The FC Dallas season has come to an end and – because of the MLS rules – you can expect roster moves to happen fast.
Specifically, MLS teams, including FCD, are required to announce contract decisions “within one day of being eliminated from the playoffs” as there will be a short window of activity – trades, re-entry draft, etc – following the MLS Cup in preparation for the 2021 expansion draft for Austin FC.
That means the time has come for us to sneak in some roster predictions before FCD makes them.
Big picture, in this crazy season it’s hard to say if this team is better than it was a year ago or not. It is, however, clearly getting older and slower. The offense across the board wasn’t good enough. Plus, the FCD DPs are underperforming and DP performance is a massive factor in MLS success.
If the team is going to get better those trends need to be reversed and some upgrades are needed.
So here’s our list of players – in alphabetical order by section – we think FC Dallas should say “so long” to, a few FCD should consider moving along, and the bulk that FCD should keep.
I’ve added any contract info that I have and filled the rest in to the best of my knowledge.
Note: phone readers may want to turn their phone sideways to read the table.
Thanks, So Long, and Good Luck
It’s time to say goodbye to these five players.
|Francis Atuahene||24||Contract should be up but with team option(s).||Decline option.||Generation adidas status probably ends as he’ll be 25 next year. He’s not in Luchi’s plans. Injuries ruined his time here. Great kid, but his FCD time is up.|
|Franco Jara||32||Under contract.||DP buyout.||Highest paid player on the team plus he’s ageing and slow. He’s also caused distress to the FCD locker room. Despite being their leading scorer, FCD should use a DP buy out on him.|
|Santiago Mosquera||25||Likely in last year of original deal.||Decline any options and don’t re-sign.||His DP salary is too high for his low production. He’s too frequently hurt and rarely match fit. It’s time to go.|
|Bryan Reynolds||19||Under contract through 2023 with 2024 option.||Sell now!||He’s going to be sold this winter and break the club transfer record. Strike while the iron is hot. He’s almost certainly played his last game with FC Dallas.|
|Reto Ziegler||34||Contract ends in December.||Don’t re-sign. Decline any options.||Reto is one of the highest caliber defenders to ever play for Dallas, but he’ll be 35 in January and he’s too old and slow. He’s also one of the highest paid players on the team. It’s time to move on.|
Pablo Aranguiz was also on this above “depart” list but FC Dallas already transferred him to U de Chile.
But that’s not all the changes. Here are four more players FCD should carefully weigh their options on.
|Bryan Acosta||27||Probably at least one more year.||Consider a trade or sale. But FCD may be stuck with him.||An underperforming DP, Acosta has played in only 50% of FCD’s games this season. With Anders Ricaurte playing as the linking 8 and Tessmann’s progress, Bryan Acosta is pretty much surplus to requirements… but he still has value. Sell/trade him if you can.|
|Michael Barrios||29||Currently in an option year and has one more for 2021.||Decline option. Consider offering a reasonable one year deal.||Barrios as a speed player is starting to lose his mojo and he will be 30 in April. One more year as a super-sub is ok if the price is right, but the option probably isn’t. Barrios will want a long term deal to re-sign, avoid that like it’s Covid-19. FCD will likely just pick up the option even though it’s probably not cap friendly.|
|Bressan||27||Contract ends, but 2 options.||Decline option. Negotiate a pay cut but he’s probably gone.||His contract is too expensive for a backup. Left center back needs an upgrade. FCD should offer him a back up level contract… which he painfully won’t take.|
|Phelipe||21||Loan ending with option to buy.||Consider the buy.||It all depends on the price. This one’s on Andres Zanotta and his calculator. The reported $2.5 mil is a big ask for FCD. Can they sell him for more after the Olympics?|
