8.19.20 Phelipe DL
Pedro Martins/ MOWA PRESS

How and Why FC Dallas Signed 21-Year-Old Goalkeeper Phelipe Megiolaro

FRISCO, Texas – It’s new signings season! Four days after adding Colombian midfielder Andrés Ricaurte, FC Dallas have signed 21-year-old goalkeeper Phelipe Megiolaro on loan with an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the year.

Megiolaro comes to Dallas from Grêmio in Brazil’s top division. With only two first-team starts, he’s relatively inexperienced at the top level—but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Megiolaro was a mainstay in Brazil’s youth national teams and was called up to the senior team as backup to Liverpool’s Alisson and Manchester City’s Ederson in Brazil’s 2019 Copa América squad. For a ‘keeper of his age, Megiolaro boasts an impressive international resume.

“Even though he’s young, we believe that Phelipe has all the tools to be one of the great goalkeepers in any market,” said FCD’s Technical Director Andre Zanotta, who worked with Megiolaro during his time as Grêmio’s sporting director. “We felt we could bring him in on a short-term loan to see how he would adapt here in MLS and we have the option to extend him.”

Megiolaro’s integration into FCD’s lineup will be interesting since current starter Jimmy Maurer had acquitted himself well since taking over from Jesse Gonzalez. Maurer put in a seven-save performance en route to the Man of the Match award last week against Nashville SC. Still, it’s clear Dallas’ coaching staff felt they needed another body to compete with Maurer, Kyle Zobeck and recent Homegrown signing Carlos Avilez in the goalkeeping pecking order.

Megiolaro (middle) with Alisson of Liverpool (left) and Manchester City's Ederson (right)

Zanotta’s connection with both Megiolaro and Grêmio’s leadership meant the keeper was perfect candidate to quickly come in and challenge Maurer for the rest of this season.

“I know Phelipe well, he was there (at Grêmio) the entire time I was sporting director,” Zanotta added. “I spoke to him about the profile of FC Dallas and how we have many young players that have the chance to play and compete. Even though he’s in the first team, he hasn’t had the opportunity to play there because Grêmio has some experienced keepers of very high quality. He was extremely excited to come here. He didn’t think twice about it. He said ‘I want to come, I want this opportunity.’ He was really happy when I spoke to him.”

Whether FC Dallas signs Megiolaro permanently will likely depend on if he’s able to displace Maurer and impresses in a starting role. But even if he doesn’t, it’s still a good deal for FC Dallas, Grêmio and the player himself.

“Grêmio understand that it’s a chance to let a player of his caliber be tested in this league,” Zanotta said. “And even if he doesn’t stay here longer, at least he’ll learn a lot from this experience, and he can continue developing. We’re hopeful that he can join our family here and be successful with us.”