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Five offseason roster moves that FC Dallas should make for 2023

FC Dallas splashed some big cash in 2022 but they can take it a step further for 2023.

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Welp, it is the offseason. The 2022 season was a pretty damn good run for FC Dallas, but now we get to sit back and debate their roster going into next year as much as we’d like. We’ll have plenty of roster suggestions, breakdowns, trade ideas and more in the coming weeks.

But first, let’s dive into five moves I’d like to see happen this winter for the club as they plan out for 2023. We saw in 2022 that the team is willing to spend big on a roster that can make a run at an MLS Cup. Now they have the chance to go one step further than what they did in 2022.

Open up a DP slot

We discussed what the club might need to do with Jara yesterday in our off-season questions post. The club has two options: buy out the contract or find a way to restructure it into a non-DP deal for 2023.

By all accounts, Jara does seem to enjoy his life here in North Texas, and his family seems to be doing well here too. That is important to keep in mind with this roster move. I’m all for doing right by a player like this one, but as long as it doesn’t hurt the overall roster or budget of the team.

Sign a TAM-caliber attacking player

I keep thinking of how the World Cup being in the winter will impact transfers in January and into next Spring across Major League Soccer. For a club like FC Dallas, they can free up that DP slot from Jara, maybe even use one of their U-22 slots on a player to boost the attacking portion of the roster.

I’d love nothing more than a guy that can take this group to the next level with the core group of Jesus Ferreira, Alan Velasco, Paul Arriola, Paxton Pomykal and Sebastian Lletget.

Is that adding another striker to give Ferreira a break from time to time? Is that another winger to push Velasco and Arriola? Is that an attacking-minded midfielder to compete with Pomykal and Lletget? Whatever it may need to strike the right balance for everyone to get solid minutes on the field. I think that is why I lean more toward a U-22 signing here as someone who can compete for minutes but won’t be the primary guy in the lineup each time out.

Spend on a DP-level #6

Look, this one is tough because I do like Edwin Cerrillo, and I’ve come to appreciate what Facundo Quignon brings to this club. Both are good in their own rights and bring just a slightly different approach to the game from the other. It is nice to have in your back pocket if you are Nico Estevez and the game needs a defensive swap.

But this one goes back to the days of Carlos Gruezo for me. Having that higher caliber player in the midfield to eat up space, save your defense from being under pressure a ton and open up the attack just a bit more is a game-changer. I mean, look at how Portland has managed to do what they’ve been doing over the years with Diego Chara (not this year, of course, but I think we’d all take a couple of MLS Cup runs).

The spine of your lineup needs a guy like this, and while FC Dallas did well defensively in 2022, I can’t help but think what a true #6 would have done for them in some games. We have two talented DPs up top in the attack, why not use the third slot on a defensive-minded player?

Spend on a TAM-level center back (or bring an HGP home)

I think 2022 was a bit lucky in the sense that Matt Hedges, Jose Martinez and Nkosi Tafari all didn’t come down with a huge injury bug for a long stretch of the season. But with two of those guys being older than 30, it is time to invest again in the defense. Get a guy that can come in and pick up minutes while not compromising the defensive structure that is in place here.

But if there isn’t a TAM-level center back on the market worth getting, maybe it is time to find a way to bring Justin Che back from Germany. Che hasn’t exactly found a ton of minutes that would have brought him some transfer rumors this year.

[Note: I’d also take a chance on a solid veteran right back as well this winter if the TAM-level CB falls through.]

If all else fails, make another big trade within MLS

For a few years, we saw this club not go within MLS for trades outside of picking up an international roster slot or something along those lines. But 2022 proved that the team could splash some allocation cash and drastically improve their roster. If some moves fall through above, there will likely be a couple of players out there worth taking a look at this winter from within MLS.

One name that I keep trying to figure out where he could fit in if the price is right is Portland’s Eryk Williamson. He would be yet another guy with experience playing on the national team with Estevez. Right now, Williamson is falling out of favor in Portland, and this could be a good chance to snatch him up.

What roster moves do you want to see the club make this off-season? Let us know below.