FRISCO - The transfer window might've closed, but FC Dallas made one last addition to their roster ahead of the MLS roster freeze on Sept. 14.
Abel Aguilar, who's last match came during Colombia's group stage opener at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, has signed via free transfer after seeing the end of his club contract with Deportivo Cali in his native country. The veteran brings an experience to the FCD locker room that continues to develop many younger faces in his position like Jacori Hayes and Brandon Servania.
"The idea is to bring experience and to provide leadership," Aguilar told FCDallas.com during his first interview as a member of the club. "I want to come help, I want to contribute and make myself available to whatever the technical staff wants. Whatever the club wants. I'm really looking forward to it. To work, to help. I come to that to help and put my two cents so the team can get stronger in every aspect and I am happy to be here."
"He's a guy that comes with a lot of experience," FCD Assistant Technical Director Luiz Muzzi said. "He has all the tools to help us in this final stretch and he's got a lot of games left in him. He's really excited with the opportunity and wants to help us. He's a great addition on the field and in the locker room as well."
So what does this mean for the remainder of 2018?
Realistically, the biggest challenge for Aguilar will be adapting quickly to his new team and new league. The adaptation process is one FC Dallas knows well, but with just nine games left in the season right now, his impact ultimately is going to be determined by how quickly he can integrate. By the time his P1 Visa and ITC get approved, that number will be just seven or eight.
Since FCD traded Kellyn Acosta to Colorado in July, the four-man defensive midfield rotation that played a key role earlier in the season has been reduced to three: Hayes, along with Victor Ulloa and Carlos Gruezo, who have started the last 10 matches together in that role. The Homegrown rookie, Servania, has pushed to make his first MLS matchday roster, but is more likely to spend time developing on loan with Tulsa Roughnecks FC in USL, where he's appeared 13 times this season - a very similar path that Hayes took during his rookie year.
Regardless, the competition for minutes week-in and week-out now has one more name thrown in the mix.