FC Dallas has a press conference set for 10:30 AM tomorrow to add three players. Here’s a look at who these new faces could be:
Jackson - Brazilian right back was on trial during World Cup break back in June and played in friendly at West Texas United Sockers. Consensus on him is that he’s OK but wasn’t all that impressive in practice. FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman does have a serious affinity for South American players. With Zach Loyd recently playing in middle, does Jackson automatically become Heath Pearce’s backup on the right? It looks that way. FCD officials have been saying for the last few weeks that this signing was in the works and that things were progressing.
Ruben Luna - Many FCD fans probably say about time concerning this addition. Luna has been a standout from the Juniors program and will occupy the team’s second Homegrown Player spot, which means the club doesn’t have to clear a spot for him. Luna is a great kid and a talented forward. Like Bryan Levya, who was signed in 2009, he has an incredible upside, potential that Hyndman would like to see develop through more first-team action.
Another Forward - It’s unclear where FCD might go with the third player added but that individual could very well be another striker. Jeff Cunningham is clearly not cutting it and he could be at the end of his rope with the club even though he’s set to make over $200,000 this year. The early returns on Milton Rodriguez are good and for now, he remains the club’s lone striker. However, Hyndman has made no bones about wanting to go into a 4-4-2 in the future and since it looks like Cunningham won’t be up top alongside Rodriguez, there aren’t any other realistic possibilities on the roster. Generation adidas player Peri Marosevic is nowhere near ready and while Atiba Harris has played some up top, Hyndman likes him where he’s at, on the right flank.
As noted, no roster move will be necessary to add Luna but adding Jackson and another player means roster moves could be made. Here’s a look at who could be headed out of town:
Eric Avila, M - At one time, Avila had found a niche with Hyndman as his preferred “energy guy” off the bench and there has never been any question about the immense potential the easy going kid from San Diego had. However, while he has made strides toward being the type of two-way player Hyndman wants in his first 11, Avila has recently fallen out of favor with the FCD gaffer, around the time that Marvin Chavez was getting minutes in the starting lineup and also off the bench. By all accounts, he hasn’t responded in a positive way and has been left off the 18-man game roster for the last few games, meaning he could be headed elsewhere.
Marvin Chavez, M - The sample size for Chavez’s body of work isn’t that big but after a run of several games where he got considerable minutes, the Honduran has seen his playing time dry up entirely. When he was on the field in starts at Chivas USA, at home against Kansas City and at Seattle, the Son of the Wind displayed his considerable pace but as fast as he was, he was just as bad at finishing his chances. Sounds like a forward FCD had a few years back who is now playing in Houston. Maybe Hyndman now realizes what Chavez truly is and decides to go in a different direction.
Jeff Cunningham, F - It’s no big secret that with just four goals this year, including just one from the run of play, Cunningham has struggled mightily. This is a contract year for the veteran striker and while he has gotten over a spell where he was sulking and wasn’t one of the last players to leave the field, now that newcomer Milton Rodriguez is scoring goals, it looks like his time with FCD is nearing an end. His big salary might be a deal breaker for most teams but if FCD can find a taker, wouldn’t be shocked to see Cunningham head to another team.
Kyle Davies, D - Davies played well for the first hour of the season opener on March 27 against Houston. That was before he suffered a broken right arm that put him on the shelf for several months. He has returned but has found playing time non-existent since Ugo Ihemelu and George John are both durable and consistent in the middle. Davies is still just 23 and could be swapped for some allocation money or a late-round pick. It was interesting in Saturday’s game against Toronto FC that when John left the field with an injury in the second half, Hyndman went to Loyd instead of Davies for a full-in at center back. That move might speak volumes about where Davies ranks on the depth chart these days.
Edson Edward, D - The big Canadian impressed many by making FCD’s roster out of preseason but like Davies, he hasn’t had any opportunities with the first team. Hyndman regarded Edward as a project with a big upside when he signed him. Now the question is whether or not he still sees that same upside or feels like it’s time to go in a different direction.
Anthony Wallace, D - A first-round pick in 2007 under then head coach Steve Morrow, Wallace or “Wally” as he’s called, has never really blossomed into the player many thought he would become. He has had his fair share of opportunities but he’s just never been able to exhibit the strong mental game to accompany what is an impressive set of physical skills. Wallace could also be dealt for allocation money or a pick because he did just turn 21 and could still thrive in another setting.
COULD THE THIRD SIGNING BE A DP?
There is some speculation that the third signing could indeed be a Designated Player. Given what a catastrophic FCD’s first venture into the DP world was, Denilson, who was clearly past his prime and contributed very little, have to say this scenario is pretty unlikely. Hyndman has stated that bringing in a DP would be a huge move the club wouldn’t be willing to make. However, since the only glaring need for the team currently exists up top, if they could find a striker to play alongside Rodriguez up top, which would allow Hyndman to shift into a 4-4-2. If they do sign a DP, conventional wisdom has to be that player would be a forward.