With the end of the local territory rule in MLS, there has risen an interesting rule in its place for “tagging” local players on a “protected list.”
Currently, in addition to 45 players in their own system, MLS teams can apply a “tag” on nine local players over the age of 14 that don’t play for their own Academy. In effect, MLS clubs can call a kind of “dibs” on these nine kids in terms of being signed by MLS.
So yes, 99% of the MLS territory rule went away. But not this one loophole. This “tagging” only applies in terms of signing in MLS and you can only tag a player as long as they are U19 eligible.
So I thought it might be a fun/interesting exercise to attempt to predict the 9 non-FCD players the club currently has tagged. There’s no way in hell FCD will tell me who they tagged – yes, I asked.
Most of these names have been suggested to me by people in the business at some point, some have been rumored/suggested multiple interesting places, and a few are just my guess or suggestion. I have multiple players at other clubs in every class that I track to some extent, although not like I do with the FCD Academy.
So, in alphabetical order…
3rd Degree’s FC Dallas Local Player Tag List
Daniel Castillo – DKSC
2008, midfielder. His name popped up on a couple of the US Soccer ID Camps. He’s a freshman at Seagoville HS, class of 2026. Recommended to me as a rising talent to watch.
Tobias Crear – Dallas Texans
2007, forward. He’s been in the mix on some US ID camps as well and he’s the name I hear the most from Dallas Texans. Class of 2025 Creekview High School.
Matthew Corcoran – Birmingham Legion
2006, holding mid. Yes, he’s currently under contract with Birmingham Legion. But remember, this rule is about signing with MLS and applies as long as the player is U19 eligible…. which Corcoran is until May 2025 (two more seasons). So tagged it is.
Keyrol Figueroa – Liverpool
2006, forward. Yes, Maynor’s kid. Yes, he’s in the Liverpool Academy and is a US U17. It’s true that he hasn’t been at FCD since U12.
But I know for sure some MLS teams are tagging kids in Europe. So why not stick a tag on the kid? What’s it cost you to take a long shot on a talent like Keyrol? Who can say what will happen at Liverpool in the next two years? Tag him!
Evrit Fisher – DKSC
2007, central mid. He can hold or link, maybe center back. He’s had at least one US camp that I know of. I’ve seen him play against the FCD Academy and he’s impressive, a Tanner Tessmann clone. The non-FCD player most often suggested/mentioned to me locally over the last two years.
Trey Glosson – Solar SC
2009. He’s barely old enough to be tagged. A recent invitee to the US ID camp at SMU. Like Castillo above, Glosson makes the list mainly on a recommendation. I’ve not seen him myself.
Preston Licker – Solar SC
2006, midfield. Licker has been on my watchlist for a couple of seasons now. With Solar dropping down to ECNL he has to be a candidate to jump, at least in my mind.
Diego Pepi – North Texas SC
2004, forward. The younger Pepi never played for the Academy and skipped from ECNL right to North Texas SC. So FCD needs to tag him to protect their local rights as he’s already playing for their reserves. Pepi took the field for the Academy in the Dallas Cup.
Nighte Pickering – Memphis 901
2005, forward. Like Corcoran, Pickering is under contract to a USL-C side, Memphis 901 in this case. But you tag him for the same season you tag Corcoran. Pickering has one season left of U19 eligibility.
FC Dallas Academy Players
Internal to their own Academy, FCD can tag up to 45 players to protect from U19 to U15.
So where’s that list, you ask?
I think this fall when the new Academy season starts I will make a stab at indicating who I think those players may be.