FRISCO, Texas - "What's in a number?"
It's the eve of the 2022 season and time to have some fun. We're going inside the minds of the FC Dallas squad to learn why they chose their jersey numbers. Some have deep personal meaning, some just like the number for no particular reason, and others were just assigned during their rookie seasons.
Let's get started.
#1 - Jimmy Maurer
Up first is goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer who swapped his previous #20 shirt for the traditional 'keeper number and chose #1.
"I've always liked the number 1, I've worn it in the past. I don't have a deep reasoning or anything but I realized it was available and thought it was a good time to change. I talked to people in the club and no one had any problems with it. There's no real exciting story behind it but it's tradition for a veteran goalkeeper to wear the #1 and decided I'd take it."
#2 - Eddie Munjoma
Defender Eddie Munjoma keeps the No. 2 jersey for the second year in a row after giving up his previous #27 following his rookie season (Munjoma was signed as FCD's 27th Homegrown in late 2019).
“The main reason I chose number 2 is just because of the legacy of what that number means in general to soccer. People wear number 2 because there’s obviously big shoes to fill there. A lot of the greatest players in the world who play my position wear that number and it’s just kind of a tradition. And just to piggyback off that, one of my best friends Reggie (Cannon), he also wore that number. He did great things here at the club, so it also makes number 2 a legacy at this club. I know they’re big shoes to fill but I feel like that I’m up for the challenge. And I obviously want to follow in his footsteps."
#3 - José Martínez
Center back José Martínez retains the number 3 shirt that he took following his transfer from Spain last offseason. Unlike Maurer, Martínez's choice has a deeper meaning to him and his family:
"It's my father's favorite number and I asked him if he would like for me to wear it and I'm happy I'm able to wear it with this team. AIso, Reto Ziegler wore it before me and I think it's an honor to be able to wear it because he was the team captain. It's a number that has its identity and I like it a lot."
#4 - Marco Farfan
One of FCD's newest additions, defender Marco Farfan takes the No. 4 jersey last worn by another defender, Bressan.
"I used to always be #32 from my academy days at Portland and then LAFC. But I thought with a new team I'd go ahead and pick a new one so I went with four."
#5 - Facundo Quignon
Midfielder Facundo Quignon didn't choose the #5 shirt specifically but, in his homeland Argentina, the number corresponds to his defensive midfield position.
"They gave me the No. 5 when I arrived. The #19 is special to me because I wore that in my childhood and other clubs but it's taken here. But #5 is good too."
#6 - Edwin Cerrillo
Fellow defensive midfielder Edwin Cerrillo keeps the #6 shirt for the second year in a row after changing from his original #33. The number was initially offered to him by former FCD head coach Luchi Gonzalez before the start of the 2021 season.
"Luchi offered to give me number 6. I think it’s important for me to take a next step and to really secure a position for the future and play the number 6 (position). So getting the number 6 jersey means a lot to me and just means that I have more responsibility and I need to mature more and take it a step further by cementing myself in the team."
#7 - Paul Arriola
Major new signing Paul "Pug" Arriola is the first player on this list to pick his number based on one of his childhood heroes:
"My favorite player growing up was David Beckham so I always loved #7 and wanted it on my back as well."
#8 - Jáder Obrian
Winger Jáder Obrian has a new number this year. The Colombian performed the classic "good new teammate" move and offered his old #7 shirt to Arriola following the American international's move from D.C. United earlier this offseason. Obrian took the number 8, previously worn by Bryan Acosta.
"I've always liked playing with the #8 jersey so I didn't mind switching over."
#10 - Jesús Ferreira
At last, the one we've all been waiting for. Jesús Ferreira changed his number for the third season in a row and will now wear the fabled #10 jersey that his father, David, wore during his decorated FC Dallas career. Ferreira originally debuted with #27 before switching to #7 for 2020 and then #9 last year. Now with his family's number and a new Designated Player contract, Jesús will likely keep the #10 for the remainder of his FCD career.
#11 - Szabolcs Schön
The Hungarian Cowboy Szabolcs Schön took #11 following his arrival from MTK Budapest last summer and will sport the same number in 2022. Like Cerrillo before him, the number is indicative of Schön's position on the field:
"André (Zanotta) just told me the number is available and it's a winger's number. But it's also of my favorite numbers along with #7.
#13 - Antonio Carrera
Like Arriola, new 'keeper Antonio Carrera picked his number 13 to follow in the footsteps of one of his idols, Mexico international goalkeeper Memo Ochoa.
"Ever since I was little, I grew up watching Ochoa play and he was number 13. So, when I joined FC Dallas at the age of 10, I had the chance to pick 13 so I took it. And I've been 13 since then on."
