FC Dallas signed 16-year-old goalkeeper Richard Sanchez as a homegrown player on Friday, giving the club a league-record six homegrowns on its first-team roster.
In January, the 16-year-old Sanchez was named the top goalkeeper in the Universidad Catolica tournament in Chile, while playing for the Mexican U-17 National Team. Mexico lost 1-0 to Uruguay in the final. Sanchez has spent much of the last year training with the Mexico U-17 National Team in preparation for the 2011 U-17 World Cup. He will join FC Dallas in Orlando this week, but reports back to his national team on March 6 for their next camp.
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“FC Dallas is excited to add Richard Sanchez as our next Home Grown player,” FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said. “I think he is by far the best goalkeeper I have ever seen at this age level, and he’s shown that during his time as a goalkeeper for Mexico’s Under-17 National Team. Being in first team training with Drew Keeshan and absorbing everything he can from a veteran like Kevin Hartman is going to be the best thing that could happen for Richard’s career.”
A very significant move by the club as they continue to build the roster out for the season. Adding a sixth home grown player shows that the club is truly investing in their youth talent from within rather than to go outside to get it. Having a forth keeper is also interesting and could mean that the club will be moving Josh Lambo soon. I can't see a way that he stays if Sanchez is the future of the club's goalkeeping situation in a couple year's time.
Interestingly enough I don't think the club is done there with signing Home Grown talent. There are currently eight players affiliated with either the FC Dallas Academy or FC Dallas professional team training with various U.S. Youth National Teams (Kellyn Acosta, Emerson Hyndman, Boyd Okowouno, Michael Ambrose, Jack Coleman, Jonathan Top, Daniel Garcia, Moises Hernandez). Top and Hernandez are already signed but don't be shocked if we hear one or even two more by the end of the year.