Building for 2014: Forwards

Jamie Sabau

The final part in a series that examines the roster construction for 2014.

We're wrapping up our discussion on the roster construction for 2014 today with a look at the forwards group. The last week has already seen FC Dallas make several moves that impact this discussion.

Background information

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 $3.1 million to be safe.

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.

The numbers and questions

This is an interesting topic, with Kenny Cooper off the books, the club has a few holes to fill up front.

1. Perez's numbers. Blas Perez is inching closer and closer towards a DP-type number. Now the club likely pays down his salary with allocation against the salary cap, and I would imagine they will continue to do so in the coming years.

2. Youth helps out. One thing to note is the club has two HGPs in the forward department that do not count against the cap, that is and could be very big one again in 2014 if the club goes out and gets another big name to go up front with Perez.

3. Hassli's deal. We know the big guy still has a couple years left on his deal but the real question is, how much is Toronto still paying for that deal? It definitely isn't all of the deal, and I would imagine the longer he stays here, the more Dallas will have to pick up the tab.

4. Castillo's weird cap issue. Yes he is a Young DP and technically he does, or at least should, count $200k towards the cap. That darn transfer fee is the reason.

The Money

Here is the forwards salary numbers based on their total compensation in 2013:

Bradlee Baladez - $36,125**

Fabian Castillo - $66,250^

Kenny Cooper - $342,500*

Eric Hassli - $262,276

Blas Perez - $324,250

Jonathan Top - $46,500**

^ - Young DP counts $200k towards the salary cap

* - Deal not reached on player option

** - Homegrown player does not count against the salary cap

Total compensation (w/ Cooper): $1,077,901

Total (w/ Cooper and Castillo DP number): $1,211,651

Total against the cap (w/o Cooper) : $786,526

Total with the goalkeepers and defenders and midfielders: $2,795,510

Total with the goalkeepers, defenders, and midfielders (after Monday's roster moves): $2,430,135

Money going forward

Alright, I know that was a lot of numbers above listed out but with all the moves it had to be done. That number could still go lower by a little over $135k should Zach Loyd not re-sign with the club, and another ~$130k if something falls through with Peter Luccin's option.

Based on the projected salary cap of $3.1m for 2014, the club has a very good amount of wiggle room to play around with right now. I didn't include Ryan Hollingshead in there for the discussion since we won't know his salary number until the middle of next year. I would assume it isn't anything more than $60k.

With all the moves that have been made up until this point, that leaves the club a lot of room to play with, plus allocation that they will be receiving.

Needs and wants for 2014

I've written in the last couple of roster pieces that I see the club drafting defensively even with whomever the new coach is in the SuperDraft. But I wouldn't be all that shocked to see another forward getting added either this offseason, especially if Cooper doesn't return to the club.

As much as we all love Cooper here in town, it is possible that move was a blessing for 2014's sake as the team will be able to get someone up front that can work with Perez better than Cooper was ever able to.

Final thoughts and figures

Like I've mentioned, the club has a good amount of wiggle room to play with this winter. I see a DP signing in there, along with enough space to fill those open holes on the roster (currently that number is 5). A lot can and will happen between now and the SuperDraft, I should point that out as well. We have the Re-Entry Draft this week and next week, along with any possible trade that could pop up. Dallas does have a high enough pick that could be tradable in the SuperDraft too.

So with five open spots and all of that money, I should also point out that the top draft pick signed could either go against the cap or off of it depending on if the club gets a Generation adidas player. That could play in a big way to how the club handles those other remaining open roster spots.

What do you make of these numbers? Excited to see that the club has this much potential cap space to work with this offseason? Do you want to see another DP forward signed before 2013? Or would you rather that money be spent in the midfield and let Perez and Castillo drive the ship up top in 2014? Let's hear it below.

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