Yes, you are reading this right - it’s time to talk about the future of our right back situation again. The last time we covered the right back position was when Reggie was rumored to depart, and here we are again. How quickly things change.
This time, it’s Bryan Reynolds on his way east, per reports from 3rd Degree:
To add a little flame to that fire, I can confirm during our last Big D After Dark that we may or may not have had some affirmation of this rumor from someone close to the situation.
Why Bryan? Why Now?
Reynolds stepped in after Reggie Cannon’s departure and frankly outperformed all expectations. Sure, we expected to see some positives from the youngster in the role, but we likely anticipated some struggles as he continued to acclimate. In reality, we saw him mostly thrive, ending with three assists across 1200 minutes.
He changed games and was solid.
In the most recent two playoff games, while Bryan may not have looked his best, he was solid, helping limit Jordan Morris and Nico Lodeiro to zero goals from the run of play. It’s hard to ask more of a youngster getting a start in a big moment like a playoff match.
I have my hunch on why Bryan was a little more reserved and on edge, beyond just the pressure cooker of a playoff match. If this transfer looms, playing on an artificial surface must be nerve-wracking. There is no quicker way to get a deal to fall through then some weird injury on one of those fake fields. Bryan was likely cautious due to the game state and his role but also due to a little concern about his future.
Ultimately, Bryan Reynolds is a great signing for Juventus because he has the potential to bring an attacking and defensive mix that a lot of teams look for in outside backs. And he is young and has plenty of time to be molded into more of a defensive stalwart or even pushed farther up in an aggressive role. Buy now before he gets better and more expensive in a year or two.
Of course, there’s a chance Bryan’s ultimate deal involves him being loaned back to Dallas for another year of development, and that might be a strong move by Juventus to insure Reynolds is getting more minutes and opportunity. We’ll see.
Who might step up if Reynolds does depart this winter?
Ryan Hollingshead: Just like last time, Ryan is the first option that comes to mind. He is a veteran, can play all over the field, and represents a tried and true guy who is ready to step in and lock down that spot. The downside, of course, is that we lack depth at left back. While Johnny Nelson has been getting more and more minutes at left back, we haven’t seen Nelson quite take to the role like Hollingshead has.
Still, if Luchi wants to keep this team moving forward, plug in Hollingshead at right back and move on.
Eddie Munjoma: Frankly, Eddie is ready, in my opinion. Because of the pandemic, Munjoma didn’t get as many minutes as would have been nice at North Texas SC this past year, but when he finally did get in, he was one of the players to help NTSC turn around their season and push for a final spot. Munjoma is 22, so he’s had a bit more seasoning than some of the other younger options. I think he brought a little more attacking sensibility than Reggie did, if not as much as Reynolds.
I am betting Munjoma is the next guy up in 2021.
Justin Che: One of the newest signings for FC Dallas, Justin Che is FC Dallas’ 30th homegrown defender, and he deserved the jump up the chart to the senior team. At just 17 years old, he is young but has made his mark with North Texas SC, playing centrally and at right back to give the squad some extra flexibility. He represents an outside shot at the right back position with Reynolds leaving, as you would like to see him develop and compete a bit more with the senior squad. But, hey, 2020 has been nuts, so 2021 could be even more bizarre.
I don’t think though that Che gets the nod quite yet.
Wildcard: It’s possible that the next right back isn’t on this list or they are currently playing in another position. FC Dallas has had a history of slotting in guys to different positions when the need arises. Maybe one of the guys struggling to get minutes in the midfield would be open to a position switch? Maybe Fafa Picault could emerge as a plug and play veteran as an outside back if needed? Bressan, if he sticks around, also could earn minutes there.
What do you think? Who is next up if Bryan Reynolds departs this winter?