The one lingering thought in my head as FC Dallas begins this offseason is how does Fernando Clavijo factor into everything? The former Colorado head coach has been in the technical director's chair for nearly two full years now and to be honest, the results have been mixed.
As we all know FC Dallas is in a coaching search for someone to replace Schellas Hyndman on the bench in 2014. Clavijo's name has been tossed around a little but sources have indicated to me that he isn't interested in moving from the front office back to the bench. If that is true, then good. But on the flip side we have to wonder a few things as the club is moving forward into a new era.
Working with the new manager
This could be the biggest thing in landing the right coach. How will Clavijo work with a new manager? Will he continue to dictate the player signings like we've seen the last two seasons? Or will he work a little more hand-in-hand with the new manager?
Clavijo's influence on the hiring decision could be a thing to watch as well. I see a guy like Oscar Pareja working better with Clavijo than a Jason Kreis would. But that may just be my opinion.
Either way, the two have to work together to get things done right both on and off the field. While some moves made this past year worked for the locker room (i.e. Peter Luccin), other moves never panned out (Pipico anyways?). The two need to be on the same page on those decisions. But most importantly, they have to bring in players that aren't completely out of shape.
For every good move that Clavijo has made in the last two seasons, he's made equally poor moves as well. Just take a look at the moves made in the last two seasons for more proof:
|Luis Perea||Clavijo's first signing as TD, didn't last long as Perea came in out of shape.|
|Scott Sealy||Some loved to hate this guy but for the most part he was a cheap depth piece that wasn't horrible.|
|James Marcelin||FCD picked him up midway through the 2012 season when Portland dumped him. Yeah, he never panned out during his time in Frisco.|
|Julian de Guzman||Arguably the best trade the club has made in the last few years. De Guzman nearly helped lift Dallas into the playoffs in 2012.|
|Matias Jara||Came in during the August transfer window and never played a minute for the first team. Out of shape and just not very good.|
|Peter Luccin||One of the first additions after the 2012 season. Picked an ACL injury early in preseason, came back and played late in 2013. Excellent locker room guy.|
|Stephen Keel||Re-Entry Draft pick. Solid depth piece and another good locker room guy.|
|Pipico||The Brazilian landed in Frisco in late 2012 but never lasted long in preseason. Another out of shape forward.|
|Raul Fernandez||All-Star goalkeeper in 2013. One of the better additions before 2013.|
|Kenny Cooper||Trade from New York. Cost the team a good amount of allocation but it brought back a key local player.|
|Eric Hassli||Trade from Toronto. The Reds apparently picked up some of the tab for Hassli's contract but unfortunately he was another injured guy to come in and he really didn't find his way with the club in 2013.|
|Michel||Cheap player that can be used in various spots on the field. Great at times and then horrible at times.|
|Je-Vaughn Watson||Picked up from Houston early in the year. Fans loved to hate him at first but once he was used in the right position the hate seemed to disappear...some.|
|Ramon Nunez||Former FCD player returned home after an ACL injury. Never really picked up a lot of playing time though, mostly due to how he plays on the field according to Hyndman.|
|Erick||Defensive midfield pickup in the summer. Looked good at times but faded late.|
|Mauro Diaz||Designated Player signing in the summer. Before his injury late in the season he looked like the future of the club.|
So with all of that it appears Clavijo will come out even on the signings and trades. You could also make the case that year two was largely better than year one for Clavijo.
I've been told that he has a long-term plan for the club in terms of players and what he wants to do for the team too. Getting guys like Fernandez, Diaz and even Blas Perez on long-term deals was a big part of his plan.
I go back and forth on placing blame for the last two years on Clavijo. I largely gave him a pass for last year and almost feel like I should do the same for 2013. He did bring in a good amount of talent with a big amount of cap space to work with after the Brek Shea transfer. The moves he made this season were good but as we know the results on the field didn't show for due to injuries, international call-ups and in a way how Hyndman utilized these players.
But going forward it will be tough not to place blame on Clavijo if the club doesn't succeed. This roster is largely built on what he has been doing for the last two seasons. I think this winter will be an interesting one for him and the club too. Who he re-signs in the coming weeks will tell us if the club is looking to rebuild with their new coach or continue down this current path just a little more with the roster that is there.
I, like many of you, want to see a little more change this winter. We'll continue to dive into the roster side of things in the coming days/weeks on here. We'll give you a chance to decide if you want to keep certain players or ditch them to the side of the road.