Today is the final look at the roster construction for 2015 as we head into one of the final weeks of the calendar in 2014. We will wrap things up with a look at the group that typically makes the headlines in soccer, the forwards.
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.
The numbers and questions
1. Will FCD get more out of Texeira in 2015 - One thing we do know is that David Texeira is a Designated Player and will continue to be one in 2015. I was given confirmation by the club on that matter this week. A lot of it has to due with the transfer fee that they paid to get him last winter. Numbers speaking he didn't do great last year in his first season with the club but I love pointing out that he didn't get a full preseason with this team. That will go a long way in helping him grow as a player.
2. Who will get loaned - We now have two young Homegrown forwards on the roster with Coy Craft and Alejandro Zendejas. Both are raw talent that need seasoning. Both are candidates for loan in 2015, just as former FCD Homegrown Jonathan Top was in 2014.
3. Is there need for another striker? - Tex is a question mark, then you have Tesho Akindele who is likely going to be fine in 2015, even though I do see a bit of a sophomore slump happening at some point. And then you have veteran Blas Perez, who is no spring chicken anymore. We've seen in the past that adding a lot of forward depth doesn't always mean it works out. Still, I can't help but think adding one veteran forward to the mix wouldn't be the worst idea.
Here is the forwards salary numbers based on their total compensation in 2014:
Tesho Akindele - $48,500
Coy Craft - $65,587*
Blas Perez - $359,250
David Texeira - $338,000**
Alejandro Zendejas - $53,157*
* Homegrown player does not count towards the cap
** Young DP counts $200k towards the cap
Total against the cap: $607,750
Total including the goalkeepers, defenders and midfielders: $1,864,782
Money moving forward
So one thing is certain, Akindele will get a bump in pay after winning the Rookie of the Year. How much of one will be interesting but I would imagine he will be making more than the rookie minimum in 2015.
I think the interesting one to look at is Perez. He had a great 2014 season, likely one of his best in a Dallas uniform. Does he get paid more in 2014 or will the club find a way to bring down his number? I don't believe he warrants a DP deal with the goals he has put up in his time here in town either. I know at one point the club thought that he would become a DP once his production matched it (similar to how RSL handled Alvaro Saborio).
Needs and wants for 2015
I think questioned it above but I do see adding one more piece to this group as a wise idea. Maybe even two if the price is right and the player is versatile enough to play up top and on the wings. The money is certainly there right now to add some quality parts to the mix and give the club enough room to feel good about their options up front.
Final thoughts and figures
Given how the club has anywhere between $1.5 million and $2 million to work with here tells me the team is in a good position to do a lot of good moves this winter.
Not to mention they team currently has a slew of open roster slots to fill at the moment too. Right now, the club has filled 21 roster spots, seven of which are developmental spots that do not count against the cap. So yeah, there is a ton of room to work with here moving forward.
What do you make of these numbers? Excited to see that the club has this much potential cap space to work with this offseason? Do you want to see another DP forward signed before the 2015 season?