FRISCO, Texas – Throughout the 2019 season, we’ve seen 16 different lineups on MLS match days, but one thing has remained consistent: the amount of Homegrown talent on the field.
FC Dallas has built a reputation for developing their Homegrown talent and helping them work their way up to the first team. On June 22nd against Toronto FC, FC Dallas started seven Homegrown players, the highest number this season. Head coach Luchi Gonzalez has stated, “These guys have to earn what they get.”
“There’s no charity here. This is not charity for the young players. This is what they’re fighting for and they’re earning it. Whether it’s a young player, or a veteran player our locker room is competing” Gonzalez noted.
Over the course of the season so far homegrown players on the FC Dallas roster the age of 21 and under have played 4,883 minutes. This includes Paxton Pomykal, Reggie Cannon, Edwin Cerrillo, Jesus Ferreira, Bryan Reynolds, Thomas Roberts, Brandon Servania, and Ricardo Pepi. Of those minutes, six players have seen their first MLS starts as well. Players like Pomykal, Cannon, Cerrillo, Servania, and Ferreira have seen multiple starts and have a solid position in the lineup week in and week out.
Paxton Pomykal talked about, “It’s cool we have a diverse team. It’s not that Luchi is just trying to play young guys and veterans at the same time. It’s whoever deserves to be on the field at that time.”
One theme that has been consistent throughout the season is Luchi Gonzalez’s focus on competition in training. We can see this through the small-sided tournaments the players compete in each week as well as the atmosphere around the training fields and preparation. Pomykal added, “Whoever deserves to be there is going to be on the field and playing at that time.” Thomas Roberts, who got his first MLS start earlier this season, noted the team’s mentality and persistence in saying, “Guys work hard everyday. Everyone steps up.”
Since first signing with the Academy, Bryan Reynolds has committed to his development as a player. After his MLS debut on May 19 against LAFC, he said, “I’ve been working hard these past two and a half years, hadn’t gotten my chance and I finally got my chance today.”
The homegrown talent has shown that they are dedicated and prepared to help the team as they build their presence as they continue to grow.