Ah, a December SuperDraft. It feels weird seeing one of the prime offseason dates come up on the calendar so early in Major League Soccer. In years past, early January is when we get to dive into Mock Drafts, Big Boards and giant lists of college players that could make an impact in MLS one day.
FC Dallas has one pick in the first round on Wednesday afternoon, picking at the 24th spot. They could also do what they did in the 2022 SuperDraft by trading twice to obtain a couple more picks.
Here are some key strategies and needs for the club going into the Draft.
FCD’s SuperDraft Strategy
With the 24th pick, the options for FC Dallas to make a big move are there. Here are a few suggestions I see playing out Wednesday afternoon for them.
- Go back to the bread and butter, draft a CB - We know Matt Hedges is on his way out of Frisco for good here as he looks to sign with Toronto FC this winter. Currently, FC Dallas has three center backs on the roster: Jose Martinez, Nkosi Tafari and Sebastian Ibeagha. I’d love to see at least one CB taken in this draft to add some depth, even if they aren’t expected to be weekly starters this season. Even better if they can snag someone who ends up being the next Hedges.
- Trade some GAM and move up - We saw this in the last draft. FCD wasn’t afraid to make some deals leading up to the SuperDraft or on the day of the draft. I don’t think the GAM reserves are as full as they once were, thanks to some moves made last year, but there might still be some leftover from a transfer that could spark a trade up the board on Wednesday.
- Take the best player available - Honestly, this is my preferred method of operation in the SuperDraft these days. While there is still some talent to be found in these drafts, it isn’t as plentiful as it was 10 or 12 years ago. Find a player you like a ton and take him if he is available in this spot. They’re not expected to do much, but if they can replicate what they got out of Tsiki Ntsabeleng (the last pick in the first round in 2022), a guy that played a surprising amount of good minutes in his rookie year, that would be nice to see.
- Trade down/out and pick up some GAM - Since the amount of talent isn’t what it used to be, there is really no shame anymore in trading the first round pick and adding some GAM back to the coffers. We’ve seen teams like Philadelphia do this more and more in recent years, and they’re not struggling for wins due to trading out of the SuperDraft. So why not pick up some GAM and move on?
2023 Draft Needs
- Center back - We called it out as a strategy for a reason, but FCD does have a pretty successful history at drafting at this position. From Hedges to Zach Loyd to George John to Walker Zimmerman, the club has identified talent in this spot for years.
- Right back - Yeah, we’ll call this spot out again as an area of need for this draft.
- Winger - I know we have Paul Arriola, Jader Obrian and Alan Velasco on the roster but I would love a little more depth in this spot. Again, this player isn’t going to be a starter on day one so let him learn from guys like Arriola.
What kind of player do you want to see the club pick on Wednesday? Let’s discuss it below.l