How high can an American soccer club’s stock rise in less than 24 hours?
FC Dallas is about to find out after a consequential day early in 2021. Let’s recap.
Two Homegrowns Make USMNT Debuts
Yesterday evening in Orlando, Florida, the United States Men’s National Team completed its January camp with an assortment of mostly young domestic players on the fringe of the squad against a young Trinidad & Tobago squad. The result really was never going to be in doubt, as Trinidad & Tobago simply do not have the depth against a far larger nation like the US, but it was still an opportunity for a lot of players to showcase their skills. Two FC Dallas players got their first tastes of USMNT action of 2021.
Jesus Ferreira, appearing for the second time for the US, started the game in a False 9 role, and the kid was absolutely unstoppable.
Jesus ended the match with two goals and three assists. No, that’s not a misprint. T&T were unable to cope with the young man. Is this a glimmer of what Luchi Gonzalez was looking for when playing Jesus underneath Franco Jara down the stretch last season? Is this the same skillset that Gregg Berhalter hopes to unlock in potential Olympic play this summer?
Tanner Tessmann made his USMNT debut as a late sub, and while didn’t have or need to do anything spectacular, showed his poise and passing skill. He’s young and has time to grow into a potential mainstay in that lineup. What a night for him.
Also, his godfather who recruited him to come kick footballs at Clemson, which Tanner turned down to go pro with FC Dallas, was watching in the stands sporting some familiar gear with love and pride:
With European transfer windows closing, is there still time for a team or two to inquire about either youngster for a loan or a deal? Maybe. Maybe not. The better suggestion would be to expect strong seasons for Tanner and Jesus in 2021.
Chris Richards to Hoffenheim
Another FC Dallas player whose stock has been going up is defender Chris Richards. Chris didn't play a minute for FC Dallas, but that didn’t stop Bayern Munich from snatching up the youngster. Dallas evidently has some stake in any future transfer for the player, so it’s big news that Richards is going on loan to Hoffenheim. He’ll get more minutes to develop and tempt that club to purchase him outright or attract other interests.
This move could pay dividends down the road for Dallas and bolster their reputation as a producer of world class talent.
Bryan Reynolds to AS Roma Is Done
This morning, the transfer saga finally ended. Bryan Reynolds flew to Italy yesterday to complete his physical and sign on the dotted line. His sale from FC Dallas to AS Roma is official, making Reynolds only the second American player ever sold to the historic club after Michael Bradley. This concludes an up and down transfer process that included Juventus, Club Brugge, and the ultimate winners AS Roma in the mix for the homegrown.
Bryan Reynolds, 19-year-old from Fort Worth, TX has joined Roma from Dallas. Juventus were also interested in the dynamic right-back who becomes latest in wave of young Americans flocking to Europe to test their tactical and technical abilities at the highest levels. Godspeed pic.twitter.com/6g6r3bYdL3— roger bennett (@rogbennett) February 1, 2021
We’ve reported on the story before. According to the Athletic, “the deal, worth $8.5 million up front, increases to $11 million with bonuses.”
FC Dallas has officially announced the transfer and indicates that it is a loan with purchase in the summer transfer window.
In a short heartfelt thank you note to the fans, Bryan shares a bit of the whirlwind journey this year has been for him:
We wish Bryan the best, and now the pressure shifts back to FC Dallas. They have another open roster spot and money to spend. What will they do? How many other clubs are going to come and take a look at the talented youngsters who are eager to prove themselves in Europe? FC Dallas, with this deal, have shown their ability to negotiate with multiple big time suitors and get a financially lucrative deal across the finish line. FC Dallas’ stock is on the rise. How many players connected to the academy are going to show up for practice extra hard this week, dreaming of what might come?
Ultimately, it’s a huge 24 hours for FC Dallas. You can’t ask for much more. We are seeing what happens when you develop and play your kids and when you work to put them in situations to succeed. Dan Hunt has to be feeling good about the rise of his franchise and the culmination of a vision to be a producer of talent. Is this the start of a new kind of 2021 for the team? What more is still to come?