FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas introduced the three newest members of their family – FCD Juniors players Moises Hernández, Rubén Luna and Víctor Ulloa – in a conference held at Pizza Hut Park on Friday. All three were signed to professional contracts under the homegrown player initiative.
WATCH: FCD announce player signings
“This is a tremendous day for FC Dallas Youth Academy and the developmental program,” FCD technical director Barry Gorman said. “We have three young men here that … are part of the future with FC Dallas. It’s an indication of the commitment of our ownership and our coaching staff to developing and finding the top talent locally in the Dallas area.”
“We see there is a very realistic path that if you’re with the club, you can dream and one day be a professional player. We’re very excited to have them here,” said FCD manager Schellas Hyndman.
Hernández, Luna and Ulloa were all members of the U-18 FC Dallas Juniors that won the Central Conference this season with an 11-2-3 record.
“It means a lot to me,” said Hernández of being signed. “I just thank God that I’m here.”
The 6-foot defender from Dallas started in a team-high 30 matches and nabbed two goals.
Luna, also 18, scored 26 goals in 29 appearance for FCD Juniors. He spent much of preseason training with FCD’s first team.
“We’ve been working with Rubén for almost a year to get to this special day,” said Hyndman. “He is not only a great human being, but he’s also a wonderful goal scorer. We could have used him earlier this year [when we were having trouble scoring goals].”
The magnitude of the moment was clearly not lost on the young striker.
“Playing here is a dream come true for me. I’ve waited so long,” Luna said.
Ulloa, 18, is the third member of the group. The 5-foot-11 midfielder served as the FCD Juniors captain during the 2010 campaign.
“It’s a privilege for me. I’d like to thank all my coaches and God for this opportunity,” he said. “Now we’ve just got to work hard. It means a lot to me and my family. They’ve always supported me.”
Hernández, Luna and Ulloa recently represented FC Dallas in the US Soccer Development Academy during U-17/U-18 Finals Week at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. FCD Juniors, in first place heading into their third game, fell 3-2 on a stoppage-time goal to CASL Chelsea FC Academy. That loss dropped FCD Juniors to the third spot.
Since the three talented youngsters have been playing together for some time and have become close friends, joining the club as a group made the event even more special.
“We’re all really close friends from the Juniors. It’s great we’re all here together,” Hernández said.
FC Dallas’ newest signings join Bryan Leyva as former FCD Juniors players to be signed to professional contracts, making the Hoops the MLS team with the most homegrown player signings (four).
Under Major League Soccer’s homegrown player initiative, homegrown players do not count against the salary budget. Luna is eligible to play with the first team during the 2010 season, while Ulloa and Hernandez will be eligible for the 2011 season.
All three players traveled with FC Dallas’ senior squad to Colorado, where FCD will take on the Rapids. They were all slated to play for the clubs’ reserves game after the first teams meet on Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.