Predicting FC Dallas end of 2023 contract moves

Things move pretty fast around these parts. When one season ends the next one begins PDQ.

Thus our season 26 covering the Burn has ended. Welcome to Season 27 of 3rd Degree’s coverage of FC Dallas.

So we move on and we start with contracts, loans, and options.

Amazingly, FC Dallas has no out-of-contract players. The one they did have, Edwin Cerrillo, they traded for assets rather than seeing him walk (he had turned down their contract offer). That’s smart business.

So we skip over the bonafide offer deadline for out-of-contract players and move right to the contract option deadline for everyone else on December 1st.

FC Dallas is having their end-of-season player meetings (aka exit interviews) this week so we could hear some of these moves officially by the end of the week.

So here is 3rd Degree’s list of potential 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.

Under Contract

First, the players that we know are under contract for 2023 from info mostly announced by the team. You can always find any contract info we have on the Roster Dance.

Eugene Ansah
Paul Arriola
Antonio Carrera
Marco Farfan
Jesus Ferreira
Sebastien Ibeagha
Geovane Jesus
Jesus Jimenez
Bernard Kamungo
Sebastian Lletget
Jose Mulato
Nolan Norris
Maarten Paes
Isaiah Parker
Paxton Pomkyal
Dante Sealy
Nkosi Tafari
Ema Twumasi
Alan Velasco


Now we get to the meat of the story, FC Dallas holds contract options on all these 11 players.

With all apologies to The Clash, should they stay or should they go?

PlayerOur FCD PredictionWhy or why not?
Herbert EndeleyDeclineI think the return of Dante Sealy took Endeley’s minutes in the latter half of ’23 and I predict Collin Smith is going to take his minutes in ’24.
Liam FraserPick upAn inexpensive but solid roster piece. He’ll be 26 next season so he has a short window till his peak but I like his mental toughness and on any given day he can handle a start.
Asier IllarramendiPick upPlease pick it up. My goodness. He can have Facu’s money. One of the best players we’ve ever seen here, even at 34 years of age.
Sam JunquaPick upWhat a value add he’s been. Unless the option is nuts expensive, pick it up. Honestly one of the best moves of the season.
Amet KorçaDeclineNot enough progression for me at 23 years old so I would pass… Yet, he’s cheap and if FCD wants some roster filler they could do worse I suppose.
Jose A. MartinezDeclineWay too costly (~$800k) with a bigger physical leg/hip issue which means he’s rarely able to go 90 minutes. Plus he’ll be 31 in February. Time to move on.
Jimmy MaurerPick upIn reality, this move is going to depend entirely on the progression of Antonio Carrera. If Carrera is ready to be #2 – and he very well may be – then Maurer’s time is up but, for now, I’ll assume one more season for Maurer… unless he’s ready to retire.
Tsiki NtsabelengDeclineThe arrival of Asier Illarramedi dropped Tsiki down the roster and at 25 going on 26 years of age, the bottom of the roster is a bad place to be. The coach lost confidence in him about mid-season. Let the man go start for someone in the USL Championship.
Jader ObrianDeclineDown the stretch, Obrian outplayed Eugene Ansah. But in pure roster terms, they are the same player, on basically the same money, and both take an international spot… Ansah, however, is under contract and Obrian is an option.
Facundo QuignonDeclineToo much salary (~$900k) and too old (31 in May). With the green card, there’s a chance Quignon could return on a pay cut – $300k maybe?
Collin SmithPick upGeovane Jesus is going to be out of action due to the ACL tear till the middle of 2024 at least. FCD needs two bodies at right back. Smith had a strong season at Birmingham. Pick him up and figure out what to do with him when Geovane returns.

Up next?

Improving the team. We’ll run through some ideas on how FCD will get better in 2024.

And as FCD makes moves, we’ll dig into pure roster construction.

Jesus Ferreira celebrates with his teammates after scoring against Real Salt Lake, Sept 20, 2023. (Courtesy FC Dallas)
Jesus Ferreira celebrates with his teammates after scoring against Real Salt Lake, Sept 20, 2023. (Courtesy FC Dallas)


  1. Tsiki kinda got squeezed out by the shift to a 4231. Too much competition at the #10, not suited to the double pivot.
    Agree on Korca. There are a bunch of youngish, prospecty CBs who could be gotten for cheap (including via the draft). Don’t need to stick with one who didn’t stand out. I’d look at NYCFC recent cuts Owusu and Benalcazar or check the price tag on bringing Nico Carrera home.
    I mostly agree on Obrian and would add that Bernie’s already kind of a premium version of what he brings to the team, BUT following up a terrible year of offense by cutting one of the few players on the team who’s shown he can score at an acceptable clip in MLS (and is reasonably cheap) would give me a tummy ache as I hit the big red button.

  2. The past 3 games with Seattle has shown a sharp contrast between the clubs in offensive talent. FCD must upgrade its overall attacking depth to seriously contend. Houston made a complete roster overhaul and it worked out fairly well. We need to bring in another impact offensive player, especially with Alan sidelined most of 2024. Then find the right players to fill out the roster. Right players don’t have to cost a fortune. Good scouting finds the right players when they are most economical.

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