FRISCO, Texas - FC Dallas will have a new in-state rival in 2021 with the entrance of MLS's 27th team, Austin FC. But before Dallas and Austin face off in league play, the newcomers have a chance to select one player from FCD's roster in the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft beginning at 5PM CT on Dec. 15.
Here's how the Expansion Draft could affect FC Dallas.
First off, here are the general rules for the draft via MLSsoccer.com:
"Austin FC may select up to five players from the eligible MLS player pool below. Only a single player can be drafted from any one club. Once one player has been claimed from a club’s unprotected roster, Austin may not select any other players from that club's list."
Teams that had a player selected in the previous Expansion Draft are exempt from this year's edition. But since Dallas was exempt in 2019 (because FC Cincinnati selected Roland Lamah from FCD in 2018), the club and its players are eligible this time around. Eligible teams are able to "protect" 12 players meaning they cannot be selected by Austin. FCD's 12 protected players are Bryan Acosta, Michael Barrios, Bressan, Matt Hedges, Ryan Hollingshead, Franco Jara, Jimmy Maurer, Phelipe Megiolaro, Fafa Picault, Andrés Ricaurte, Thiago Santos and Ema Twumasi.
Importantly, Homegrown players aged 25 and under are also automatically protected. This is huge for FCD since it has another 12 players who fall under this category: Edwin Cerrillo, Justin Che, Jesús Ferreira, Eddie Munjoma, John Nelson, Ricardo Pepi, Paxton Pomykal, Bryan Reynolds, Thomas Roberts, Dante Sealy, Brandon Servania and Tanner Tessmann.
With 24 players protected, only two players on Dallas' active roster are eligible for selection by Austin: center back Nkosi Burgess and goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck. Although Burgess hasn't played in MLS yet, he's a former first-round SuperDraft pick with high upside who showed his quality with a number of composed performances for North Texas SC in USL League One this year. Similarly, Zobeck increased his stock this season after making his MLS debut and standing in well while first-choice Jimmy Muarer was injured.
Further, free agents (players whose contracts expired or had club options that weren't exercised by FCD) are also available for selection. So, in FCD's case, former players Francis Atuahene, Santiago Mosquera and Reto Ziegler are also eligible to be selected by Austin. If any of those players are chosen, Austin would be allowed to negotiate a new contract with them.
Past Expansion Drafts
FC Dallas has had a total of 10 players selected by incoming teams in Expansion Draft history:
|Draft Year||FCD Player Selected||Expansion Team|
|2018||Roland Lamah||FC Cincinnati|
|2016||Zach Loyd||Atlanta United|
|2014||George John||New York City FC|
|2010||Dax McCarty||Portland Timbers|
|2010||Atiba Harris||Vancouver Whitecaps|
|2007||Clarence Goodson||San Jose Earthquakes|
|2004||Matt Behncke||Real Salt Lake|
|1997||Joey Martinez||Miami Fusion|
|1997||Jeff Cassar||Miami Fusion|
|1997||Wade Webber||Miami Fusion|