After what seems like an eternity, North Texas SC finally released their preseason roster:
Our first-ever preseason begins TODAY! Check out the preseason roster https://t.co/nFpegA5mPK— North Texas SC (@northtexasSC) February 4, 2019
That’s a lot of trialists, but who are they, and what are their chances to land on the roster?
To answer that question, we must first take a look at the North Texas SC roster, and make sense of where it currently stands.
Let’s talk about roster spots
It’s hard to talk about the North Texas SC roster without first talking about the FC Dallas roster, and how the senior squad will directly affect any and all North Texas SC roster decisions. There are 30 roster spots on the FCD roster, and I will discuss it as if the roster is full (it is not), and there are no injuries or absences due to call-ups.
Most senior teams like to have at least 24 players available, so that they can pick their game day roster. With this in mind, we can assume that players 25 thru 30 will likely be loaned to North Texas SC on season long loans, or for the majority of the season. Of the top 24 FCD players, only 18 will make the game day roster, thus the remaining six players would be available to join North Texas SC on short loans lasting one to a couple of weeks.
With this in mind, North Texas SC would need to keep 12 of their roster spots reserved for members of FCD throughout the USL League One season.
USL rosters have a 30 player roster limit, with seven international spots. Those international spots are tradeable, but reset before the start of the next season. USL teams can also have up to five players signed to USL Academy Contracts, these five youth players do not count towards the USL roster (any player above five, counts towards the USL roster). This means that North Texas SC can have a max of 35 players on its roster (including the five youth players).
North Texas SC Current Roster
Without counting the five USL Academy Contract players, and 12 roster spots reserved for FCD players, this means that North Texas SC has a max total of 18 roster spots to fill out. There are currently nine players officially signed to the North Texas SC roster:
- Carlos Avilez (20 yrs, Goalkeeper) - in camp
- Ricardo Pepi (16 yrs, Forward) - with youth team in Mexico
- Biccou Bissainthe (19 yrs, Midfielder) - not yet in camp
- Ronaldo “Nostra” Damus (19 yrs, Forward) - not yet in camp
- Brecc Evans (19 yrs, Defender) - in camp
- Abdoul Graffar Ibrahim (19 yrs, Defender) - not yet in camp
- Alfusainey Jatta (19 yrs, Midfielder) - not yet in camp
- Arturo Rodriguez (20 yrs, Midfielder) - in camp
- Oscar Romero (22 yrs, Midfielder) - in camp
Of these nine, here’s everything you need to know about the five latest signings.
There is one player that has been signed by North Texas SC, but has yet to be officially announced by the club:
Juan Herrera, 5 foot 11 inches tall, 24 year old Defender (center back/left back), is a former FCD Academy player (2009-2012), who spent last season (1st year as a pro) with the Las Vegas Knights of the USL. Herrera played in 21 matches for the Knights last season, playing a total of 1560 minutes.
EDIT: We have been told that while some reports have indicated Herrera has been signed, the club has told Big D Soccer that it is not true at this time.
So as you can see, ten of the 18 available spots are already taken. That leaves eight remaining open roster spots, and it is very doubtful that North Texas SC will fill all of them before the start of the season. It is very likely that North Texas SC will look to fill only three to five of those remaining spots, leaving some flexibility to sign players later on in the season. I say three to five, because there may yet be more players that North Texas SC has signed, but has yet to announce. We know that due to circumstances out of their control, most International players will be late joining camp. This could also be affecting International players who wish to be in camp on trial, or International players that North Texas SC has signed, but have yet to announce officially.
Now that we know all the trialists are fighting for three to five spots, let us take a look at all the trialists.
Trialists, Trialists everywhere
- Edwin Cerrillo, just 18 years old, he’s actually training with FCD, and is likely the next Homegrown signing. Thus, he is likely to join North Texas SC on loan, taking up one of those 12 reserved spots.
- Mauro Cichero (6 foot 3 inches, 23 years old, Forward) was drafted by FCD in the 2nd round of last season’s MLS Super Draft. He is coming off an ACL injury.
- Eduardo “Pollo” Cortes (5 foot 10 inches, 25 years old, Goalkeeper) is a former FCD Academy player (2009-2011), and was actually the 20th HG signing by FC Dallas in 2017, and had his option declined at the end of the season.
