FRISCO, Texas - FC Dallas announced its end-of-season roster decisions today which gives us a good idea of how the team is shaping up heading into the offseason. Let's go through and review the roster position-by-position beginning at the back:
Under Contract: Jimmy Maurer
Option Declined: Phelipe Megiolaro
Out of Contract: Kyle Zobeck
The goalkeeper position sees some of the most fluctuation following today's roster decisions. Jimmy Maurer began the season as the first-choice starter and only let that spot slip when dealing with injuries periodically during the year. The 33-year-old will be a big part of FCD's future after signing a contract extension midway through the season that lasts through 2023 with a club option for an additional year. However, Maurer's backups Phelipe Megiolaro and Kyle Zobeck won't be returning (Phelipe's loan expired and Zobeck is out of contract) so Dallas will need to address its goalkeeping core this offseason.
Under Contract: Justin Che, Matt Hedges, José Martínez, Collin Smith
Option Exercised: Ryan Hollingshead, Eddie Munjoma, Nkosi Tafari, Ema Twumasi
Option Declined: Bressan, Caiser Gomes, Johnny Nelson
All but three of FCD's defenders will be returning for 2022. One of them, Caiser Gomes, was signed as an emergency loan from North Texas SC when FCD had a buildup of injuries at center back and never played a game for the first team. Left back Johnny Nelson's time in Dallas is over after playing 30 games (18 starts) over three seasons after being drafted 10th overall in the 2019 SuperDraft. Center back Bressan is the other departure. While the Brazilian was a solid defensive piece for Dallas, he was perhaps even more valuable as a leader on the field and in the locker room. That aspect may be the toughest part to replace. On the other hand, FCD exercised contract options on Ryan Hollingshead, Eddie Munjoma, Nkosi Tafari and Ema Twumasi. Hollingshead goes without saying and is still Dallas' first-choice left back. Munjoma, Tafari and Twumasi all got their real first tastes of MLS action this year and the latter two became mainstays in the starting lineup as the season went on. The biggest question for me is, without Johnny Nelson, does FCD look to bolster its left back depth this offseason? Or can Munjoma continue to deputize in the position behind Hollingshead. We'll have to wait and see.
Under Contract: Jesús Ferreira, Nicky Hernandez, Paxton Pomykal, Facundo Quignon, Thomas Roberts
Option Exercised: Edwin Cerrillo, Brandon Servania
Option Declined: Bryan Acosta, Andrés Ricaurte
We knew the majority of FCD's midfield would be returning with the exceptions of Brandon Servania and Edwin Cerrillo who both had their team options picked up. The Homegrown duo enjoyed their best MLS seasons (often playing next to one another) and provided a great midfield base to build upon going forward. Creative midfielder Andrés Ricaurte's loan has expired and he'll return to his native Colombia. But the biggest decision of the offseason so far is Bryan Acosta having his option declined. Acosta joined Dallas from Tenerife as a Designated Player (DP) in 2019, playing 60 games and scoring two goals over his three seasons. His departure means FCD now has two open DP spots heading into the offseason.
Under Contract: Kalil ElMedkhar, Franco Jara, Jáder Obrian, Ricardo Pepi, Beni Redzic, Szabolcs Schön, Dante Sealy
Option Exercised: none
Option Declined: Freddy Vargas
The forward line decisions were also somewhat predictable as a majority of forwards/wingers signed contracts within the last two years. The only exception being winger Freddy Vargas who joined on loan last offseason. The Venezuelan was phenomenal during preseason but was unable to translate those performances to MLS. He'll return to his parent club Deportivo Lara. Sealy is currently on loan to PSV Eindhoven until 2023 but the Homegrown also signed a contract with FCD through 2024 with options for '25 and 26' as well.