I think it will be safe to say that this offseason in Major League Soccer has been an eventful one so far. The same can be true for FC Dallas fans as we've seen many changes to the roster and front office, both in good and in bad. Some moves may be criticized more than others but at the end of the day the club is moving forward towards 2013.
Dallas had many items going into the offseason on their to-do list. Let's see where things stand as we are almost a month away from the start of preseason.
Let's break it down by position and front office.
Adding a #2 striker - This has been a big one on everyone's mind this winter - finding Blas Perez a strike partner. So far Dallas hasn't announced anything but that is likely to due the fact that they are waiting on the international transfer window to open up in January to do so. I know Technical Director Fernando Clavijo wanted to get the 2013 roster set before the New Years but it appears he may have to be a little more patient.
Status: Be patient...
Adding depth up front - Same boat as the item above it. Once Ruben Luna was cut and Scott Sealy's option was declined the need for some forwards became a big one. I'd expect the next couple of weeks will answer this issue.
Status: Be even more patient...
Healthy Brek Shea - We all know Shea was not healthy in 2012. He was banged up for the majority of the season, which lead to frustration on the field and disappointment all over. He had surgery earlier this offseason and is now on the mend with a potential return date of March. It will be key not to rush him back for the First Kick game in my mind, let him heal properly and get ready on his own terms. I feel confident that the club will do this after last winter's mess-up with David Ferreira in Orlando.
Status: Looking good to see him back in 2011 mode.
Defensive-mid need - Will Julian de Guzman really take that massive pay cut? The door is open but Peter Luccin has already walked through it. Daniel Hernandez is gone as well which opens the door for guys like Kellyn Acosta and Bobby Warshaw. Maybe Luccin is the answer but we'll never know until the preseason gets underway.
Status: They got Luccin...time will tell if JdG takes the massive pay cut.
Depth on the wings - I believe this is something that will get address more through the SuperDraft than through a transfer or trade. Dallas has two good picks in the draft next month and will likely be able to find a winger (or even two) that day.
Status: It will be coming on Draft day.
Re-sign George John - The biggest news story of the offseason in some way has already happened. John re-signed to a multi-year deal a couple weeks ago. He had offers overseas but opted to stay in the Big D.
Sign London Woodberry - The offer is out there for the Home Grown Player but no word yet on if he has signed the deal. I'd imagine it will come soon though, the club wants him and he wants to be here from what I've been told.
Status: Holding pattern for the moment.
A healthy Ugo - We still don't know the state that Ugo Ihemelu is really in. He was training with the club late in the post season days but how much can we read into that? From what it sounds like the club will give him every chance to make a full recovery and will likely move him out to the full back spot. A move that we all can agree is the right one for his head.
Status: Wait and see mode.
Depth in the defense - It wasn't a major need but in a league that typically is won on defense, Dallas went out and got a solid center back to compete with John, Matt Hedges, and Hernan Pertuz in the form of former Red Bull Stephen Keel. Daniel has already talked about the addition and I have to say it was a smart pickup.
Re-sign Kevin Hartman - He is technically free to sign with any club now. Dallas opted not to re-sign him and that sent shockwaves throughout the Metroplex. It was a risky move but one that should work out in the end.
Status: Dead in the water from what it appears...
Retain Sanchez and Seitz - Both got contract extensions this offseason and it looks like Chris Seitz will be the top dog going into 2013 with Richard Sanchez to back him up. Most fans can live with this move I think and are at last accepting it by now.
Status: Done and done
Finding a third keeper - This could be a need that Dallas goes the Supplemental Draft route to find a third keeper for the depth chart. Someone cheap and able to push Seitz and Sanchez is key.
Status: Still waiting...
Moving Hernandez off the field and onto the bench - This one was a big topic earlier in the fall. Daniel Hernandez thought he had gas in the tank and the club convinced him that he would be better served on the bench as an assistant rather than one on the field. He went with it only to get canned over the weekend. More to come on this, that we can promise.
Status: Done and then gone...
Moving on from Quinn - This wasn't on the initial checklist but it kind of has to be brought up now. We still don't know what the state of the front office is without CEO Doug Quinn. We know the club has been moving forward but there is no word on whether or not the club will move on from him or bring him back once his legal issues wrap up. It is still an issue we're keeping an eye on even though no one is really talking about it at the moment (for obvious reasons).
Status: Who really knows...