The post season is always a tricky time for MLS clubs these days. Between the time span of either November or December starting the offseason, along with the random amounts of drafts and systems that teams have to deal with, planning ahead is always a big element in constructing a roster.
FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo recently sat down with Big D Soccer to discuss the club’s plans for what is to come and how the team is set for their roster.
“We are pretty safe looking forward,” said Clavijo. “Zach Loyd is going to be out of contract but he is still out with a concussion. For this year, it is most likely that he isn’t going to get back. The other one is Atiba Harris. Everybody else is set or has an option on their contract.”
FC Dallas has several players on long-term deals including key players like Walker Zimmerman (who is signed through 2018), Mauro Diaz (2019), Homegrown players Kellyn Acosta and Victor Ulloa (both 2018) and utility guys like Ryan Hollingshead and Tesho Akindele (both 2018). Clavijo anticipates adding more players to long-term deals once the season wraps up for the club.
Clavijo knows he has to get his roster in as good of a position as he can with an upcoming Expansion Draft set for just a couple days after MLS Cup kicks off. Knowing that his team has won two trophies this season already, Clavijo states that he hopes to do everything he can to not lose anyone this time around.
“Our decisions are not going to be made based on one play or one game,” explains Clavijo. “It is going to be from throughout the season. It is pretty safe to say that we have enough meaning throughout the year that it is going to be difficult because all of them are good players. Trying to figure out who you risk that they may not take but everybody wants to take a piece of a good team.”
The one saving grace for Clavijo in the draft may be that there are only ten total picks, half of what previous two team expansion drafts have been in the past.
“You can only lose one player,” said Clavijo. “Its better but you still don’t want to lose anyone. Hopefully what we do is allows us to continue to play with what we want to do for the future.”