Normally our staff discussion pieces (or Quick Burn as we call it), are about what FC Dallas is doing or not doing at the moment. This week we thought it would be good to spice it up a bit with a look at some guys that we would love to see the club target following this World Cup that is being played in Russia. Some players are pipe dreams, others are not but for the most part we’re looking at guys that could realistically land here.
Let us know below of one guy in Russia right now that you think could actually be signed this summer and why you think it would work.
Nathan Hill - Artem Dzyuba
Have Russia been the surprise of the World Cup or just the recipient of the easiest group in World Cup history? I don’t really care, but Artem Dzyuba, a tall 6’4” striker who plays for Zenit Saint Petersburg, has been scoring some goals on the world’s biggest stage. Frankly, at 29 years old, he’s probably more of a late game kind of striker who can get on a few headers, but why wouldn’t an MLS team take a look at him, splash some cash, and bring in the lanky forward to pair with someone?
But actually, this move would make sense for a team like the Colorado Rapids or DC United, not FC Dallas, so ignore this suggestion (unless you are the head coach of the Rapids).
On FC Dallas’ front, I’d love for FC Dallas to think hard about a loan for a promising youngster getting a first taste of the World Cup - someone like Icelandic forward Albert Gudmundsson at PSV Eindhoven or an up and coming player from Panama. Do your scouting, Fernando!
Jose Carmona - Mohammad Al-Sahlawi
Al-Sahlawi is 31 years old, and would be a TAM signing. He had 16 goals in qualifying, the most for any World Cup qualifying team.
FCD needs a veteran striker, who can come in late and do whatever is necessary to get a goal.
Al-Sahlawi plays in the Saudi League, and while his best days are behind him, he can still be another scoring option off the bench.
It's not a sexy option, but it is a very realistic option.
Jared Tilley - Juan Quintero
Quintero is a 25 year old attacking midfielder for Colombia. He was the guy who scored the free kick goal against Japan. Quintero might only be 25 years old, but he is well traveled and looking for a place to settle into. His parent club is Porto and they have owned him since 2014. However, he hasn’t been able to find his way into their first team squad for a myriad of reason. When Porto initially signed Quintero they had a $40m release clause on him. With his struggles over the last couple of years, they aren’t expecting to receive that kind of money in return for him.
Quintero is currently on loan at River Plate and can be purchased for $5m. If FC Dallas would make a move on Quintero it would have to wait until December. JQ would be a great replacement for Mauro Diaz in the middle of the field. His play is slightly different in that he has a bit more pace to run at players. Where as Mauro will finesse his way by players, JQ is able to finesse or just blow by them with speed. Like Mauro, JQ is able to see and deliver that decisive pass to unlock defenses.
FC Dallas will have to open up the pocket book to make a move like this happen, but his price tag fits right in with a DP quality MLS player.
Jeff Loftin - Arnor Trautason (Iceland), Nawaf Al-Abed (Saudi Arabia), or Edwin Cardona (Colombia)
We need attacking help. Wingers and versatile players are a necessity moving forward. Trautason is an Icelandic attacker who can play along the left or right side of midfield and as a winger on both sides. His value is what intrigues me the most: at 25 years old his value is about $1.2 million. He is quick, tall-ish and very sound technically. Look out for this guy if he gets minutes this summer in Russia.
Nawaf Al-Abed is not the typical target for MLS teams in that he plays in his own domestic league and is in his late 20s already. At 28 years old he is not a young guy but he has speed to burn and plays all across the attacking midfield, both wide and centrally. He has 8 goals for the Saudis even if he struggled with injury this spring for his team, missing two and a half months. His value sits at about $1.9 million, which would be good value at this point for his talent level.
Lastly, and this is a pipe dream of course, is Edwin Cardona of Colombia. He is 25 years old and plays left wing and attacking midfield for Boca Juniors presently. This would be our star of the future, a DP for us with many years left to play. His value sits above what we’ve paid for much of the roster at just over $6 million, but whoever snatches this guy up will have their dynamic #10 of the next 6-7 years. Doubtful, but still fun to speculate about.
Drew Epperley - Joel Campbell (Costa Rica)
I know Fernando Clavijo and Dan Hunt went “different” this past offseason with the signings of Reto Ziegler and Anton Nedyalkov. I’d like to see them go all out on someone like Campbell though as the club still lacks a true go-to scorer these days. Campbell has always been one of those players that MLS teams have kept an eye on but have never seemed to land. The 25-year old has been loaned out every season from Arsenal since 2011 with his most recent spells in Spain with Betis. He would easily be the #9 that the club has been searching for years for. The only downside of him is his injury history.