Keel Signing Rounds out Defensive Depth

Brandon Wade

Re-Entry Draft pick likely rounds out the FC Dallas defense for 2013

Schellas Hyndman had an interesting little quote in his little bit about Stephen Keel which should be up on MLSsoccer.com...

I just feel the depth is something we were either going to be looking at the collegiate level and when Stephen was available we took this opportunity to draft him.

You can never be prepared for plying without two of your top three center backs for much of the season so it was a special situation, but FC Dallas was scrambling last year towards the end of the season at center back. Ugo Ihemelu was out, Hernan Pertuz was playing at 85%, and George John had a twisted ankle.

They never had to quite go into panic mode, but there were games last year where there wasn't a CB substitute on the bench. The rail thin nature was displayed in no better way than the classic center back pairing of James Marcelin and Bobby Warshaw used for multiple reserve games.

Well those problems look to be in the past as Dallas has added some serious depth to their defense.

Center back

Heading into 2013, the starters - if healthy - will be Matt Hedges and George John no matter how healthy Ugo Ihemelu is. Schellas had this to say in a conference call earlier in the week:

I thought when we were at our best this year when George John was on the field and healthy and Matt Hedges was on the field and healthy.

Behind the big duo you have Hernan Pertuz and Stephen Keel as well as Ugo and even potentially London Woodberry as guys who have certainly played their fair share of games at center back.

Outside back

Schellas had this to say to Todd Date of 3rd Degree about Ihemelu's future with Dallas:

"If Ugo is cleared, that has always been our idea-to get him into a right fullback position. He played four years for me there at SMU," Hyndman said. "I think he really excels in that position and of course, it would keep him away from the hard, physical plays that center backs would have to deal with."

So you're looking at Ugo on the right side and Jair Benitez/Zach Loyd fighting it out for the left side. Behind them you have London Woodberry(who should be an outside back at the professional level), Kellyn Acosta and even potentially Moises Hernandez. I think there is possibly a spot for another outside back as a draft pick, but there's still a nice amount of depth there with five guys on the roster before Hernandez(assuming Woodberry is signed) to fill those two spots

Conclusion

So it looks like the FC Dallas defense is rounded out....Hedges, John, Ihemelu, Loyd, Benitez, Pertuz, Keel, Woodbery, Acosta(kind of) and possibly M. Hernandez....I could see Dallas bringing in an outside back to compete with Hernandez for that final spot but I don't see more than 9 true defenders plus Acosta in the defensive stable next season.

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