FC Dallas officially began preseason on Tuesday and as they wrapped up their first full day of training, new manager Nico Estevez, technical director Andre Zanotta and club president Dan Hunt came together to talk to the media for the first time.
The group discussed a wide range of topics from Jesus Ferreira’s new Designated Player tag to how the club plans to use the profits from the Ricardo Pepi transfer.
“We’re taking those proceeds, and obviously it’s a payment system here that most big transfers occur in, so we’ll be paid out over three years,” said Hunt. “But we’re taking those proceeds and immediately re-investing them in the product on the field, and we’re doing that in a couple of different ways. We’re going to do it with the cash that we’re receiving, so we’ll use it for transfers and we’re also going to take the allocation money and put it to work right away.”
One of the ways the club is putting those allocation dollars to work is with the move to make Jesus Ferreira a Young DP, or as the club is now calling him a Homegrown Designated Player. Since Ferreira is a DP under the age of 23 his charge against the FCD cap will be just $200,000.
The other way is of course through the transfer market. Hunt explained that they plan to add players during this winter transfer window as well as a couple during the summer window later in the year.
“We’re going to do things that are going to improve the FC Dallas roster and give Nico and his staff the group of players that are going to be able to compete,” explained Hunt. “It is a process. We will add players now, we’ll try to add a player or two in the summer potentially and then there will be players that you add next year and you have to think about how that works. But we have complete faith in what’s going on and really excited and energized for this coming season.”
One transfer that continues to heat up is about Argentine winger Alan Velasco. When asked about the Velasco rumors, Zanotta didn’t throw cold water on them immediately but did state the club has some interest in the young winger.
“I don’t like to comment on players we haven’t signed or players that we’re in negotiations. But what I can tell you for any player that is talented as Alan, we’ll always be interested,” Zanotta said. “We want to bring high-level players, we want to bring players that can impact our team, can make the difference here, so we’ll search for players of that caliber.”
Velasco scored a goal and added in two assists in his most recent game on Tuesday.
Do you see FC Dallas spending well enough this year to compete for an MLS Cup Playoff spot? Let us know what you think of Hunt and Zanotta’s comments below.