So we've come a long way, or at least what seems a long way since we first started this series, Building For 2013. Some cuts to the roster were made, a player retired, coaching staff changed a bit and then this week we got news of FC Dallas' veteran keeper not getting a contract renewal.
You got to love the offseason huh? I know I do.
Today I am going to recap the four previous pieces of this series in a nice tidy bundle and hope to shed some light on how many roster spots will likely be up for grabs and just how much cap space FC Dallas should likely have going into next season.
I'll point out again just like I have in each section that this year's salary cap was around $2.8 million and will likely see a modest increase next year due to the CBA agreement to around $3.1 million (that's on the high end of my projections). FC Dallas will get a decent little chunk of allocation money this offseason for not reaching the post season this year - money that will go toward some of the salary increases some players will likely receive.
Just note that anything written here today will include the news about Kevin Hartman. Just so it doesn't confuse anyone.
Based on what I've written up in the previous posts the roster breaks down in this way:
20 senior spots total - 16 spot taken today
10 developmental spots total - 8 spots taken *this includes two rookies to be drafted and London Woodberry*
8 international roster slots total - 6 currently taken
In total FC Dallas has four main slots to fill on the senior roster. They can per league rules not use two of those spots and even trade them in for extra allocation. Just something to keep in mind.
Here is the total amount so far towards next year's salary cap.
(Note: I've included some potential raises for some players, it's not exact so don't get attached to those numbers!)
Midfielders: ~$1.2 million
Total (without Hartman and Julian de Guzman): ~ $2.5m
Left to spend: ~$400k-$600k
Thoughts on the Money
Naturally all of this is a rough guess. We don't know exactly how much of a bump each player will get in salary and we don't know exactly where the salary cap will end up being next year. Some hope it will be a little higher but more than likely the league will keep it at a modest increase.
But saying all of that if there is about $500k to spend on four senior roster spots, that isn't bad. In fact that could be very good down the road. More than likely the two draft picks (number 7 and number 20) will go into the developmental side of the roster. There is a chance that one or both could end up on the senior side of things should FC Dallas decide to add another Home Grown player too. Just something to keep in mind.
If Dallas is able to keep de Guzman - which means he will likely still have a DP tag - the amount in the bank dwindles down considerably.
The loss of Hartman means a few things, as it basically opens the door for about an extra $100-$150k to be spend elsewhere. Dallas looks to turn to Chris Seitz to be the number one and have Richard Sanchez as his backup. They can also spend very cheaply on a third string keeper like a lot of teams do in the league.
Priority of needs
There could be some debate to this order but here is how I see the priority of needs playing out this winter in regards to building this roster:
- Re-signing George John. This deal is getting close folks, that's all I will say about that.
- Sorting out the defensive mid needs. Either make a serious offer to de Guzman or go a different way. Either way that card has to play out very quickly in order to do the next thing on the list.
- Find a good #2 striker. This one has been a need for the club for years, just like finding Blas Perez was for a couple years as well. FC Dallas won't be able to manage without a good backup to Perez next year, simple as that.
- Depth at the wings. This is really a 4a and a 4b because I see the wings being both offensive and defensive. FC Dallas needs depth in the midfield on the flanks badly but at the same point they'll need to add some pieces behind Zach Loyd and Jair Benitez. Getting someone like London Woodberry from the college ranks will help though.
- Third string keeper. I'm not totally worried about this one right now but it is a need that will need to be addressed this year with Sanchez to miss some games with the Mexican U-20s. Plenty of options in this by either drafting one in the Supplemental Draft or finding a cheap option elsewhere.
- If not Villar, someone to back up David Ferreira. If Ricardo Villar stays and is healthy enough to back up Ferreira, fine. If not, time to also get a good enough playmaker to back up DF during the times that he needs a breather. It's not a super urgent need but it will become one before long.
A lot can (and still will) happen between now and the end of the year. The MLS Re-Entry Draft will begin next Friday with the first of two stages kicking off. I highly doubt Dallas will select anyone in the first stage but the second stage could be interesting given some of the names currently floating out there that are eligible for the Re-Entry Draft. Dallas could also add a couple more names to the cut list as well before then too.
Just like Daniel and I have said for a few weeks now, there will be anywhere between six and ten roster spots open on this roster for next year.
I hope this series gave you all some insight of where things could go next year and just how much FC Dallas has to work with. Its all a rough estimate on my part but I think we're fairly close on a lot of items here. Dallas can still spend more than the salary cap and pay things down with allocation. More than likely, we'll see that happen in 2013. It all comes down to who will fill those spots and how much will they be making.