The FCD Academy Hot List – Feb 2022

It’s time again for another run at 3rd Degree’s FCD Academy Hot List.   I’m getting back to a better interval on this feature, as I intended to pre-pandemic.

Antonio Carrera moves off the list after signing a professional contract with the organization (not yet officially announced) otherwise his 6 saves for the US U20s to shut out FCD down in Florida last week would have had him at #1 again.

Reminder, this is the Hot List. It’s not a prospect ranking or who I think will be a Homegrowns (although those can be factors). Rather this is a list of names being talked about, players doing things, hype, chatter, or guys I see that get me hyped or make me change my thinking on them.

On with the list.

The Feb 2022 FCD Academy Hot List

1. Antony Ramirez – U17 Wing or Attacking Mid (2005) – Previously #2

The player I would currently most like to see signed to a “protect the investment” Homegrown contract.  I had the impression the club didn’t feel as I do but then he landed a spring camp invite with the first team. Moves up to #1 on the Hot List based on the FCD camp invite and yet another Mexico UNT camp.  He’s a false wing or 8/10 hybrid. 

February 5th Mexico YNT starting XI in Turkey featuring Anthony Ramirez.

2. Adrian Anguiano – U17 Center Back (2005) – Previously Unranked

Finally, he’s back on the field!  Adrian took part in a U16 Mexico camp back in 2020 and upon returning to Dallas he got invited to North Texas training where tore his knee damaging his ACL and MCL.  On Janurary 29th, he finally made it back and played for the FCD U17s against the Dynamo. I don’t even care how he performed, just knowing he got back on the field gets him this spot at #2. Feels good.  

FCD U17 starting XI in their 2-1 over Houston Dynamo, January 29, 2022.

3. Bryce Outman – U15 Wing (2007) – Previously unranked

A super-hot name. Bryce was the only field player from FC Dallas named to US U15 camp in January.  Over the last 2 months, I have 3 different people I trust tell me this kid is the real deal. He was indeed noteworthy on the one viewing I’ve had.  Rumor has it FCD spent 3 years trying to get him away from Solar before they landed him this season. Another small player (he’s 14’ish so, again, not worried) currently going against more physically mature players.

Anyone got a pic of Bryce (or anyone else I’m missing) to share?

4. Ale Urzua – U17 Linking Mid (2006) – Previously Unranked

Adrian got an FC Dallas camp invite and now is with North Texas SC in their camp.  For me, the best 2006 after Corcoran left. Box to box 8. Love his game, determination, work rate, range, and high skill with the ball. He impacts games. Needs to mature physically, of course. Ale gives me Kellyn Acosta vibes in terms of playstyle.

Ale Urzua (in grey with white long sleeves) plays defense in North Texas SC training, February 8, 2022. (Courtesy North Texas SC)

5. Nolan Norris – U17 Left Back or 6 (2005) – Previously Unranked

NTX camp invitee. My current favorite player to watch in the FCD Academy because of his unique soccer brain (My favorite isn’t the same as the best pro prospect for what it’s worth). Good leader, good feet (lefty), good passer. He’s a left back but may end up a center back in the long run. I’ve also seen him as a 6. I’m pretty excited to see him invited to NTX camp.

Nolan Norris in North Texas SC camp, February 8, 2022. (Courtesy North Texas SC)

6. Diego Hernandez – U19 Central Mid (2005) – Previously #2

Drops down the Hot List in part for being skipped over for FCD training by Urzua. (Were protocols a factor?) I still believe Hernandez is the best U19 (even playing up as he is) and the player closest to being able to help FC Dallas today even though technically he’s still a U17. I would like to see him be full-time with North Texas SC in 2022.

Diego Hernandez fires a shot against Rio Grande Valley, December 11, 2021. (Christian Oseguera, 3rd Degree)

7. Slade Starnes – U19 Center Back (2003) – Previously unranked

Slade is one of the rare 2003s left in the U19s.  He’s a center back and was invited to FCD camp at the start of spring ’22.  Furman commit.  Slade came up to the Academy level from Premier a couple of seasons ago. Due to the pandemic, he’s flown under my radar.  I hear his progression has been remarkable and it certainly must have been to get a camp invite.  I look forward to seeing him challenged more than he has been when I’ve watched. Perhaps in the Dallas Cup?

Slade Starnes vs Rio Grande Valley, December 11, 2021. (Christian Oseguera, 3rd Degree)

8. Santiago Ferreira – U19 Central Mid (2004) – Previously #5

A big climber of late.  Got an FCD camp invite this spring and that keeps him on the Hot List even though he didn’t impress me on my viewing back in December.  I get asked about him enough that people are clearly interested. Perhaps because of the name?  Could he play for NTX some this year?

Santiago Ferreira takes on Rio Grande Valley, December 11, 2021. (Christian Oseguera, 3rd Degree)

9. Jonathan Martinez – U15 Goalkeeper (2007) – Previously unranked

The other FCD player named to the US U15 camp, Martinez is a goalkeeper.  He’s currently something like 5’8” or maybe 5’10”.  Getting up to 6’1” or even 6’3” will make a big difference for his potential to be a pro keeper. I’ve never seen him play in a game where he was challenged so I can’t speak to his talent level myself, but I hear he’s a good shot-stopper with quick reactions. Selection to a US camp is a good sign.

Jonathan Martinez in 2021. (Courtesy jmmtz_210 on Instagram)

T-10. Diego Echevarria – U13 Forward (2009) – Previously Unranked

Not a player I have seen in person but Diego had a hat trick on January 29th against the previously undefeated Houston Dynamo to give FCD the 3-2 win.  A hat trick against the orange gets you into the Hot List for sure.

Diego “Echy” Echevarria, 2022. (Courtesy Echevarria family)

T-10. Steel Cook – U13 Midfielder (2009) – Previously Unranked

Played up with the U14s (2008s) recently, noteworthy by itself. Came back to the U13s and helped lead them to the win over Dynamo.  I saw (in a clip someone sent me) a sweet, pure-class flick he made to set up one of Echevarria’s goals vs Houston. So, Steel gets the bonus shoutout here.

Previous Hot Lists

Dec 2021

July 2021

May 2021

August 2020

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