John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
Charting the 30-man roster to make it through pre-season
It's time to whip out this feature again. I've done it the last two pre-seasons and it's one where we track the 30 tickets given out to the 30 players that will make the opening day FCD roster. It should be noted that you don't have to fill every single roster spot and teams do get a small amount of allocation money if you leave a roster spot empty.
In alphabetical Order
1. Jair Benitez - The Colombian left back was shaky through the first half of 2012 struggling with poor play and suspension issues, but he rebounded from the disaster red card in Houston to have a nice second half to the season. Is 2013 his last year in Frisco with many younger options breathing down his neck?
2. Fabian Castillo - It's probably time to start thinking for a nickname for the young Colombian as he looks to take the next step in 2013 to the young MLS elite. An absolute lock and someone that I'm sure FCD would like to get tied up to a new contract by the end of the year.
3. Raul Fernandez - The Peru #1 goalkeeper, Fernadnez was a surprising signing brought in to potentially hold down the #1 goalkeeping spot long term. He will battle with Chris Seitz for the starting spot through the 6 weeks of pre-season.
5. Peter Luccin - FC Dallas brought in the Frenchman to start at defensive midfield with the departures of Julian de Guzman and Daniel Hernandez. The 33-year-old is somewhat of an x-factor this year for FCD.
6. Jackson - 2013 is a huge year for Jackson to see if he can put it all together and become one of the better attacking players in the league or stay the enigma that he is right now. Don't be shocked if transfer offers start coming in for Jackson from Mexico if he has a good first half to 2013.
7. Andrew Jacobson - Where he fits into the team kind of depends on what formation they play, but no matter what happens, he is very likely to be a big part of things. He's taking a bigger responsibility in the locker room as well, having worn the captain's armband on occasion last season.
8. George John - Locked up to a 2+1 deal before the season, John is a vital piece to the FC Dallas defense and another player taking a bigger role in the locker room this season.
9. Stephen Keel - FCD picked up Keel as a backup center back option in the re-entry draft. A good locker room guy who has proved he can play at this level, Keel is a great, cheap addition to FCD.
10. Zach Loyd - The starting right back, Loyd had a good campaign in 2012 and heads into 2013 with plenty of good momentum. If he can stay healthy, Loyd is a darkhorse for a spot on the 2013 Gold Cup team.
11. Blas Perez - FCD's starting #1 forward, Perez had a great 2012, when healthy, logging 9 goals in a half-season of play. A season of 25-30 games could see Perez score upwards of 15 goals.
12. Chris Seitz - Locked in a battle with Raul Fernandez for the #1 goalkeeping spot, Seitz has come into pre-season slimmer and looking in some of the best form of his career.
13. Bobby Warshaw - 2013 is a huge year for Warshaw to prove that 2012 was a fluke year with injuries. Right now, it seems that he's the first d-mid option off the bench and he's come into 2013 in decent form.
14. Pipico - Brought in as a change of pace forward option, Pipico has come into pre-season a little on the unfit side, but the class is clearly there. One to watch as pre-season goes on. I can see a very slightly possible scenario where he is cut if fitness doesn't improve, but that seems unlikely
15. Ugo Ihemelu - It's certainly not a good sign that Ugo hasn't participated in pre-season at all. How much longer can FC Dallas give him and how much longer can Ugo stay out before it's time to move into a front office role? A very sad and frustrating situation
16. Brek Shea - 99% gone for real this time but until it's official...ya know.
17. Michel Garbini Pereira- 31-year-old Brazilian left back that FC Dallas is serious about. He's most recently played in Greece and the longer he stays in camp, the more likely Dallas is to sign him
18. Ryuta Sasaki - Japanese forward on trial with FCD this week...probably not terribly serious but he didn't look too off the pace for a guy just coming over from Japan.
10 Man Developmental Roster
1. Kellyn Acosta - 17-year-old has earned high praise from Hyndman early in this pre-season. Seems unlikely that he will challenge for many first-team minutes this year, but he's an incredible talent.
2. Bradlee Baladez - Signed out of South Carolina, Baladez should challenge for a backup forward spot this year and could be a darkhorse to make a big impact by the end of the season.
3. Matt Hedges - I assume the 22-year-old is still on the Developmental Roster as he's still under 24, though he could be on the senior roster. either way, he's a long-term starting option at center back for FCD.
4. Richard Sanchez - Young Mexican-American goalkeeper could be loaned out this year to Mexico or somewhere else as he focuses on preparation for the U20 World Cup and Qualifying.
5. Jonathan Top - The young forward just turned 20 years old, barely eligible for this year's U20 World cup cycle. A member of that US team, he could see his stock go up big time with a good tournament.
6. London Woodberry - Signed as a homegrown after four good years at Maryland, Woodberry provides instant depth at outside back. One for the future.
7. Walker Zimmerman - 2013 First round draft pick and Generation adidas member. Still about a month away from training, but there's no rush on him.
8. Victor Ulloa - Probable to make the squad, but the clock is majorly ticking on the 20-year-old homegrown.
9. Kyle Zobeck - Schellas has been very complementary of the goalkeeper supplemental pick out of Valparaiso. With a possible loan of Richard Sanchez, it's looking increasingly likely Zobeck could make the squad.
10. Ryan Hollingshead - He's been pushed a little bit to the periphery as Clavijo focuses on the Shea situation, but I'm sure they will talk soon. Seems unlikely to show up though
Cameron Brown, TJ Nelson, Cam Wilder
If Pereira is signed, Shea is sold and Ugo doesn't return, you're looking at 15-16 senior roster spots full depending on where Hedges is. That means Clavijo absolutely has room to add 2-4 senior players. There's also maybe a spot available for one more of the supplemental picks if they make an impression. The clock is ticking...