Here at 3rd Degree, we don’t spend time wallowing in our emotions come season’s end. When it’s over it’s over, and we start to analyze and tear the thing down looking for improvements. Honestly, we are always planning and thinking about the future, just like the coaching and technical staff does.
So we move on and we start with contracts, loans, and options.
The MLS contract offer deadline is November 14th, that’s actually after the MLS Expansion Draft and even the end of the 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs. But most teams move pretty quickly after they are eliminated and when it comes to making predictions it helps to do them before the team does.
Here’s our list of contract moves, options exercised or declined, and loans picked up or ended. I’ll go through the entire roster and I’ll put every section in alphabetical order.
First, the players that we know are under contract for 2023 from info mostly announced by the team. This is actually a fairly big list. You can always find any contract info we have on the Roster Dance.
Justin Che (on loan Hoffenheim)
Dante Sealy (on loan PSV)
Yes, if you don’t listen to our podcast and missed it, Franco Jara’s contract runs out in the summer of ’23.
There are two players I do not have concrete info on but we can speculate.
|Player||Contract Info||Thoughts and FCD Prediction|
|Edwin Cerrillo||If he signed a “normal” 3+2 contract when he came out of the Academy he will have an option left for ’23.||Edwin continues to improve and at the age of 22 should do so for 4 or 5 more years. He should be a lock starter soon. Pick up the option or sign him to a new deal. I would prefer the latter.|
|Marco Farfan||I can find no concrete info on Farfan’s contract status. It could literally be anything depending on what LAFC did when they acquired him from Portland.||He’s been fantastic. If he has an option, pick it up. If he’s out of contract give him a new one. The fact they haven’t announced something already does lead me to believe he’s “under contract” or “option.”|
Now we get to the meat of the story, the players who have options, loans, or contracts expiring.
|Player||Contract Info||FCD Prediction||Thoughts|
|Lucas Bartlett||Option||Decline||Has there been progression? Yes, but not enough. Could FCD want to invest more time? Maybe. But he’s 25 already. He’s just not good enough.|
|Nanu||Loan ending||No buy.||He’s 28, on a $600k base, and didn’t beat out Ema Twumasi who gets paid half as much. Pass.|
|Kalil ElMedkhar||Option||Decline||He’s 23, outside the rotation with few minutes to show, and FCD just added Kamungo in his primary position. Kalil offered to work as an 8 this season and didn’t see time there either.|
|Matt Hedges||Option||Pick up||Here’s the kicker, the option will probably be around $1 mil. In a ruthless offseason roster-building world, FCD should probably pass as he’s 33 in April. But if anyone deserves the money and one more year it’s the club’s best defender of all time. Hell, when he’s on, he’s still the club’s best defender.|
|Nicky Hernandez||Option||Pick up||Took the loan at San Antonio FC and did the work. 23 games with 10 starts… and yet he scored 2 goals (t-7th), added 5 assists (t-3rd), and notched 28 key passes (4th). That’s good stuff. Loans work.|
|Eddie Munjoma||Option||Decline||Yes, there is some roster value in his versatility but at the age of 24 time’s running out. With 3 games and 1 start this year, he’s way outside the rotation.|
|Tsiki Ntsabeleng||Option||Pick up||What a steal at the end of the first round of the draft. This one is a no-brainer. Keep.|
|Joshué Quiñónez||Loan||Buy, probably.||I like the potential I see, it’s a buy for me depending on two unknown factors… 1. How expensive is the buy? 2. Is Justin Che coming back? If Che is coming back, pass on Q.|
|Beni Redžić||Option||Pick up||He’s 20 and I personally don’t see enough to pick up his option. But Coach Estevez really likes him so I predict an option pick-up.|
|Thomas Roberts||Option||Decline||I think this kid has bags of talent but no head coach at FCD (apparently) has ever, it seemed, agreed. He hasn’t played in 3 and a half years. Set him free.|
That last one hurt to write.
After the options are exercised, or not, we get into roster building for 2023.