The day after a season ends for a club is never an easy thing. Between the what went wrong in the final game to the looking back on the entire year, there is plenty to discuss. The same is true for FC Dallas as we turn the page on 2015 and the year it was now that things are done.
The most pressing thing however going into the offseason is what will become of this roster. FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo and head coach Oscar Pareja have plenty of work to do as the league's offseason drafts and waivers begin to kick into high gear next week.
The club gave Big D Soccer details on which players would be out of contract after this season and those who have options on their current deals. In all, nine players have either an option or are out of contract. How FCD handles those nine will say a lot about where this team is going into 2016 and beyond.
Out of contract
Blas Perez - Only one player is on the 'out of contract' list. The aging veteran didn't have the same impact for FCD in 2015 that he has had in years past. Only a hand full of goals to speak of here. He did get an important one last night in the second leg of the conference finals against Portland, his first goal since May.
Chances of returning: 50%. FCD could easily bring him back for one more year to keep a key veteran presence in the locker room, something that would be wise with the additional games on the slate for next year in the Champions League. Or they could end up saying thank you and move on.
Options on contracts
Otis Earle - The lone draft pick from 2015 barely made a dent on the FCD roster, let alone the Arizona United roster that he was loaned to in the middle of the season. When he was drafted, most believed he would be a good depth addition behind Moises Hernandez but as the season wore on, not even Hernandez was keeping a starting spot in the Dallas lineup.
Chances of returning: ~20%. They may want a cheap depth piece to have in the back, but at the same time they may be willing enough to move on from him.
Atiba Harris - The veteran made the transition to fullback this season. It was rough at first but after some time he got the kinks worked out and was a fairly regular starter up until the last month or so of the season. Harris is a good locker room guy that has bounced around the league a bit over the years. Given the age of this team right now, having another veteran like Harris may be what they'll need going forward.
Chances of returning: ~80%. I know some of you hated seeing Harris on the field but to me the club has to keep some veteran players moving forward. Harris is a serviceable player that can be used in multiple places in a pitch.
Ryan Hollingshead - The California native bounced around the field before landing in the fullback role in the final months of the season. He still has some things to learn about being a fullback in this league but I think the future is still very bright for him with this club.
Chances of returning: 100%. This one seems like a no-brainer.
Stephen Keel - We didn't see a second of Keel on the field in 2015 due to different injuries, which was an absolute shame for him and the club. Keel is a likable guy both in and around the team but his playing days may be coming to an end here.
Chances of returning: Less than 10%. I'm giving him a little just because I like the guy and because I do think the club respects him enough to work something out. Maybe he'll go into coaching. Maybe he'll go into the front office as a club ambassador (something the team absolutely needs if you ask me). We'll see.
Michel - The veteran midfielder definitely saw better days in 2014 then in 2015. His assists and goals were way down and his play on the field was typically not worth writing home about. Teams knew what he was on the field for when he was brought in and knew exactly how to attack him defensively.
Chances of returning: ~30%. I go back and forth on this one as I think he could get one more year here. But at the end of the day, I just think the club would be better served by moving on here and adding a player with set piece abilities somewhere else. He was just too big of a liability on the field.
David Texeira - This will be one that a lot of fans want to see the club move on from after this season. The guy can score some nice goals but he can also miss some absolute sitters as well. I think the biggest issue is that he wasn't a good enough gap in terms of age and talent between Perez and someone like Coy Craft or Tesho Akindele.
Chance of returning: ~75%. I know some will want this lower but I do think there is a better than average chance of seeing him back for one more year. With the CCL next season, the club will need bodies to handle the load and I think he is one of them.
Je-Vaughn Watson - The Jamaican fullback had a pretty solid season in his season year at right back. Watson was more dependable and more of a threat going forward in the attack like Pareja wanted him to be this season.
Chances of returning: 100%. I'd be rather shocked to see him not return.
Walker Zimmerman - This one is an interesting one as he'll be coming off his Generation adidas contract that he's had since his rookie year. Zimmerman was used here and there during the year and at times looked great and at other times he looked like he regressed. I do think the playoff run has helped spark him in a way that we hadn't seen before.
Chances of returning: 100%. A good deal will need to be worked out but I don't see a way in where he doesn't return.
Ezequiel Cirigliano - There is one more guy to discuss, our midseason signing on loan from River Plate. Cirigliano didn't see the field until fairly late in the summer after being in Dallas for a few weeks. He showed some promise at times but couldn't seem to beat out Victor Ulloa or Kellyn Acosta for a starting role.
Chances of returning: ~85%. I think he comes back for another season and possibly gets his loan either extended for ends up being bought out. To me, he may be the most intriguing player to watch this offseason for FCD's roster construction.