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.
2 things I fully disagree on.
Roberts, you keep him. Even if he’s got to go back to ntsc for game time or out on loan.
Hedges, decline. I’m not one tied to his “legend” status. I have seen his decline. You do not keep him around because you love him.
He’s no longer a starting quality CB for a team that wants to win. If you’re happy scraping your way into the playoffs and getting booted out, you must replace this guy. And Tafari is not the replacement.
Tafari is a good backup piece of the puzzle. He has not shown enough growth or awareness to play at a higher level (possibly at his ceiling).
Jara… Sadly I think if we sell Jesus (wc will determine for how much, but I think we’re probably already getting offers) so we’ll extend Jara, at a cut rate price, through 23.
Do you listen to his podcast? It’s been said that Roberts isn’t in favor with the staff, and Buzz suggests he would be better off playing somewhere else.
I do listen to some, just too busy to catch all of them but you don’t need to hear a podcast to understand a player is out of favor.
I believe he’s a talented player and we should be giving him a chance to play.
Schon was out of favor, despite playing pretty well last season. We sent him packing, again doesn’t mean I have to agree with the decisions.
Tough road for Tommy-poo. Poor guy just never got a fair shake through different regimes 😔
@timithy hedges hater..FCD allowed fewer goals than any other Western Conference team in the regular season and league-wide finished only behind the stingy Philadelphia Union. The Union conceded 26, while FCD allowed 37. Sooooo…. Your point is not valid. Try again.
point is absolutely valid. Like him or not, Matt is aging out. Tafari didn’t look any better this season than he did last. Hedges has started missing more matches the past 2 seasons as well. Also, the option for Hedges has him making a million a year, money that could be spent on a younger better player. I think fcd will pick up the option just for continuity, doesn’t mean I have to agree with it though.
Paes carried the D well and should get better. He improved as the season went on.