In what can mostly be described as salary cap space saving moves, FC Dallas declined to pick up the contract options of Jeff Cunningham and Dario Sala. Both players had lost their starting spots in 2010 and it's no surprise both were not renewed. Both players will be available in the new MLS Re-Entry draft for veteran players rather than FCD retaining their rights under the old system.
This move does not preclude either player returning to FC Dallas next season as unselected players are free agents that could sign with anyone in the league, including FC Dallas under a new deal.
Here's the FCD release on the moves.
FC Dallas declines options on Cunningham and Sala
FRISCO, Texas (Dec. 3, 2010) – FC Dallas will not exercise options on forward Jeff Cunningham and goalkeeper Dario Sala for the 2011 season, the team announced today.
Both players are eligible for the Major League Soccer Re-Entry Process with Stage 1 of the draft slated for Dec. 8, followed by Stage 2 on Dec. 15. MLS will release a complete list of players available for re-entry later today.
Cunningham played three seasons for the Dallas side, earning the team’s Golden Boot award in 2009 and 2010, while claiming the MLS Budweiser Golden Boot for his league-best 17 goals in 2009. A finalist for the league MVP award in 2009, the 34-year-old Jamaican forward started just 13 games for FC Dallas in 2010, scoring 11 goals and notching one assist. He scored his 132nd career goal against Chicago on Oct. 2 and ranks second all-time among MLS goal-scorers, falling just one goal behind recently retired Jaime Moreno’s mark of133 total goals.
The longest tenured player on the FC Dallas roster in 2010, Sala has spent six seasons with the club. In his MLS career, the 36-year-old veteran Argentine has 23 shutouts, 328 saves and a 1.38 goals against average. He appeared in 11 games during the 2010 season for FC Dallas, starting 10 and earning a 2-3-6 mark.
As the reigning Western Conference Champions, FC Dallas earned its first trip to the MLS Cup in 2010 following a record-setting year that saw the club set MLS marks for its 19-game unbeaten streak and its 12-game road unbeaten streak. The Dallas side also tied the MLS mark for fewest losses in an MLS season with four, while the Dallas defense allowed the fewest goals against in club history with only 28 through 30 games.