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FC Dallas Signs Defender Sebastien Ibeagha

The veteran defender brings a lot of experience and depth to the backline.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas is back on the roster building front today as they’ve made their first free agent signing of the offseason. FC Dallas has signed defender and 2022 MLS Cup Champion Sebastien Ibeagha as a free agent to a two-year contract with club options for the 2025 and 2026 seasons.

The veteran joins FC Dallas after appearing in 36 matches overall for LAFC from 2021-22. He was part of the LAFC team that won the 2022 MLS Supporters’ Shield and 2022 MLS Cup.

The 30-year old has played all over in his career, first with Danish first division club AC Horsens in 2013, where he appeared in 17 matches. He also had loan stints with Denmark’s FC Fredericia (2014) and Iceland’s Fran Reykjavik (2015). After two years in Europe, the Ibaegha returned to the U.S. and signed with the Houston Dynamo in 2016 before going on loan to Houston’s USL affiliate Rio Grande Valley and NASL’s Rayo OKC. He later signed with San Antonio FC in 2017 and appeared in 30 matches. He was named to the 2017 USL All-League First Team and 2017 USL Defender of the Year while with San Antonio.

Some may recall his brother, Christian, trained with FC Dallas during the 2011 and 2012 preseasons.

Quick Take

Kudos to Jon Arnold at The Striker for getting this one out earlier this morning. He breaks down the move pretty well over there and what it means for Matt Hedges’ return.

Truthfully, even with Hedges signing, this is a depth piece for me. I discussed earlier today how the club needs depth no matter what and this is just that. Ibaegha will provide a lot of good experience and cover in the back. LAFC was able to use him a lot, especially in their MLS Cup win over Philadelphia.

We know FC Dallas will continue to sign young players this offseason but finding veteran guys with MLS experience shouldn’t be overlooked either. Ibaegha can push a guy like Nkosi Tafari for a starting role and provide cover for those days that Jose Martinez isn’t 100% fit.

Ibaegha made a decent $252,125 in 2022, so it will be interesting to see if FC Dallas came in at that number or a little higher for 2023. Still, that is a solid number to spend on a veteran center back like this.

What do you all make of this signing? Do you think it signals the club is moving on from Matt Hedges altogether? Let’s discuss it below.