Upon the season’s conclusion, it became clear that FC Dallas’ affiliation with the Oklahoma City Energy FC was a productive one. Playing and maturing three young FC Dallas loanees, Jimmy Nielsen and his staff reiterated the reason as to why Dallas agreed to the affiliation, to find young players valuable minutes.
Analyzing the development among Timo Pitter, Coy Craft, and Colin Bonner, the two clubs’ affiliation blossomed more than anticipated. With such impressive results from their previous loanees, there is no doubt that FC Dallas will reinstate their deal with the Energy, stretching the friendship for another year.
If the two clubs re-up for another season, Dallas fans should expect another round of youngsters to spend time up north in Oklahoma City.
Excluding the previous three Dallas players who resided in OKC last season, here are three more FC Dallas youngsters who may find themselves developing on loan next year with the Energy FC.
1. Ryan Herman
Selected 17th overall by FC Dallas in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, Washington alum Ryan Herman found himself unused as the club’s third-string goalkeeper behind Chris Seitz and Jesse Gonzalez. Having made zero appearances for Oscar Pareja’s side this season, a loan spell for the 23-year-old to the Energy could give the massive 6’7” goalkeeper valuable playing time. Although Oklahoma City already has two amazing goalkeepers with Cody Laurendi and CJ Cochran, having the opportunity to train under former MLS goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen would boost Herman’s career significantly.
2. Paxton Pomykal
Signed as FC Dallas’ fifteenth Homegrown Player earlier this season, 16-year-old midfielder Paxton Pomykal has a long way to go until he can earn valuable minutes with Oscar Pareja’s senior side. Showing huge upside and promise, Pomykal has appeared consistently with the United States’ youth national sides, playing a huge part in the U-18’s 4-2 win against the Czech Republic that saw the United States lift the 2016 Vaclav Jezek Tournament Championship in late August.
Much like Coy Craft, Pomykal would have the chance to be another FC Dallas Homegrown player spending time with the OKC Energy. With Craft impressing hugely, the 16-year-old midfielder will hope to emulate his predecessor’s example, hopefully returning to Dallas sooner than expected to partake frequently with the first team.
3. Aaron Guillen
Joining FC Dallas’s academy back in 2011, 23-year-old Homegrown defender Aaron Guillen has slowly progressed since his initial arrival. As an El Paso native, Guillen elected to attend college at Florida Gulf Coast University where he started in 67 matches, scoring one goal and providing four assists. Upon completing his senior season, Guillen earned himself the right to sign as one of Dallas’ many Homegrown players. Making only two appearances for Pareja’s side this season, the 23-year-old defender has endured minimal match time while in Dallas, accumulating a total of 106 minutes played.
Under the coaching of the Energy’s Jimmy Nielsen, Guillen could find himself consistent starting minutes alongside with one of the USL’s best defenses in the 2016 season. Pairing with either Cyprian Hedrick or Coady Andrews in the center, Guillen could adapt quickly as well as develop hugely with the help under Nielsen and company.