The offseason has been an especially short one for FC Dallas technical director Barry Gorman, who will be back at it again Thursday when he tries his hand for the first time as FCD’s top personnel man at the MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore.
Gorman spoke with MLSsoccer.com about a number of offseason moves and potential moves for the team heading into the SuperDraft.
MLSsoccer.com: Where are the negotiations with the midfielder playing in Europe who was discussed late last month?
Gorman: We’re in good shape with that. We should have something pretty much to announce next week.
MLSsoccer.com: Is this player a true midfielder, or can he also play some up top?
Gorman: A little bit of both.
MLSsoccer.com: Does that mean you’re no longer looking for a new striker?
Gorman: We’re still searching for a true forward, and we’ve got some options.
MLSsoccer.com: FCD have been linked to an Israeli forward. Will he be coming in for a trial during preseason?
Gorman: I saw that on various websites and so on. That’s still to be determined.
MLSsoccer.com: Is a contract extension for Marvin Chavez a done deal?
Gorman: We should have more details on that right after the draft. That is basically all taken care of. We’re just waiting for some final paperwork on that one. With the holiday period, the MLS Combine, it’s just a matter of waiting for catch up of paperwork and trying to give the league office guys some space to settle down after the holidays and all the stuff that’s been going on.
MLSsoccer.com: What about Milton Rodriguez? Will he be back in 2011?
Gorman: We’re looking at Milton coming in for preseason, yes.
MLSsoccer.com: Are you guys open to trading up in the draft or will you stand pat at No. 17?
Gorman: Everything is pretty much open at the moment. We’re pretty flexible. I think what people have to understand is we have an awful lot of our core players returning and we have been doing some work quietly behind the scenes.
MLSsoccer.com: What do you see as FCD’s biggest need? Is it a forward, depth at center back or flank midfield?
Gorman: I think it’s probably a combination of all of those. Being realistic, if we do end up with the No. 17 pick in the first round, it’s going to be a case of who’s still available. As always, we’re going to go after and get the best possible player for FC Dallas regardless of the position. It’s going to be basically who’s available at that point. The staff has been here and we have basically been working extremely hard and doing our homework.
MLSsoccer.com: This is your first draft. How does it feel?
Gorman: I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been very impressed with what (head coach Schellas Hyndman) and his staff have put together. Everyone, from the coaches to the back room people, they’ve covered everything in depth. I think I brought in a little bit of organization and modern technology to it. I feel that we came down here to Fort Lauderdale very well prepared with our background checks on every player that were pretty extensive. We’re looking forward to things going very smoothly.
MLSsoccer.com: How much do you, Schellas and the rest of the staff value versatility in looking at prospective draftees?
Gorman: I think once you get a good player, once you get a soccer player who has a soccer brain, if they have the athleticism, they can adapt. Eric (Alexander) and Zach (Loyd) are two prime examples. When we brought Jackson in, we knew we had the flexibility of playing him in a few different positions. Now, he’s a multi-positional player. George John in college was a midfielder and now he’s started well into the back line. Heath Pearce is playing one side as opposed to the other and can also be used in the midfield. Versatility and a player that buys into that is of great value to us.
MLSsoccer.com: You guys got solid rookie seasons from two guys from big schools in Eric Alexander (Indiana) and Zach Loyd (North Carolina). Do you consciously set out to draft guys from prominent programs or is that just how things work out?
Gorman: I think a lot of times, it’s just the way things fall. First and foremost, we do our homework and check on things. Everybody is looking for that player that is going to be a diamond in the rough or is going to make a difference. Whether it’s the combine, draft or any other means of selecting players, you have to do your homework and you have to make sure that you’re going to have some options with players, especially when you’re farther down in the draft order.