The final piece of the FC Dallas roster deep dive is here, as we look at the forwards today.
The club made plenty of headlines going into the 2013 season by signing Kenny Cooper and Eric Hassli. But as we turn towards a new season, Cooper is gone to Seattle and Hassli is...well who knows.
Who FCD Has
Blas Perez - The king of the attack. Perez continues to be a mainstay at forward and for a change, FCD should have him for the full year with very minimal call-ups expected from Panama on the horizon. That should yield some double-digit scoring.
David Texeira - The newcomer is also our latest Designated Player. Texeira has all the ability to do something special according to the coaches and technical staff. We just need to be patient before we start expecting the world out of him.
Eric Hassli - The guy should be the number two on the depth chart but he really is not. We haven't seen him for a second in the preseason and his health is still a major concern.
Tesho Akindele - The rookie signed his contract last week. We don't know how well his game will translate to the pro-level but we do know that this kid has a scoring touch.
Jonathan Top - I have to say, I'm impressed to see him still here considering how Bradlee Baladez got the boot last week and all. Top has been around for some time know and he has to show that he has the chops to be a MLS player. He has a ton of work to do though to get over the players above him in the depth chart.
Questions/Needs going forward
Hassli - I fully expect him to be gone before long, just given the comments made this preseason by Oscar Pareja and Fernando Clavijo. They're not happy with where Hassli is and nor should they be. Not to mention, he is taking up a chunk of salary cap space that could be used elsewhere down the road. FCD can cut one player contract that is guaranteed like Hassli's, and I would imagine they're working on doing just that.
Loan for Top? - He didn't get to go out on loan last year because of Schellas Hyndman wanting him to stay in Frisco to be the depth behind Perez, Cooper and Hassli. But at some point the guy needs minutes. He needs to prove his worth and a loan should/would benefit him.
Patience with Texeira - We've heard good things and even some not so good things about this guy (see some past comments). But we have to be patient here with this guy, just like any other young player. He didn't get a full preseason with the club so we don't know his level of fitness or anything just yet.
Health - Let's be honest, if Perez doesn't stay healthy for some reason, this could be a real troubling thing to think about. While Texeira or Akindele could fill in well for Perez in that situation, you really wonder if someone else in this group can step up and be almost a double-digit scorer like Perez to help carry the load. Lots of 'ifs' there.