After a couple months of being away from the field, FC Dallas players will take to the practice grounds today for the start of preseason camp. The team will gather today for the first time in official capacity in 2018 as the team gears up for their 23rd season in MLS.
As the camp begins, there are still plenty of questions to ask of this team and where things are going. Here are a few key storylines to keep watch over as the team gets ready for their first preseason game in a couple weeks.
Green card watch
After Friday’s SuperDraft, many of you were quick to point out that FC Dallas as a large number of internationals on the roster and not enough international roster slots to put them all. To me that means a couple of things as camp begins. First, there has to be a couple players close to getting a green card or have already gotten one but the club has yet to announce it. I would suspect that guys like Michael Barrios, Maynor Figueroa and potentially even Carlos Gruezo are close to getting the all-important green card.
Then there is the question on Adonijah Reid, who is a Canadian international. His roster status has always been a bit of a question mark but it could be possible that he won’t count as an international for FC Dallas. This report from back in 2016 claims that he may be able to meet that designation thanks to his Generation adidas tag.
Big D Soccer has reached out to FC Dallas over this matter and will update you all on when we get any new information.
Anibal Chala saga
Is he going to be sold? Is he going to be loaned? That is still the question on all of our minds at the moment. Sunday evening FC Dallas emailed out a preseason camp preview to media and listed out the current roster for FCD. On that was a line about Chala. Next to his name was a little tag that stated “on loan”.
Nothing has been formally announced by the club, something we expect to hear this week.
We know Oscar Pareja loves to have competition at every spot on his roster. Some areas have really strong competition this preseason, while other spots could still use a little more work.
The big thing I’ll be watching are the two new rookies that got drafted last Friday and how they work their way into the depth charts. Ema Twumasi and Francis Atuahene are both speedy wingers by trade, how they slot into the left or right wings will be fun to see this preseason. I know a lot of you would like to see one of them unseat Roland Lamah on the left, but at least right now he has some competition, where he didn’t really a year ago.
Another one fun to watch will be in the center midfield. I would imagine Gruezo and Kellyn Acosta are locks for a starting position but the depth behind them is really strong this season with the likes of Victor Ulloa, Jacori Hayes and rookie Homegrown Brandon Servania.
Year of the Homegrown?
Speaking of Servania, FC Dallas added him and two other HGPs this offseason to reinforce their youth movement. While the team continues to employ a lot of young talent, the question remains, how will these guys get minutes in 2018?
I know one young guy that I am eager to see push for a roster spot this year is Bryan Reynolds. The young forward didn’t see the field at all for the first team in 2017, as he was busy with Dallas Cup and US youth national team duty for the majority of the year. But going into 2018, he looks more like a professional than a kid.
Allocation top spot selection
The last big thing to keep in the back of our minds is the matter of when FC Dallas will use their top Allocation spot to sign someone this year. After trading for the spot from LAFC, we’ve seen a couple rumors over the last month as to who the club would use the spot on.
My gut tells me we won’t see anything done this winter/spring with the top spot as the club will wait until the summer following the World Cup when players tend to move around more.
What are some storylines that you are following this preseason? Let us know below.