FRISCO - He’s long played a crucial role behind the scenes but, now, Luiz Muzzi is stepping into the spotlight.
On Thursday, FC Dallas announced that the six-year veteran of the club has been promoted to VP of Soccer Operations, overseeing all aspects of player personnel, scouting and team administration. Part of the move comes as Technical Director Fernando Clavijo is stepping away from the organization to focus on his health and continue cancer treatment. More importantly, though, Muzzi’s promotion is one that is well deserved.
Since joining FCD in 2012, he’s played a large role in nearly every signing to date. As longtime friends both inside and outside of work, Muzzi has been Clavijo’s right-hand man, playing a direct role in player negotiations, handling all the contract paperwork and legal documents involved with each, as well as leading FCD’s management of the salary cap and MLS roster rule compliance.
Over the last year, Muzzi has also played a more direct role in signing key members of the 2018 squad, like Abel Aguilar, Pablo Aranguiz, Santiago Mosquera, Anton Nedyalkov, Marquinhos Pedroso and Reto Ziegler.
What does this mean as FCD reaches Friday’s MLS roster freeze and the technical staff's focus begins to look ahead to 2019?
From the outside, obviously the charismatic Clavijo will no longer be involved day-to-day. But he will forever be a key member of the organization, even if no longer in a direct working capacity.
From the inside, not a whole lot will change. Muzzi will take on more of the duties that he and Clavijo have worked together on over the last six years. It will continue to be business as usual as Dallas strives to remain one of the most consistent teams in MLS year after year.
"There's not something new, something different, nothing real like that," Muzzi told The Dallas Morning News’ Jon Arnold. "Every time you've seen something in the past six years we've been here that's something where Fernando did, it's Fernando and Luiz, every time you see something Luiz, it's Fernando and Luiz.
"Even the small things that you can say, 'That's something Luiz did.' No. It's always been Fernando and Luiz and the same for the signings and all that. I don't think there's a big change other than we're really, really, really going to miss having Fernando in the day to day for everything that he is."