It’s the silly season and the holidays, which means we FC Dallas fans can wish and wonder about the future of our team as the clock ticks toward 2023.
With the signing of Geovane Jesus from Cruzeiro, Dallas has answered one question - there will be competition for right back going forward with Nanu out. Twumasi may have the edge as the incumbent, but this is a position that can use pushing to get the most out of it with a busy slate of games ahead.
But what other holiday wishes do we fans have?
Here are a few of mine - comment with your wishes down below.
1. Move on from Franco Jara as cheaply as possible.
If FC Dallas can find a way to sell Franco and come out with an open DP slot, it’s a big Christmas wish to come true. Not only would this create flexibility on the roster to go out and find a big-time player to help the team take its next step, but it could also create space for a goal scorer to share time with Jesus Ferreira, who is likely to stick around. Jara has had a few moments with the team, but the squad could use depth, a true veteran who they can plug in or bring off the bench to push matches.
A DP slot would be so intriguing for FC Dallas to play with, although it might be more likely the team looks to the summer to make a move, a note already mentioned by Head Coach Nico Estevez in the post-Superdraft press conference.
The good news is that there are already suggestions at least one team is negotiating to take over Jara’s contract. Let’s hope it shows up under the tree soon.
2. A veteran attacker.
With Bernard Kamungo and Jose Mulato now on board with the senior team, you might think the squad looks set. However, a veteran striker would be a wonderful addition to support the attack. Let’s face it - Jesus Ferreira is not going to play every minute up top. The team will need someone with a bit more seasoning to come in and provide some support.
Who is that person? Early on, some wondered if Gyasi Zardes wouldn’t get a look, but Austin FC wasted no time in snapping him up. The rest of the names on the MLS Free Agency list leave a lot to be desired, even a Will Bruin. Could someone in USL-C be poised to make the jump? There aren’t a ton of names out there, and international spots are slim for this team. While I think Kamungo and Mulato can earn some minutes, they are raw at this level.
3. Replace Matt Hedges.
You could move this one higher on the list, but I want to see what an extended run of Martinez and Tafari might mean for this team’s defense. I like what Tafari has brought when given extended minutes, though he may or may not be rated as a long-term answer in Nico’s system. The jury is out. New signing Ibeogha is also a solid get, a guy who is a veteran that has the experience, and at the least provides stability.
Head Coach Nico Estevez indicated that the team is looking for replacements, but it might not be til the summer to replace club legend Matt Hedges, who recently signed with Toronto FC. My overall opinion is that it was a mistake for Dallas not to keep Hedges around another year or trigger his option with the potential to trade him elsewhere and maximize their value with him. I’m not a fly in the board room of those conversations though, so who knows what the thinking has been.
One dark horse candidate to keep in mind is FC Dallas loanee, Justin Che. Che is on loan to Hoffenheim through the summer. It’s unclear whether or not Hoffenheim will exercise their purchase option, and the young defender is primarily getting minutes with the 2nd team.
4. Depth, depth, depth.
During the MLS Superdraft press conference, Nico Estevez mentioned a couple of areas where the team can use help. One area is another centerback and a left back. Marco Farfan has been rock solid at left back, so the team needs to identify someone who can compete for minutes behind him.
In other spots on the field, there is a logjam of talent. Center midfield is stocked, especially since Facnudo Quignon is still around. Kamungo and Mulato provide some young depth behind wingers Arriola, Velasco, and Obrian.
There aren’t many roster spots remaining, which likely means the team will have to figure out how to thread the needle. As other rosters begin to shake out, let’s hope Dallas entertains some exciting trades to bring in guys who will excel in this system and environment.