We're wrapping up our series that looks at FC Dallas' roster construction for next season with a look at the forwards.
For starters, something I would like to point out with is that the MLS salary cap this year was right at $3.3 million. So for our purposes in this series, we will use a baseline cap of $3.5 million as the cap is expected to slowly reach $4.2 million by 2019.
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
Lets just say that right now there isn't enough in this department. Sure you have Maximiliano Urruti and Tesho Akindele but outside of them you also have two Homegrown players in Coy Craft and Alejandro Zendejas.
1. Is Urruti the answer? I think most of us know right off the bat that he isn't the total answer but he is at least a good replacement for David Texeira in terms of skill and salary. My gut tells me he'll get plenty of chances to prove himself in Oscar Pareja's system.
2. Will Craft or Zendejas take the next step? The gap between the top two forwards and the HGPs is a big one right now. Both had some time with the first team last year but they both spent time traveling with youth national teams. Each player still has some development to do and maybe a loan would be good at times for them as well.
3. Will a 15-goal scorer be added? We've all talked at length as to why this is important for FC Dallas. The money is certainly going to be there for a top-level scorer but it all comes down to the club pulling the trigger on someone. If they want a MLS Cup in 2016, this has to happen.
Here is what our guys made against the cap in 2015:
Tesho Akindele - $87,500
Coy Craft - $77,083*
Maximiliano Urruti - $200,000
Alejandro Zendejas - $76,666*
* Homegrown player, salary does not count towards the cap
Total towards the cap: $287,500
Total with the goalkeepers and defenders: $2,272,415
Money moving forward
Having two HGPs on this group certainly helps a good bit as those will continue not to count against the salary cap. Akindele's likely going to continue to see a small bump in pay, as will Urruti. Thankfully neither one will approach the figures that Blas Perez and Texeira were earning in 2015 (both in the low to mid-$300ks).
Again, there is certainly money for a big time striker to be added here.
Needs and wants for 2016
Simple, someone who can score at least 15 goals. I'd be even okay with that if somehow Urruit or Akindele were that guy too.
Final figures and thoughts
So overall when you look at this, FC Dallas has a lot of money to spend on 2016. Raises will certainly happen across the board, that we know but with the amount of roster spots available today and the money, there is no denying that FCD has plenty of room to work some magic.
A lot will come down to the willingness of both the owners and the front office to pull the trigger on a DP-level striker that can help boost this team in the coming season. Also, it comes down to adding the proper depth and players from a chemistry perspective as well. I have faith in what Fernando Clavijo has done in the past to build a winner here, do you?