FRISCO - The bond between a number and a player is often one rooted deep in thought and meaning. That's why Dominique Badji was nervous the preseason asking Jimmy Maurer if there was a price that could be agreed upon in exchange for the goalkeeper's No. 14 - a number Badji has worn nearly his whole career.
"My favorite player, Thierry Henry, was number 14. So growing up, I always wanted that," Badji said, noting the only time he hadn't worn 14 until coming to Dallas was a brief spell in college. "I didn't know if it had a special meaning or if he had a special bond to it, but he was awesome about it. I asked him and he said it was fine as long as the number he wanted was open."
"Dom came to me in preseason and asked if I had an attachment," Maurer said. "It was actually just a number that I got last year and it was the first time I'd ever worn it."
From there, Maurer looked down the list of what was available and spotted a familiar choice in the number 20. A number he wore his first season as a pro, it was an easy switch meeting his two main requirements - a low, even number.
All that was left was a little negotiation.
"I know some guys who have gotten some fees [for their numbers] in the past, so originally I told him it was going to be $40,000," Maurer said kiddingly. "No, the only thing was I was going to have to buy my family all new jerseys with the number 20 for my kids, so I said if he could cover that, then I had no problem with it."
Badji, in return, is ready to go with sizes and styles ahead of opening day.
"I've got it all down."