Last week FC Dallas Technical Director Fernando Clavijo told MLS' Matthew Barbour that "it is definitely fair to say the midfield is the place we need to look and give the coach more options." Per Barbour's article, Clavijo conveyed that he has targeted 3 midfielders that he deems to have the experience, leadership, and quality needed to help the club.
On Twitter yesterday, @tehrealbryan asked Dan Hunt: "Any names you can throw out for potential signings in the summer transfer window" and Dan confirmed the search for new players by responding: "Dont want to give opponents the heads up."
So, who might their options be? Out of the tens of thousands of professional players, how do we narrow discussion down to the relevant possibilities?
I mulled this for awhile and the best I could come up with was filtering through some listings on transfermarkt.co.uk based on a few factors:
- Out of contract. MLS clubs rarely pay transfer fees, and FC Dallas is probably less likely to do so than most. After all, any fee pretty much necessitates the use of a DP slot. Luckily, many European contracts will end in a few weeks, as will a few Apertura deals in Latin American leagues.
- Likely nationalities. Obviously, Americans are the easiest additions, because they don't require an international slot. National-team regular get tricky though, because of the allocation process which Dallas sits 7th in. Then you have the FC Dallas' usuals, Colombia and Panama. Then Uruguay because Clavijo hails from that country. Add in Jamaica, Mexico, and Canada to get a base for most MLS imports. Update: I added in England, Scotland, Costa Rica, and Honduras.
- Likely leagues. For proximity alone I've also included players who will be available after their current Liga MX Apertura season, which ends soon.
- Age. Clavijo talked about experience and leadership with Barbour. no one under 26 for this list.
- Midifielder. Per Clavijo's quotes, and a general perusal of the roster, it's clear that there's less concern about depth in the front or back of FC Dallas' formation. So, we'll restrict this to midifelders.
Hover over any flag to get a descriptor box, like this:
As you can see, according to Transfer Markt, Julian de Guzman could be available for a 2nd straight half-season rental for FC Dallas, or possibly a longer-term deal. With 5 matches left his current club is sitting on 19 points, and it's doubtful JdG would care to play in the German 3rd division next year. He'd certainly be easier to integrate in Frisco than a complete outsider.
Of course, Maurice Edu, Jonathan Specter, and Ale Bedoya are intriguing as well, though their acquisition would be complicated by the allocation process (again, FCD is 7th on that list). So would Jermaine Jones, but he could well demand DP status, likely prevent his coming to Frisco.
Overall, I wouldn't be at all surprised in FCD signs one or two of the players below $1.5mm market value on this graph. I don't know much about any of the other players in that range, but alongside JdG we have Wálter Ayoví, Rubén Olivera, Marvin Elliott, Diego Pérez, Damián Álvarez, and Carlos Morales who all seem to fit into a sweet spot of experience and affordability that could suit FC Dallas quite well.
This is all based on just a basic listing of their age, international experience, and one site's educated guess at cost. Does anyone know anything about these players beyond their Wikipedia and TransferMarkt profiles?