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Building for 2015: Defenders

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Part two in a series that looks at the roster construction for FC Dallas.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

We are moving swiftly along in our Building for 2015 campaign this week as we take a look at the FC Dallas defenders.

Background information

For starters, something I would like to point out with is that the MLS salary cap this year was right at $3.1 million. Given how the CBA discussions are on-going, knowing what the salary cap will be in 2015 is a bit of mystery. So for our purposes in this series, we will use a baseline cap of $3.7 million.

MLS teams as most of you know can buy down a players salary with allocation, a number that seems made up on a case by case basis in some ways. But in all reality it is real and it does have a lot of meaning. Unlike in years past, FC Dallas will not be getting any of the 'you suck' allocation for not reaching the playoffs. Instead they will need to rely on trades and any potential transfers (doubtful) to build up any additional allocation funds.

Typically each year returning players see an increase in their salary unless it has been agreed with the club that they make less, as in the club and player worked out a deal.

Seven defenders

If you take the players union listing for each player, right now FCD only has six defenders listed on the roster today. For these purposes, I'm actually going to go against that and not count Michel in as a defender. I will however count Je-Vaughn Watson in as a defender, as I see him playing in the back again next year should he re-sign with the club (they did extend him an offer) and Homegrown star Kellyn Acosta.

1. Building the depth - Naturally this area has to grow. Seven is a much lower number in this area than I would like to see. Nearly every position needs depth built up this winter.

2. Spending that George John money - Honestly, I would love to see the club go after a bigger defensive target this winter to pair with Matt Hedges in the center. That or get someone with quality to be on the flanks to help push Moises Hernandez and Acosta.

3. More Homegrown additions? - We do know that Boyd Okwuono is graduating from UNC here, and if FCD is smart they lock him up with a HGP deal before the SuperDraft. Those that do not know, Hedges actually finished his senior season at UNC next to Okwuono when he was just a freshman. The kid can play and hopefully that chemistry could be rekindled.

The Money

Here is the defenders salary numbers based on their total compensation in 2014:

Kellyn Acosta - $79,000*

Matt Hedges - $120,000

Moises Hernandez - $50,450*

Stephen Keel - $48,825

Zach Loyd - $176,666

Je-Vaughn Watson - $126,875

Walker Zimmerman - $161,000**

* Homegrown player, salary does not count towards the cap

** Generation adidas player, salary does not count towards the cap

Total towards the cap: $472,366

Total with the goalkeepers: $790,782

Money moving forward

We know people are going to get some raises, and I hope Keel gets a decent little bump. Crazy what a bargain he has been. Watson will likely get a good raise as well.

I still believe Okwuono is an option to sign a HGP deal this winter but outside of that the club could easily look at this week's Re-Entry Draft to build up the depth in this department.

Needs and wants for 2015

I think first and foremost it will be all about building up that depth. Given the fact that the club is currently not in the first or second round of the SuperDraft, getting any talent from that pool will be unlikely this offseason. That means the team will have to get creative in the scouting overseas - which I full expect them to do so. It also means making some smart deals within MLS.

I'm a firm believer in the defense wins championships motto, so I would love to see a little more attention put into this area. In years past, the club has spent very well in this department. Then again, having pricy guys like Ugo Ihemelu and George John on the books have contributed to that.

Final figures and thoughts

I almost have to think the club will spend about $500k to $700k more in this department. Yes, I actually believe they will spend that much. Looking around at some of the best defenses in MLS over the last couple of years, you will see a big trend in teams that spend well in the defense and their total points in the standings. SKC spent wisely in 2013, LA did as well this past season.