FC Dallas formally announced on Thursday that it had signed the starting Peruvian National Team goalkeeper to a contract. This is great for Fernandez as he steps in and will almost certainly be the starting keeper here. Also, the fact that his wife is American may mean that he might not occupy an international spot in the future. That is still unknown at this point in time, but what we do know is that FCD has found a starting keeper with international experience and will maybe pull in some Peruvian fans in the metroplex? As long as Fernandez can perform as admirably as Hartman and not make too many mistakes, this is a win for FCD.
FC Dallas Defense
FCD inked Keel and Woodberry to their contracts, finally! I was thinking about making Keel and Woodberry trend upwards individually but then I thought who really benefits the most from these signings? Of course, Woodberry is a special case, playing for his hometown team, but the real winner in these signings is the depth of the FCD defense. FCD now holds a back line that consists of Hedges, John, Keel, Loyd, Woodberry, Benitez, and Acosta. If Ihemelu gets clear for playing time and this back line stays healthy, watch out for a solid defensive 2013 effort. Don't forget Hernandez who is on loan and could be back for the second half of the season as well.
Raise your hand if you were bashing Clavijo for letting Hartman go. Hopefully, I wasn't the only one because that would look bad. In a span of a week, FCD's technical director has made some cost effective moves that don't compromise the team's playing ability. Raul Fernandez was signed for an estimated same salary as what Kevin Hartman earned last year. Given that Hartman was asking for a raise and that Raul is 11 years younger this is a win for FCD. The defensive signings were also good for cost and international slot purposes. Keel and Woodberry replaced Pertuz and Rodriguez respectively, and as long as Keel is a solid contributor when called upon they are two much cheaper alternatives and the international slots open up for future signings. Clavijo, take a bow. If you get us another solid striker, I promise not to bash you for one whole week. As Daniel said, "Good business Mr. Clavijo."
In my inaugural edition of the stocks I had included Seitzy as an individual who was trending in an upward direction. With the signing of Fernandez, however, Seitz will have some healthy competition for the starting job. He might end up starting the season as the GK but I foresee Fernandez taking over sooner than later. Relegation from the surefire number one keeper, to someone fighting for the number one spot is the reason Seitz is trending down.
The obvious reason for Jair to be trending down is because he has more competition now that London Woodberry has been signed to a contract. If Moises comes back a stud from Saprissa and really impresses, Jair could see limited time in an FCD uniform this year. This is not the main reason I have included Benitez in the stock down group though. Yesterday, a post that was supposed to induce emotions of happiness forced me to frown. FC Dallas on Facebook announced, "Happy 34th Birthday Jair Benitez!" While that's all fun and dandy, and we certainly wish him a happy birthday, I started thinking about how old he is getting and how his speed is no longer the asset that we need at LB. So to answer the question in your head, yes, Benitez is trending downwards because his birthday just passed and he is a year older. Time to start grooming a replacement, as soon as possible.
Sigh, Captain Ugo deserves much better than what he is dealing with. A concussion from a collision last season sidelined him and Drew caught a Dallas Morning News update that quoted Clavijo as saying Ugo is not progressing. It's a shame. He is in his prime and was announced captain at the beginning of last season. With him, this team has a top five defensive unit. I hope he progresses more and is able to come back but for now it is not looking good for Ugo.
MISSED THE CUT
Moises Hernandez, London Woodberry, Stephen Keel, Bobby Warshaw, and Zach Loyd.