern. Additionally, he did not play any first team MLS matches in 2019. Melia and Attinella are both experienced choices with good shot stopping ability, but less than ideal feet.
An outside-the-box choice that would be interesting for FC Dallas would be Logan Ketterer from El Paso Locomotive FC. He would be a relatively easy pick up for FC Dallas and has solid potential. He seems very comfortable with the ball at his feet and commanding of his backline. Coming off his line and closing down space seems to be his strong suit. Mentality wise, he seems to have a good head on his shoulders and commits whenever he comes off his line instead of second-guessing. If the club were to make a move, he would be a wise investment.
There is, of course, the possibility that FC Dallas takes the path of least resistance and does nothing, but actively trying to patch the goalkeeping hole would help FC Dallas in this irregular season.
If the club takes no action, Jimmy Maurer will be starting between the sticks, presumably with Kyle Zoebeck and Carlos Avilez behind him.