FC Dallas draft strategy keeps all options open

Clavijo and staff ready for anything at 2013 SuperDraft

For FC Dallas, the 2012 MLS SuperDraft had all the drama of Monday’s BCS National Championship game.

It was no secret that head coach Schellas Hyndman coveted a center back and when Matt Hedges, the top-rated senior defender out of UNC, fell to FCD at No. 11, they happily snatched him up. Without another pick, the draft day work was quickly done.

Hyndman and company - at the MLS Combine right now in Fort Lauderdale - know things won’t be so simple in 2013.

With the No. 7 and  No. 20 overall picks and depth needed all over the field, the options are wide open this January, and the FC Dallas technical staff is exploring every one of them.

“I think unfortunately with the No .7 pick there’s a lot of players that may be there and may not be there,” Technical Director Fernando Clavijo said. “It’s hard to say, to be honest, any kind of direction in the plan we’re going to go, because we don’t know what everyone else is going to do.”

One thing holding up the process is potential international signings. FCD could still be chasing a forward internationally and whether or not Clavijo gets the forward he wants could majorly impact the draft day strategy.

“The draft is coming, but we’re still working with everything else trying to figure out whether some of those international things may happen before the draft,” said Clavijo. "No question about it, it’s moving parts right now until the end of January.”

Should the forward they might be targeting fall through, the Generation adidas class contains three experienced college forwards in Eriq Zavaleta, Jason Johnson and Deshorn Brown that may interest FC Dallas. However, all three of those players are expected to go before Dallas’ seventh overall pick, but the possibility of attempting to package their two picks to move up in the draft is something that has been discussed as well as using the picks to grab proven players already in the league.

“Not only are we looking at [players] for our draft picks, but also to package the picks even for possible trades for existing players in the league in a position we may need,” said Clavijo, holding two picks in the top 20. “We are open and looking at every option.”

Those options are myriad for FC Dallas and we likely won’t know how things will shake out until Commissioner Garber tells Clavijo and his staff Thursday in Indianapolis that they’re on the clock.

“It’s hard to say where everyone else is going and at the last minute in the draft a lot of things happen,” said Clavijo, someone who’s no stranger to wheeling and dealing. “But we’re open for everything.”