For the last several months, FC Dallas fans had hoped that the club would be able to sign one of the top youth talents out there in midfielder Weston McKennie. The now 18-year old was one of the top academy players in the system for FC Dallas over the last couple years and he had been rumored to join German side FC Schalke once he turned 18.
Now that he has reached that milestone (at least in age), the two sides made it official today.
The big bummer in this isn’t just losing a talent like McKennie to another club overseas but the fact that FC Dallas will pretty much get nothing in return for this move. Yes, nothing. McKennie may have been developed here in Frisco but given how Schalke waited until he was 18 to sign him basically means they got him on a free transfer.
FC Dallas did attempt to sign him earlier this summer to a Homegrown deal. Sources to Big D Soccer state that the club offered him a fairly high HGP deal, somewhere in the $150k range, but not the best one in league history that a guy like Gyasi Zardes got with the LA Galaxy a few years ago.
In the end the offer from Schalke was too good to pass on for the young midfielder.
It may be easy to place blame on FCD for losing out on a promising young talent, or to the way things are currently set up in MLS and US Soccer for how easy foreign clubs can take talent away. At the end of the day, if a young player like McKennie wants to go, he is going to go. FCD could have offered more money but there is only a limited amount of money set aside by MLS for HGP deals. FCD could have signed him earlier but there is always a risk of signing a guy too soon (I’d argue that was the case with Alejandro Zendejas).
It stinks but really FCD needs to focus on the next HGP in my book. Go for a Devin Vega, Paxton Pomykal, or Jesus Ferreria. Any of those three would be perfect to sign now and start developing.