Keep On Keeping On
|Nkosi Burgess||23||Under contract, probably through 2022 with possible options.||Keep.||Still a project, either USL-C loan or lots of NTXSC in 2020. There’s upside here worth developing.|
|Edwin Cerrillo||20||Probably one more year then 2 options.||Keep.||The last few games at NTX were really good but we’re going to need to see some progression soon.|
|Justin Che||17||Under contract through 2023 with a club option for 2024.||Keep.||FCD literally just signed him. 17 years old, one for NTX in 2021. This is a “protect the investment” signing.|
|Jesus Ferreira||19||Under contract through 2023.||Keep.||The new-contract-blues struck in 2020 but he’s not going anywhere. Are Ferreira and Pomykal fighting for one starting spot in 2021?|
|Matt Hedges||30||Under contract through 2022 with 2 options to 2024.||Keep.||FCD’s Defensive GOAT and leader. Make him captain (again) in 2021.|
|Ryan Hollingshead||29||Under contract through 2021 with 2022 option.||Keep.||FCD’s emotional leader. I think he should be Co-Captain in 2021.|
|Jimmy Maurer||32||Contract is up, I think.||Re-sign.||He deserves a new deal and a raise. 32 is prime career for a keeper and he just led MLS in GAA and save percentage.|
|Callum Montgomery||23||Probably 1 more year plus options.||Keep.||Is he ready to compete for the starting LCB spot? I think so but does Luchi?|
|Eddie Munjoma||22||Under contract through 2022 with 3 club options.||Keep.||He’ll be in the mix sometime in 2021 after Reynolds is sold. Probably needs a few more games at NTX before he’s ready for MLS.|
|Johnny Nelson||22||Probably 1 more year plus options.||Keep.||A valuable and versatile roster piece who is starter capable.|
|Ricardo Pepi||17||Probably 1 more year plus options. (3+2)||Keep.||Pepi is right on track for where his progression should be. Play him more.|
|Fafa Picault||29||New deal to start 2020. I’ll guess it’s through 2022.||Keep.||Might be the only left wing remaining in 2021 but hasn’t proven he’s the answer. He’s About to turn 30 so a couple seasons left, maybe.|
|Paxton Pomykal||20||Under contract through 2023 with 1 option for 2024.||Keep.||This team needs Pomykal to be healthy as he is a rare difference maker. He will be the difference between the team being average or in the West top 3.|
|Andres Ricaurte||29||Loan through 2021 with an option to buy.||Buy now.||Please buy. Doesn’t turn 30 until October of next year.|
|Thomas Roberts||19||Under contract. 1 more year + 2 options for ’22 & ’23.||Loan.||Keep him under contract. Loan him out for the year with a buy option. He’s not in Luchi’s mix but has too much value to just drop him.|
|Thiago Santos||31||Under contract through 2022 with club options for 2023 and 2024.||Keep.||Has at least one more good year left, maybe two, because his quality isn’t based on athleticism.|
|Dante Sealy||17||Under contract two more seasons plus options||Loan.||Sealy needs games, lots of games. Garbage MLS minutes are fine if paired with many NTX games. Consider a loan even if it means giving up right of recall.|
|Brandon Servania||21||Out of contract but with 2 club options.||Pick up option.||Slid down the depth chart a bit but still a quality US Youth International. May see more PT in 2021 depending on roster moves.|
|Tanner Tessmann||19||Under contract through 2022 with 2 options.||Keep.||A spot starter and early off the bench sub. Can he become a lock starter? Might need a “Paxton deal” sooner rather than later.|
|Ema Twumasi||23||Initial Contract should be up, but with 2 options.||Pick up option.||Remember a year or so ago when Coach G talked about Ema playing right back? He’s a cheap’ish back up piece.|
|Kyle Zobeck||30||Contract is probably up.||Re-sign.||Still the best option at 3rd keeper right now.|
So after all those moves, what’s next for FC Dallas?
First it’s the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft. We’ll have a protected list “soon.”
Then the build for 2021 starts and we’ll have lots of suggestions for that as well.