FC Dallas continues to add depth going into the 2013 season. Wednesday the club announced the signing forward Bradlee Baladez.
The Mesquite, Texas native is the club's 8th Home Grown Player and the second HGP signed this year with Kellyn Acosta being the other.
The 6'1" forward recently completed his junior season at South Carolina where he was an all-conference and NSCAA All-South honoree. In his three seasons with the Gamecocks, Baladez started 59 games, scored 17 goals and tallied eight assists.
"Bradlee has matured in his three seasons at South Carolina," said FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman. "I feel that he will fight and compete for playing time with us. He is a natural box striker with good finishing abilities."
The timing of this deal is fairly interesting as most would have expected defender London Woodberry to ink his HGP deal first before Baladez. My gut reaction to that is there is still some money being worked out on the Woodberry deal as he'll likely gardener a better contract than Baladez. You have to think also that Baladez is more eager to turn pro now while Woodberry is searching for the best deal possible for him.
Daniel gave his reactions to the potential signing earlier here. I totally agree with his thought that Baladez would have been better served transferring to a school in a bigger conference for his senior season than signing up with FC Dallas now.
At the end of the day this is a depth move in some ways. Baladez is familiar with the coaching staff and vice-versa. He may not get any instant playing time this season but the bottom line is this kid will get in and work hard towards that playing time for the future.