FRISCO - It’s been a minute, but we thought we’d check back in for an early offseason edition of Monday Mailbag this week to address all kinds of issues at hand. Boy, did we get some questions on a wide array of topics. Let’s dive right in.
“Any new signings for the next season? Any star signings?” - @jazi1995
There will be many new signings ahead of next season! As it stands right now, the club has just 20 players under roster for 2018, with 10 roster spots open and left to fill. Signings will start flowing, I believe, in December and into January.
As far as “star” signings, Dallas won’t be making any big name splashes among the likes of teams like Atlanta, LAFC, etc. That simply isn’t the model in Frisco. There very well could be a player or two with price tags in the $1 million-plus range, but the core of this team is built around the Homegrowns and young players on the come up. Remember, there’s a focus on developing young, American talent and there’s no better pool to pull from than North Texas and the FCD Academy.
“How is the team planning to evaluate Mauro Diaz for next year? Is his health still a concern?” - @nathanjhill
Yes, Mauro Diaz has an injury history that might be a cause for concern looking into the future, but I don’t think the club is going to be moving on from Mauro soon. Rather, coming off an injury like he did in 2017, there’s room for optimism for a fully fit and fully healthy Diaz in 2018 with a full preseason under his belt. There will be some importance placed on depth at the No. 10 role because a lot of wear and tear is coming with an elongated CCL knockout round schedule and the start of the MLS season. Mauro certainly won’t be asked to handle it all and Dallas has to have someone ready or options ready to ease his load in a hectic opening half.
“What would it take for @EnergyFC and/or @SanAntonioFC to make @MLS - both would be better for the league than many other options” - @thughroy
We’re getting into some quite murky waters here in terms of MLS expansion and potential relocation. First of all, I love my friends at Energy FC and think they’ve got a good thing going in OKC, but they are not in the conversation for MLS expansion at this point in time. The league opened up an expansion application process earlier this year where clubs were required to submit proposals and Oklahoma City was not one of the 12 markets to file a bid. Their ownership is on the record as saying they still have goals of being an MLS franchise, but it will not be within the group that will bring the league to 28 teams.
The San Antonio situation is much more cloudy. They were a part of the 12 cities to submit proposals for expansion and seemed like a very possible option. However, now with Columbus Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt’s stated intent to move the team to Austin for 2019, their future as an MLS market is in doubt. Should Crew SC, in fact, relocate, San Antonio would be off the table. The league is not going to put two new teams in mid-sized markets within 90 minutes of each other as they look to increase their footprint across North America.