As we move forward in this offseason discussion here on Big D Soccer, we figured it would be wise to look at the players with options or expiring contracts to discuss whether or not we want them back in the 2014 rebuild of FC Dallas. We're going with the Roman theme of thumbs up or thumbs down for this series.
Up first is a fan favorite, defender Zach Loyd.
To say the 2013 season was a tough one for Loyd may be an understatement. For the first time since his rookie season, the fullback from Tulsa played less than 30 games in the season. An injury down the stretch run of the season was a big part of that but so was the play of young Homegrown defender Kellyn Acosta.
He had zero goals and zero assists in 25 appearances this season. His first season since his rookie year that he did not contribute at least an assist. In total, Loyd has appeared in 111 regular season games for FC Dallas over the course of four seasons. He's scored three goals and added seven assists, which isn't too bad from an outside back.
Loyd's struggles this season stemmed from a few factors though. Not only was he not getting forward enough into the attack but he was also hurting the club with costly turnovers or just sloppy play.
Opposing teams knew that running at him and applying consistent pressure would force him to play things a little carelessly at times. Not to mention his confidence was never truly there on the ball this season.
Keeping him won't come cheap either. Loyd is one of the few expiring contracts on the roster and his current salary cap hit is right around $100k ($92k base/$136k total compensation to be exact). He sits just on the outside of the top money earners in the league for his position. We've already discussed this at length on this space.
Despite all of that, Loyd still remains a face of the franchise. Fans love the guy and for good reason too. He's easily one of the most down to earth guys on the roster.
So the question goes, thumbs up to keep him, or thumbs down to ditch him?