As FC Dallas begins their preseason camp in Argentina today, we thought it would be a good time to take stock of who the team has in each position and evaluate any remaining holes that are left to fill.
Today, we start with the goalkeepers and the back four. For clarity, the presumed starter will be listed in bold, while players that haven’t been signed will be in italics.
Natural: Chris Seitz, Jesse Gonzalez
Emergency: Ryan Hollingshead
For now there are two keepers on the books, both capable of being the main starter on any given day. Seitz is the incumbent but we all know how that goes as Gonzalez was in that same role going into last season. There are no backups behind them at the moment but I would imagine there will be some additions made before the season begins to get a third keeper into the roster.
Late edit: We totally forgot about the man-bun wonder in goal. And for that we apologize.
Natural: Reggie Cannon, Hernan Grana
Capable: Atiba Harris, Ryan Hollingshead, Kellyn Acosta
Emergency: Anibal Chala, Maynor Figueroa, Aaron Guillen
I’d argue that this may be the weakest position that FCD has at the moment too. Right now, the club’s best option at right back is a Homegrown player in Reggie Cannon. He is really the only natural right back of the bunch but the big question will be if he can beat out the likes of veterans Atiba Harris and Ryan Hollingshead for that starting role.
One option could also be Hernan Grana in this area should FCD sign him.
While I think Cannon has the ability to be the guy long-term for FC Dallas in this spot, there may be some serious growing pains in this area early on this season. We could end up seeing Anibal Chala slot in on this side if he doesn’t beat out Maynor Figueroa but I think it may be safe to assume he’ll stick it out on the left side.
Edit: Grana signing is now official. So we have added him into the natural spot here.
Natural: Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, Aaron Guillen, Walker Hume
Capable: Maynor Figueroa
Emergency: Atiba Harris
There is no beating around it, FC Dallas has two firm starters at center back in Matt Hedges and Walker Zimmerman. Outside of those two, things get pretty thin in a hurry. You have a Homegrown backup and an unsigned rookie behind them. That folks is thin.
The team does have options outside of that but I tend not to want to lean too heavily on Harris or Figueroa in this spot if we don’t have to for more than a game.
Oscar Pareja does like to experiment with new players in the defense and I tend to wonder who will be a project in the back this season for him. He’s done a lot with players converting from the midfield wings to the defensive wings. I kind of believe his next gamble may be in the middle of the defense if he gets in a pinch this season. Maybe a Victor Ulloa gets a run in the center of the defense? I don’t know, but it is a thought that has crossed my mind a couple times over the last year.
Natural: Maynor Figueroa, Anibal Chala
Capable: Atiba Harris, Ryan Hollingshead
Emergency: Aaron Guillen, Reggie Cannon, Kellyn Acosta
The more I look at the left back situation, the more I actually feel good about it going into the season. You have Figueroa and Chala. Then there are the reports that the club could get Carlos Cermeno as well for this area. That puts the likelihood of one of the emergency options from having to spend any time in this position this season.
Aside from that, I am very intrigued by what Chala can bring to the table this season for FCD. I assume he will beat out the veteran Figueroa for the starting spot as Pareja has really wanted to focus on upgrading his outside backs this offseason.
That does it for the defensive area. Later this week we’ll tackle the midfield and forwards.