FC Dallas is playing Barcelona SC tomorrow, probably. Maybe? (Use at your own risk.) This will be the first time the public has seen any jersey numbers on players for 2023.
FC Dallas usually distributes to the media a preseason roster of names with numbers for all the players in camp. This year they didn’t, I have no idea why not. So for fun, I decided to predict roster numbers for the 2023 preseason.
Now don’t forget, spring training numbers are not final for the season.
Why do this? Because Numbers matter. Except they don’t.
I’ll explain my choices down below.
2023 Preseason Number Predictions
Italics – informally confirmed
Bold – 3rd Degree guess
I’ll be using some of the unwritten and unofficial FCD number rules, most of which our understanding of came through general observations over the years.
– I don’t really see anyone that might be fired up to move among the returning players – unless Jesus Ferreira wants to change to 11 just to keep the bit going – Although I did consider Maarten Paes. But I looked at his number history and he’s been all over the map.
– The million+ signing Geovane Jesus gets a “good” number and since he’s a right back he gets the 2.
– Sebastian Ibeagha we’ve already seen in a jersey, the no. 25, so I consider that confirmed. He wore that number in LA the last two seasons. I’ll put the pic of him in the 25 down below.
– José Mulato would want 9 but kids coming up from North Texas don’t get numbers like that. So instead he can have Franco Jara‘s vacated 29.
– From someone reliable, I’ve been told Bernard Kamungo is staying with 77. He’s got big love for the 7, but it’s occupied.
The Homegrowns are next they can have middle-tier numbers like stuff in the teens or low 20s if they want.
– Collin Smith seems to have been shifted out of his 25 to accommodate Ibeagha, not that I think Smith was tied to 25 or anything. He wore 1 in the Academy and 21 at one point with North Texas SC, so 21 it is. Heck, he might have asked for that right after Kalil ElMedkhar departed.
– Nolan Norris is simple. Due to the Academy rostering number bands, and some variations in which team he has been rostered with, Norris has worn 32 for three or four years now. So 32 it is. Justin Che, the previous 32, isn’t coming back and they won’t hold a number for him anyway.
– Tarik Scott wore 9 the last couple of seasons in the Academy but he’s not getting that. Before that, he had number 41 so I will flip that and give him the pretty dang good 14. The 14 has been a massive number in these parts, often with a big-time defender, but in recent seasons that seems to have waned. 11 would be a good fit too but I think that’s too big a number at this time.
– One of the more recent signings, Amet Korça is in some ways like a Homegrown. He wore 24 and 25 at some of his stops along the way to get here so I’m sticking him in the 24.
And no, we don’t retire numbers in soccer. We build statues outside the stadium instead.
On to the draft picks who are usually stuck in the high 20s and up. But I got a few ideas. If they make the team they might change to something better anyway.
– Herbert Endeley wore 17 at Indiana, so I gave him 27.
– Ryan Wittenbrink wore 18 and 9 at Indiana (18 often is a precursor to 9) so I put him in 28 to play off the 18.
– Kameron Lacey isn’t getting the 10 he wore at Charlotte but from his days in the Academy he is good buddies with Thomas Roberts and Bryan Reynolds. So as a Roberts tribute, I stuck Lacey in the 23.
– Holland Rula wore 3 and 4 in college so 34 for him.
There are a few of the North Texas SC guys in camp and if tomorrow is one of these games with 3 periods of 30 minutes the final 30 might feature a lot of them and some Academy kids. If that happens, based on the past, they might put on some white NTX jerseys with numbers. I’m not going to bother to predict them now.