The FC Dallas Two-Deep
This is a recurring look at the FC Dallas team and its depth chart, with comments on where there are holes, issues and the like.
And just like that, we have massive changes. Brek is on to Stoke City, and it looks like not only has the team brought in two proven MLS forwards in Eric Hassli and former face of the franchise, Kenny Cooper, Jr., but the spot behind David Ferreira is filled not only with a capable player, but one who may very well be the future attacking midfielder of the club if he embraces the opportunity in front of him. That is right, Ramon Nunez is joining the team in Mexico and could very well make the squad.
The only negatives to come out of this past few days are injuries to Matt Hedges and Peter Luccin. In a move that wasn’t completely a surprise, Pipipco was released and is no longer in the future plans of FC Dallas.
Your Starting XI/100%ers list is a few names shorter now. David Ferreira, George John and Zach Loyd are the only three now that we put as locks. The rest have some sort of question over their heads.
Four of the following are most likely going to be starting at forward and on the wings: Perez, Hassli, Cooper, Jackson, Castillo. But which ones? And does Nunez make a push to take a spot on the wing?
Luccin or Jacobson? We are still not sold that AJ can be the lone defensive midfielder, and haven’t seen enough from Luccin to say anything other than it would seem that is the Gaffer’s plan at the moment.
Michel showed very well in the scrimmage on Saturday and have some talking about him not only making the roster, but giving Benitez a go at left fullback. Others have mentioned him on the wing, but we’ve seen how past attempts to use outside fullbacks as outside midfielders have worked out, and we’re not feeling that as being the direction the team is likely to go in.
All signs continue to point to Fernandez as your starting keeper. Time remains for Seitz to make a run, but there is not much time and he has a lot of ground to cover.
Keel remains another solid player for the defensive rotation. That is one move that should prove its worth as players need a break from time to time.
The importance of the potential addition of Nunez is hard to overstate. The Dallas Texans product is a younger but more talented version of Ricardo Villar with experience in MLS, the World Cup and England on his resume. He can also help out wide and may very well be the team’s first offensive option off the bench in most instances. It is the versatility that is the biggest plus as now you can afford to lose up to three of the attacking six and still have proven MLS-quality players available.
The next layer is settling out well for the side. Jonathan Top, Bradley Baladez, Bobby Warshaw, London Woodberry, Walt Zimmerman, Richard Sanchez and Kellyn Acosta have all shown well so far in camp. As an additional bonus, Ryan Hollingshead is even in line to be in camp by the end of the month, which would make drafting him a steal.
The bubble players remain Ulloa, Zobeck, Nelson, Wilder, Brown and Sasaki. None have shown enough to move them out of the roster relegation zone.
The concern for Ugo Iehemelu remains. The MLS veteran deserves a chance, but the signs continue to not point in the right direction for the Cedar Hill product.