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Fernando Clavijo reflects on the OKC partnership and future Homegrown players

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The future continues to look bright for FC Dallas.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Oklahoma City Energy at FC Dallas Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

As a part of our recent discussion with FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo, we dove into some other big subjects revolving around the club.

One topic that always comes up is the USL partnership and the affiliation the team has with Oklahoma City Energy FC. FC Dallas sent three players to OKC this season and all three picked up the experience they need for moving forward with the club.

“I feel great about it,” said Clavijo. “I think that last year when they (OKC Energy FC) lost the finals against LA Galaxy II, I was at the game and I came back to Dallas and knew we had the right partners, people, environment, the right coach, the ownership is first class. Everything that has happened throughout the year has been great. I think being close, well closer than Arizona anyways, has been good. Anyone can go up there for the game and drive back in the same day. It gives us a chance to see our players.”

Two players in particular got more minutes in OKC than anyone else in rookies Colin Bonner and Timo Pitter. Clavijo was pleased with how well the two were able to perform during their time away.

“I’m extremely happy for Timo,” said Clavijo. “He didn’t have much of a chance here with the first team. But every time I saw him in OKC he was scoring goals. The same thing with Bonner. I’m excited though because both of them are good players. I thought they helped out in the games that they played and hopefully they can help us in the future.”

Both players have options with FC Dallas for next season and it will be interesting to see if their time in OKC will be enough to get them picked up for 2017.

Some of us wondered throughout the year as to why more players were not sent to OKC for a brief loan to get experience. The answer was pretty simple out of the club’s technical director.

“The guys that did go there did well,” explained Clavijo. “They helped OKC. The purpose is to get a piece of the pie and everybody benefits from this. Its difficult though because we have a lot of competitions. Its not easy because when you send players there, then you lack the numbers in training here.”

Clavijo did say that things could change with that next season as the club looks to add more talent from their academy system that won a few national titles in 2016.

“We have some very good talent,” said Clavijo. “Some might not be able to go straight into first team but they train with the first team every day, which is going to help them grow and develop quicker.”