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.
Next up, Ugo Ihemelu.
This one is tough on one hand but also a pretty easy call on the other. Ihemelu hasn't seen a second on the field since May of 2012, in a game against Colorado where he suffered his most recent concussion.
I've talked with Ihemelu several times over the last year and half about his situation. He has good days that follow up with days where he still feels dizzy. His concussion symptoms haven't gone away after a year and a half.
His contract is set to expire at the end of this year. So far Ihemelu hasn't been able to pass the league's concussion protocols to return to the field. FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo told the media last week in a conference call that Ihemelu was a guy that the team has been missing on the field with his leadership and toughness.
Ihemelu told MLSSoccer.com's Matt Barbour that he knows his playing days may be up but he does want to remain with FC Dallas in some capacity.
I think this case is fairly simple, get the guy a desk in the front office and move on. He's a class act as a person and I know he would do well in some role with the club moving forward. Fans still love seeing him since he is a local guy, so it only makes sense to help him transition into the next phase of his career.
But we give the option to you, thumbs up to keep him, or thumbs down to let him go off into the sunset?