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2023 FC Dallas Player Recaps: Jose Martinez
The veteran split time with the other center backs all season.
Our 2023 FC Dallas player recaps continue with veteran defender Jose Martinez.
The 30-year old completed his third season with FC Dallas, where he saw his minutes on the field reduced to his lowest total since joining the team thanks to a three-man rotation at center back by head coach Nico Estevez.
The one positive thing about Martinez was his passing. He had a bit of calmness on the ball and was mostly good at keeping the turnovers in the midfield at a minimum. His defensive stats this year are pretty low, however. He’s not one to tackle a ton or block a bunch of shots like Sebastian Ibeagha.
He finished the season with 1433 minutes, a good 1200 shy of his total in 2022. On the flip side, his foul committing was his lowest total yet in an FC Dallas uniform with seven, while only earning a single yellow card this season.
Center backs aren’t usually known for their goal-scoring, but Martinez managed to make the highlight reel once this season, during a 3-1 loss at New York City FC.
I’d also toss in this great long ball over the top of the Atlanta defense to set up a goal by Bernie Kamungo.
Will he be back in 2024?
He is not cheap, and with Estevez seeming to find more favor in the combination of Nkosi Tafari and Ibeagha late in the season, Martinez’s time appears to be running its course in Dallas. In the final ten matches, Martinez only appeared in five of them, with only two starts and just 165 minutes of action. Those lack of minutes late in the season are going to be hard to justify if you retain him for another year.
I think we know what we get out of Martinez after three full seasons. He’s steady on the ball but lacks the speed to keep up with a lot of MLS forwards these days. He’s a good leader, but he’s going on the wrong side of 30 after this season.
Overall, he’s been a solid defensive player for the club in these last three seasons, but it may be time for the club to move on to someone younger that can help push this team further into the playoffs.