Last year, we did a series of posts dedicated to the FC Dallas roster and salary cap. It seems only fitting to bring it back as the club looks to move forward into a new year - with a new coach - and potentially a new system.
No roster cuts have been made yet by FC Dallas but with deadlines quickly approaching for waivers and options to be extended, it seems like now is the right time to look at the money and where things could be headed in 2013.
For starters, something I would like to point out with is that the MLS salary cap this year was right at $2.95 million, which means given the previous bumps it should climb to over $3 million in 2014 for the first time in league history. For this series we'll just say $3.5 million to be safe (the cap went up nearly a million from 2012 to 2013, so this seems about right).
MLS teams as most of you know can buy down a players salary with allocation, a number that seems made up on a case by case basis in some ways. But in all reality it is real and it does have a lot of meaning. FC Dallas will be getting some extra allocation this winter due to the fact that they failed to reach the post season. This is also known as the "you suck money" from the league.
Typically each year returning players see an increase in their salary unless it has been agreed with the club that they make less, as in the club and player worked out a deal.
In 2013, FC Dallas had a total salary figure just over $4 million.
In 2013, FC Dallas was stocked with goalkeepers by re-signing Chris Seitz, snagging Kyle Zobeck in the Supplemental draft and by signing Raul Fernandez. The club also had Homegrown star Richard Sanchez and signed up and coming Mexican keeper Jesse Gonzalez (he was not eligible for play in 2013 however).
The club does have options on two of those five keepers (Seitz and Zobeck). So obviously one thing has to happen first.
1. Figure out who to re-sign. We know Fernandez isn't going anywhere and Sanchez appears to be the future for this club in goal should the club want him to be. Gonzalez is a wild card due to his age and will likely be a loan subject in 2014 (should the club not actually end up with a USL-Pro team). So the club needs to figure out if they re-sign Seitz again or not. Zobeck is a cheap option but he's too unproven to be a full-time backup.
Here is how the group of goalkeepers hit the 2013 salary cap in total compensation:
Fernandez - $237,500
Seitz - $90,000
Sanchez - $63,500*
Gonzalez - $35,125*
Zobeck - $35,125**
* - Salary did not count towards the cap due to Homegrown status
** - Salary did not count towards the cap due to place on 'development roster'
Total towards cap: $327,500
Money going forward
One should expect Fernandez to get a slight bump in pay, maybe just to $240k in total compensation. Should the club re-sign Seitz it will be interesting to see if his figure goes down any. It should be noted that based on the 2012 figures, Dallas spent about $80k more towards the cap on their goalkeepers. But with Fernandez being an All-Star and the quality he did show this season, the money spent is fairly justified in my opinion.
Final figures and thoughts
So at this point, the club still has a good amount of money to spend on the rest of the roster. They'll have two keepers next year that won't count against the salary cap, one could end up being the full-time back up too. The big thing will be if the club re-signs Seitz or not. (We discussed them in our roster evaluation series.)
If I had to figure out where the club was going in 2014, I think the best case scenario lays out that they get a USL-Pro team, re-sign Seitz and allow Sanchez/Gonzalez to play the bulk of the time with the USL-Pro team. That may require them to snag another Zobeck-type keeper in the draft but it would likely mean they aren't spending any more or less in 2014 than they did in 2014 on this department.
Worst case scenario, which isn't even a bad one is that they don't get a USL-Pro team in 2014 (let's be honest, it will happen before long either way) and they don't re-sign Seitz. That leaves the team with three keepers, two very young Homegrown keepers with a lot to prove. Not a great plan but not the worst plan either.
What do you all think? Will FCD keep four keepers in 2014? Five? Or go back to holding on to three?