The dust has indeed mostly settled for the 2015 offseason and preseason. Change is a constant in the sports world, and FC Dallas had a pretty fascinating turnover of players. We saw the departure of longtime veterans like Jair Benitez and George John. We continue to see the emergence of youth players like Coy Craft, the return of familiar guys like Atiba Harris, and the heralding of new faces like Michael Barrios.
But despite the potential of young, dynamic playmakers, sometimes we look back at our projected lineups, saved in some obscure folder somewhere on our hard drive, and wonder - what ever happened to that guy who once poured out his sweat on to Pizza Hut... err... FC Dallas... err... Toyota Park? What happened to that one player "who got away"? Are they married now? Doing well? Happy?
Do they miss us?
I can't answer all those questions, sadly, but I can try.
One of the big departures for FC Dallas this offseason was the release of stalwart CB, George John. I'm a huge fan of the guy. He was a monstrous presence on the back line, but injuries derailed his playing time and future as of late. Without any assurance that he could get back on the field soon, FC Dallas wisely cut him loose. New York City FC, led by Jason Kreis, snagged him in the Expansion Draft. Kreis recently had some juicy tidbits about John's future:
"He looked good, a big smile on his face," said head coach Jason Kreis, who met with John for the first time on Wednesday. "He said he feels like he’s already in a much more positive place than he was six or eight months ago, so I think he feels pretty confident about it and I know that our medical staff feels very confident about it.
"This could be a major addition for us, which really isn’t gaining any attention by anybody, which that’s fantastic by me. If George John were to come healthy at the end of the season, that would be fantastic for this club."
Joining him at NYCFC is Andrew Jacobson who has started every game for his squad and appears to be a bit rejuvenated after losing his place in the depth chart at FCD.
Staying in New York with the Red Bulls, Dax McCarty definitely slots into that category as "the one who got away". Who is that red-headed maestro serving a delicious long ball into a hungry Bradley Wright-Phillips? Damn it, Dax, quit breaking our hearts.
Another Red Bulls player and former FCD fan favorite, Eric Alexander, experienced another switch, moving to the Montreal Impact over the offseason. He has yet to play for Montreal, although chances are they will need him soon. Fascinatingly enough, Tim Cahill said some flattering things about playing with Eric:
"Eric Alexander, the most consistent player I ever played with at the Red Bulls, a player that me and Thierry spoke very highly of time and time again"
Down further south, Orlando City FC seems to be generating some good buzz from locals in their inaugural season. Brek Shea and Eric Avila are both getting serious minutes for the squad. Is Shea going to be a good left back? We'll see.
Back in Toronto, former FCD regular Jackson has yet to make an appearance for the squad this season, but he and his wife did celebrate the birth of their first child.
In the northwest, Seattle still has Kenny Cooper on the roster, but the big striker has not been training with the team. He appears to be embroiled in negotiations or a stall over salary size and salary cap issues for Seattle. Is he being shopped? Will he be released? I feel legitimately bad for the guy, one of the hardest workers in the league.
Another FCD legend, Kevin Hartman, continues to grow in confidence as a color commentator on MLS matches, most recently Orlando City's game against Vancouver.
Outside of MLS
FCD legend David Ferreira continues to contribute in Columbia at Atletico Huila. Click here to see Atletico Huila's Facebook feed and watch a recent penalty kick from El Capitan that led his team to victory.
Jair Benitez is also in Columbia, signed by Aguilas Pereira. You can read a little bit (in Spanish) about his signing here. Good to see these guys finding a place to contribute and close out their careers back home.
Andres Escobar is back on loan again, this time to Atletico Nacional. While he played hard and decently for FCD, in the end, he wasn't worth the price. You can read his info here.
Julian de Guzman has floated around Canada here lately and as of Friday signed with NASL side Ottawa.
Marvin Chavez trained with FC Dallas over the offseason but then signed with the San Antonio Scorpions, rumored to be a future MLS expansion team. The Scorpions have a nice piece about Chavez' experience with Honduras in the World Cup.
Eric Hassli is no longer with San Antonio and continues his decline into the MASL with the Las Vegas Legends. Reddit has the story (and typical reaction).
Staying in the NASL, Adam Moffat signed with the New York Cosmos. At least he won't have to worry about getting traded twice within a year. Another brief FCD name, Kyle Zobeck, kept around as a 4th keeper for one season, is getting action with the Cosmos as well.
Raul Fernandez returned to his native Peru to play for Universatario. He has gotten some vital minutes there too, even if he made a costly blooper that led to a losing goal. My Spanish is pretty awful, but "blooper" seems to be a universal word now. See the video for yourself below (not great quality).
How can I not close this thing out without talking about FCD's most successful coach (I think) - Schellas Hyndman? Grand Canyon University, a new for-profit university, announced Hyndman as their first ever soccer head coach, aiming to help them build a competitive team. Not a bad choice, considering his success at SMU. If you are really bored, go dig up his Youtube clips to hear that familiar, enchanting, gravelly voice and pine for the good old days. Or just read a summary here.
Look, I don't miss Coach Hyndman, but right now, I'm thankful for him. He brought us Ryan Hollingshead. That alone tempers might disdain for the old guy, at least for now.
And let's be honest - this is always crazy (and fun) to watch:
Did I miss anyone? Share links, names, and memories below.