It was announced early this afternoon that FC Dallas has signed their league-leading fifth homegrown player, forward Jonathan Top. Top, who turns 18 in a couple of weeks, joins Brian Leyva, Ruben Luna, Moises Hernandez and Victor Ulloa in an FCD team loaded with young talent.
While Luna is a big, strong forward who is a goal poacher inside the box, Top is a quicker, slasher type forward who makes intelligent runs and forces defenses to sit back a little bit more to account for his speed. FC Dallas now has on their roster probably two of the top ten forwards in the country under the age of 20. The return of reserve games is going to be a joy to watch next season with Hernandez, Ulloa, Leyva, Luna and Top all on the field together.
Top graduates from North Side High School in Fort Worth this spring.
Jump for the FCD presser with lots more information and a Q&A with Top
FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas has signed academy forward Jonathan Top to a professional contract, the club announced today. Top is the fifth Home Grown Player signed by FC Dallas, the most of any Major League Soccer team. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
"This is more great news for the FC Dallas Academy program," FC Dallas’ Director of Player Development Oscar Pareja said. "We are very happy for Jonathan and his family. He has put forth the sacrifice and effort needed to make his dream come true. We wish him all the best in his career. The FC Dallas Academy program will continue to prepare more Home Grown Players for the future of FC Dallas."
Top, who turns 18 on Jan. 26, was the leading scorer for the FC Dallas Under-18 Development Academy team this season. Playing alongside previous FC Dallas Home Grown signees Ruben Luna, Moises Hernandez, Victor Ulloa and Bryan Leyva, Top found the back of the net eight times in 10 matches this season. He opened the season by scoring two goals in a 3-0 win over Texans SC on Sept. 11. Top’s scoring streak lasted four games and included wins over the Texas Rush, Lonestar SC and the Houston Dynamo Academy. The team posted an 11-1-3 record in all competitions during the second half of 2010. FC Dallas’ U-18’s currently lead the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s Central Conference with a record of 5-1-2.
"I want to thank FC Dallas for giving me the opportunity to pursue my dream of playing professional soccer," Top said. "It is very exciting to continue in the tradition of graduating to the first team from the FC Dallas Academy started by Bryan Leyva. Oscar [Pareja] and the rest of the FC Dallas Academy coaching staff played a major role in preparing me for the next level. I am sure I will be one of many more academy players to join FC Dallas.
"I also want to thank my mother for all the hours spent driving me to practice an hour-and-a-half away from home, my father for always supporting me in soccer and all my teammates for helping me reach this point."
Top was named to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Starting XI for the Under-16 Central Conference in July of 2010. He currently attends North Side High School in Fort Worth, Texas where he has been an Honor Student since 2007. Top was a student council member in 2009.