Taking a quick glance at the FC Dallas roster and you'll quickly realize, the depth at center back is pretty impressive. Not only do you have some quality players there but you also have a good mix of veteran and youth as well. Something that most teams fail to put together on a team.
But with any group on the roster, there are plenty of questions as well that surround the center backs. Can the main group stay healthy? Will we see one of them get moved this season?
Who FCD has
George John - As we all know, John is the leader of the bunch and possible the leader of the team as well. The defense goes as he goes. If he is healthy, the group typically plays well. If he isn't out there, the chemistry can get a little dicy.
Matt Hedges - The third year defender out of UNC has shown well so far in his two seasons with FCD. First of all, he has been one of the more consistent players when it comes to health. At times his play has suffered when he has to deal with constant pressure from the middle of the field, but that has been more of an issue with the club's defensive midfield situation than what he really brings to the table.
Stephen Keel - The veteran center back didn't play a ton for FCD in 2013 but when he did he was a pretty bright spot for the team on the field. He was reliable and steady in the few games he played.
Walker Zimmerman - The young wild card in the bunch. He struggled to remain healthy in 2013 as a rookie and so far we haven't seen him much this preseason (he was one of the few that remained in Dallas during the UAE trip).
Nicholas Walker - The 3rd round pick is still unsigned but he did appear to get plenty of playing time in the two friendlies against BK Hacken. We don't know a ton about this kid yet but the first look at him is he looked to be a bit of a beast in the back.
Questions/Needs going forward
Health of the group - This has to be the biggest item of them all. This group has to stay healthy for the club to be successful this season.
Chemistry - This may be an underrated item to mention but when all the changes last year and health problems, the chemistry of the group was a factor. People won't talk about it but when you play with different players week in and week out, it does take a toll on the chemistry of the group. We saw at times when John was out, that Hedges would need to step up as the leader, which he did okay with.
Playing time for the young guns - If the club opts to keep Walker, I hope they plan on loaning him out right away. I'm sure a lot depends on how he plays in the final couple of weeks in Florida, along with the overall health of the group. If the group struggles with health early on, it may mean he will be around Frisco more. Time will tell on this one.
Zimmerman - He's certainly a wild card in this bunch. Most of you would love to see him more, and so would I. But he has to get healthy, that cannot be stressed enough. What Oscar Pareja does with him this season will be very interesting to watch.