The offseason can be long and cruel at times but FC Dallas has made a lot of good work of their time so far. Between trades, transfers and loans, the team has retained a lot of the core roster from 2019 and are making solid tweaks to fill in the gaps along the way.
Here are some things that I like that they’ve done and a couple of items that I think are still left on the table for them to sort out before next season.
What they needed to do
Trade Badji - check
Whether you liked Dominque Badji or not, this was a move the team needed to explore this offseason. I think most FCD fans would agree on such. He was a good guy in the locker room but on the field he never really fit into what Luchi Gonzalez was looking to do. The fact that FCD was able to get as much allocation out of the deal with Nashville as they did was just an added bonus in my book.
Sign a left midfielder - check
The Fafa Picault move took me a bit by surprise but at the end of the day I do think he’s a solid fit for this roster. The club always likes to get good locker room guys and Picault is certainly one of those from everyone I’ve talked to with the Union.
I’m very curious to see if he can jump Santiago Mosquera in the depth charts by opening day too.
Add defensive depth - half way there
Landing defensive midfielder Thiago Santos is half of the puzzle for me in this roster construction for 2020. The other side is adding some central defensive depth. I know the club has some decent back up options to Matt Hedges and Reto Ziegler in Callum Montgomery, Bressan, and even a guys like John Nelson or Ryan Hollingshead.
My worry is that those guys aren’t enough for the long haul. Montgomery isn’t MLS ready just yet in my mind after seeing his play with North Texas SC. He’s almost there but I think he needs just a little more time. Bressan on the other hand is such a wildcard in my mind as a starter in MLS. He’s solid at times and then totally reckless the other times. Until he sorts that part out, I get a bit nervous about him as a back up should Hedges or Ziegler go down for any length of time.
Lock up some HGPs long term - check
Yesterday’s news that the club extended Jesus Ferreira’s contract to a TAM deal that runs through 2023 was great to see happen. That and Paxton Pomykal’s new contract extension at the end of the season shows that the club is on the right path to rewarding young players as they produce on the field.
What is left to do
Loan deal for Aranguiz - TBD
I think in a way this is the next thing to get done here this offseason. The latest reports suggest he’ll stay in Chile for another loan season but it won’t be with the same club.
Club Universidad de Chile appear to be the next landing spot for the young midfielder. Getting this sorted out means FC Dallas will have an open Designated Player slot to use in 2020.
Sign a No. 9 - TBD
Speaking of that open DP slot, the place it needs to be focused on the most has to be filling the giant hole that is the club’s No. 9 position. While I think Zdenek Ondrasek did a pretty solid job at finding the back of the net towards the end of the season, I would still prefer to see the club go out and spend some DP-level money on a proven goal scorer that can bring in 15-20 goals in a season.
That may be a tall ask for the organization to do here but if Technical Director Andre Zanotta really wants to make his mark on the roster this offseason, this is the place to do it.
Sort out Cannon’s contact
With Pomykal and Ferreira entering into new TAM-level contracts, the only Homegrown left without a new deal, that really truly needs one, is Reggie Cannon. He’s in the final year of his rookie deal, which we all know isn’t paying him that much (less than $100k in 2019). The club is in an interesting spot too with Reggie. They can spend the entire year trying to work out a new deal or spend the entire year working on finding a good landing spot for him in the transfer market. If he can earn a couple of more starts with the US national side, I think that will only help is case in getting a transfer at some point in 2020.
Sign another HGP or two
We’re so used to seeing this happen year after year now that it would be awfully strange if we went into 2020 without a new HGP to get excited about. Personally, I’d love to see what Arturo Rodriguez from North Texas SC could do with some MLS minutes. Also, rewarding a guy like Eddie Munjoma from SMU would be good to see as well.
Draft for North Texas SC
January’s college draft isn’t far away and while the reports of it no longer being a bigger deal in person this year remains to be seem, I do think that FC Dallas’ strategy for it needs to change just a bit in 2020. Right now, FCD has two first round picks (#14 and #17 thanks to a trade with DCU) and all I can see them doing with those picks is getting guys for NTSC in 2020. With so few roster spots left as it is right now, those picks would have way more value spending time in the USL1 like Montgomery and Nelson did in 2019.