#14 - Beni Redzic
Homegrown midfielder Beni Redzic halved his number this year and will wear No. 14 after sporting the #28 shirt during his rookie year. The change represents Redzic's ambition to play a bigger role in the team this time around.
#15 - Isaiah Parker
The first 2022 draft pick on the list is wingback Isaiah Parker who will wear No. 15 for his rookie season. While the number was assigned to him after joining the team, #15 also has a special meaning as Parker's brother, Elijah, wore the same number.
#16 - Tsiki Ntsabeleng
Similar to Parker, Tsiki Ntsabeleng was given the #16 after signing with the team via the MLS SuperDraft. The South African says he likes the number despite having no prior ties to it.
#17 - Nkosi Tafari
In a maneuver worthy of Jesús Ferreira, defender Nkosi Tafari has changed his number for the third season running. Tafari is now #17 after wearing #14 last year and #28 his rookie season.
"You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I chose it because it was open and I wore 17 in college at Connecticut and Seattle. I look at it almost like how Pokemon has stages and evolutions. I had 28, then 14, and now we're at the final stage at the number I wanted (17) and can feel confident using."
#18 - Brandon Servania
Homegrown midfielder Brandon Servania is a picture of consistency in terms of his number. The soon-to-be 23-year-old has worn No. 18 since he was drafted back in 2018, when he was 18. And he has a very detailed explanation as to why:
"So I actually signed when I was 18, in 2018. So I picked 18."
#19 - Paxton Pomykal
The number 19 is special in Dallas. It's the number late club legend Bobby Rhine wore during his decade playing for the club. The number was quasi retired following Bobby's tragic passing in 2011 but Paxton Pomykal asked the Rhine family if he could wear the number in Bobby's memory after signing his first pro deal.
#21 - Kalil ElMedkhar
Winger Kalil ElMedkhar will be keeping the #21 for his sophomore season. It's the number he wore with the University of Kentucky and in the Philadelphia Union academy. The number is also a nod to his all-time favorite NBA player, Joel Embiid.
#22 - Ema Twumasi
Defender Ema "Emmanuel" Twumasi enjoyed a breakout 2021 campaign and will keep his #22 going forward. The number is a nod to his collegiate career with Wake Forest:
"I wore 22 in college. I guess Wake Forest had had a lot of people who wore 22 and did great things so the coach believed in me and gave me that one."
#23 - Thomas Roberts
Homegrown attacking mid Thomas Roberts is on loan to SK Austria Klagenfurt in the Austrian Bundesliga but he'll reclaim his Jordan number when he returns after the European season ends.
#24 - Matt Hedges
The FCD defensive GOAT Matt Hedges has kept the #24 since it was assigned to him after being drafted back in 2012. While the number didn't mean anything to him at first, there's no going back now.
"My whole family has the Hedges 24 jersey so I can't really go and change it now."
#25 - Collin Smith
The ever-cheerful, ever-smiling Homegrown Collin Smith was assigned the No. 25 last year after signing and will wear it again in 2022.
"There's not so much a meaning behind it but it's the number the club gave me. So from here on out, there will be a meaning deep down in my heart. It was the club I always wanted to sign for growing up so I'm super excited to get started and I'm loving the look of number 25."
#26 - Lucas Bartlett
Another draft pick, another jersey number assignment. Center back Lucas Bartlett joined Dallas from St. John's University and will wear 26 for his rookie year, at least.
"They just gave me this number. It's a good one, it's fine with me. I don't really care, haha"
#29 - Franco Jara
Forward Franco Jara wore #29 when he made his pro debut and has gone on to wear it for the majority of his career. The 33-year-old Argentine even has the number tattooed on his right leg.
#30 - Maarten Paes
Goalkeeper Maarten Paes, who recently arrived on loan from FC Utrecht in his native Netherlands, will wear No. 30 for his maiden MLS season.
"I had some options and 30 was the one I liked the most. I arrived quite late so there weren't many options. No. 13 was an option but I didn't want that since it could be bad luck. So I said 'just give me a round number and I'm good.'"
#31 - Nanu
Another newcomer, defender Nanu picked No. 31 which he's used for most of his pro career in Europe.
"It's very important to me. The last few clubs I've been at, I've always used this number. Since I started my professional career, I've liked this number and I want to continue to use it here in Dallas."
#80 - Nicky Hernandez
Last but not least is SMU alum Nicky Hernandez. The midfielder was signed last year after being drafted in the first round of 2021 MLS SuperDraft and Hernandez opted to pick #80 since the #8 is special to his family (but was taken by Bryan Acosta at the time of his signing). Hernandez's father is a former pro who played for the Dallas Burn and wore the No. 8 during his career.
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