The 2020 MLS season is approaching fast and for FC Dallas they are looking to finalize their roster as much as they can before the roster compliance date at the start of the season.
With the MLS CBA cleared up, and roster spaces still open, our staff looks at what they believe are the missing pieces to the puzzle. Let us know what you think is still missing from the depth charts below.
El Chico Carmona - Magician
I know that everyone will gripe about our left wing or our #9, but you won't be getting that from me.
I think FCD has the answers they need already on the roster. I'm even happy about the depth at each position. The one thing that FCD lacks, is that magic man that can create something out of nothing. When the game is a stalemate, and headed for a draw, who's going to create that last minute opportunity that leads to 3 points? When the team is trailing, who's going to right the ship?
FCD has several players that could potentially be that magic player one day, but they're not there yet, and there's no guarantee that they'll become that player this season.
Nathan Hill - MLS Veteran Center back
Matt Hedges is the most important defensive player and team leader for FC Dallas, and if there is one area the team hasn’t done much during the offseason, it’s find that veteran presence for depth on the back end. Hedges has been absolutely solid over the course of his career, but a nightmare scenario would be an injury or situation that kept him off the field for an extended run. Reto Ziegler has been an important presence and should pair with Hedges once again on that back line, but he isn’t getting younger and suffered a slight dip in form over the late summer last season. Bressan remains an intriguing veteran with experience and a lot of physical tools, but there have been rumors of a possible exit and some of his play on the field was reckless to say the least. The jury is still out on how he will fit in and if he will continue to adjust to the league.
Beyond those three, you are looking at Callum Montgomery who could battle Bressan for the 3rd spot but still needs growth and adjustment at this level. Callum showed improvement in his time with North Texas SC, but it’s a big jump up back to MLS. I wonder if Montgomery won’t be a candidate for a loan to a USL-C side. Nkosi Burgess is a rookie with plenty of experience and physical tools that are perfect for this team, but it’d be quite an amazing story for Burgess to challenge for a spot behind Reto right away. We just don't know what to expect from him yet.
With that said, a minimum priced veteran CB via a waiver draft or some other mechanism would be a great security blanket with a grueling season on the horizon and fill the last hole lingering for this roster. Even better if the guy can slot in at outside back in a pinch.
Jeff Loftin - Young Central Defender, Maestro, Poacher
The team needs someone who is less than 30 years old to play CB. I’m not sold on our options at this point and would like to see the team add at least one CB. That being said, I like the starting duo we have right now, but they could use some competition from some younger guys.
In regards to the middle of the field, we have missed a playmaker the likes of which the franchise has known before multiple times. Perhaps the young guys could fill in (Pax/Jesus/etc) but they still seem a bit early on in that process.
Lastly I’d like to see someone take over the striker position, and yes I am aware we bought Jara, but he isn’t here until the summer. We need goals and we need them badly so let’s get a striker or pray someone develops.
Jason Poon - Dynamic Right Winger
This isn’t a knock against Michael Barrios. I’m just talking about his back up or future replacement in years to come. Maybe it’s Bryan Reynolds, maybe not. But I’m talking about a guy with blistering pace and with a donkey’s first touch. Just a raw guy who on one play looks like a world beater, and on the next play looks like a rec league player. There’s a lot of balance everywhere on the roster, but no one that’s capable of the truly spectacular and ridiculous (in both the good and bad way).
Scott Hiney – Attacking Prowess
I’m caught somewhere between where Jason and Jose fall, as I think there’s an equally-sized gap in the roster at both the winger and attacking midfield positions — a hole that could become problematic later in the season when fatigue and injuries undoubtedly take their toll on the squad.
I think the Santiago Mosquera-Fafa Picault duo on the left side might be sufficient, but I’m still cautious since we haven’t seen Fafa in real action yet for FCD and we’re more than familiar with Santiago’s limitations. On the right side, as Jason pointed out, the line of first-team talent is thin behind Barrios, at least as things stand currently.
At the same time, however, things seem equally-suspect at the attacking midfield position IF Jesus Ferreira doesn’t spend a good chunk of his minutes alongside Paxton Pomykal in that role. If he does, consider that a solid, high-upside area of the depth chart. If he doesn’t, though, I’m concerned over Paxton’s ability to feature there season-long, as his legs are still young and a player who’s finding his potential on-the-fly isn’t always pretty or consistent.
An additional move to bring in help at either of these places in the attack would increase my confidence in the roster’s readiness for the rigors of fighting for position in what should be a very competitive Western Conference.
Ryan Scanlon - (A younger?) Left back
Hollingshead, don’t be upset, I appreciate you. You’re slowly approaching Zach Loyd level love from the FC Dallas faithful. Though, I think sometimes that we need a Reggie Cannon-type guy on the other side of the field. A left back that was born and bred in the position that may have a little more speed to him. The one flaw to this though is that quality outside backs are extremely rare in this current era of MLS. We’re very blessed to have a player like Reggie Cannon, but if we had another Reggie Cannon that happened to play left back...That would be solid.