- Hector Montalvo (6 foot 2 inches, 21 years old, center back/left back) is a former FCD Academy player, who has spent his past couple of seasons playing for Tigres UANL U20 in the U20 Liga MX.
- Alejandro Radilla (5 foot 7 inches, 22 years old, Midfielder) is a former FCD Academy player, who spent his last four years with Grand Canyon University, where he started 20 games last season.
- Mohamed Sesay (25 years old, Forward) is the National Jr. College Player of the year, leading Richland College to the NJCAA National Title.
- Mariano Fazio (6 foot 3 inches, 24 years old, center back) is a NJCAA 1st Team All-American, after helping lead Richland College to the NJCAA national title.
- Flavio Guzman (5 foot 9 inches, 25 years old, Midfielder) is a former FCD Academy Player (2009-2012), who last played for Inocentes FC of the UPSL, where he was an all-tournament selection in 2018. Inocentes FC actually plays for the UPSL Title against California United II this Saturday, which makes me wonder...........is he supposed to be there?
- Lucio Martinez (21 year old, Midfielder) is a NJCAA 1st Team All-American, after helping to lead Richland College to the NJCAA National Title. He is currently a member of the NT Rayados, and has played three games in the USOC.
- Cesar Murillo (23 year old, center back) is a former FCD Academy player, who last played for Red Force FC of the USASA.
- Thierry-Allen Assamoi (22 year old, Forward) plays for Dallas City FC of the NPSL
- Anthony Bardon (5 foot 7 inches, 26 years old, Midfielder) is a member of the Gibraltar National team (25 caps), and has played in UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League with the semi-pro Lincoln FC. Started during a win over Celtic.
- Angel Elvira Paita (5 foot 8 inches, 22 years old, Defender) is a former Pumas U20, currently playing for Brazos Valley Cavalry FC of USL League 2.
- Juan "Charly" Flores (5 foot 10 inches, 21 years old, Forward) is a former Houston Dynamo Academy player. He spent his past couple of seasons with Rio Grande Valley FC of the USL, where he only saw action in seven games.
- Luiyi Mosquera (5 foot 7 inches, 20 years old, Midfielder) played for the Cotolua (Colombia 2nd Division) U19s. Only seeing action once in the past two years.
- Anthony Powell (22 years old, Forward) currently plays for the Dallas Sidekicks of the MASL.
- Charles Renken (5 foot 7 inches, 26 years old, Midfielder) was a one-time youth national team darling, before injuries derailed his career before it got started. He has played for several USL teams, and last played for FC Columbus of the NPSL.
- Chase Therrien (6 foot 3 inches, 22 years old, Goalkeeper) a former FC Dallas 97 Premier player, who started last season for University Texas-Dallas (NCAA D3).
- Riley Unger (21 years old, Midfielder) played for Dallas Baptist University last year, where he lead the team with five goals.
- Joel Martinez, there is no information on him. He is likely Joel Martinez, Defender, who played for Central Methodist University, out of Oak Ridge high school.
- Jose Olaya (18 years old). There is zero information on Olaya. A true dark horse
There you have it, a truly interesting bunch.
Now that we know who they are (most of them anyway), here are the players I believe will make the cut:
- Hector Montalvo gained a ton of experience playing in the U20 Liga MX, and is still young enough to be considered a prospect. A former FCD Academy standout, he is a player I have always been high on.
- Mauro Cichero was drafted last season, and FCD continues to be really high on his potential.
- Mohamed Sesay has looked every bit as good as advertised early into camp.
- Eduardo “Pollo” Cortes. Let’s not forget that North Texas SC needs a 2nd Keeper. He’ll be the 3rd keeper once FCD loans one of it’s three keepers to the team, but you can’t do worse than an emergency keeper who is a former Homegrown signee.
This will leave North Texas SC with four open spots, and allow me to remind you, that there are some players on trial with FCD (or draft picks) who may be signed to USL contracts instead. I fully expect some of the players who are not signed, to stick around on an extended trial.
What do you think? Who are the players you think will make the cut? Any thoughts on my roster math? Let us know!