Despite a deep squad with ostensibly few pressing needs, FC Dallas were among the busiest clubs during the Secondary Transfer Window this year.
They had the high-profile transfer of Reggie Cannon to Boavista, though his departure wasn’t a huge surprise given his trajectory and reports. They had the lower-profile departure of Zdenek Ondrasek, which was definitely a surprise, while Colombian No. 10 Andres Ricaurte and Brazilian youth international GK Phelipe Megiolaro arrived.
Dallas moved on the fly but still retain plenty of flexibility for more work this winter. They announced their roster moves last week after being eliminated from the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, including moving on from Designated Player Santiago Mosquera and club captain Reto Ziegler.
The club have a few key areas to make decisions on.
An open DP spot (and other additions)
“Opening a DP spot creates this expectation of what we can bring and we know that,” sporting director Andre Zanotta told media on a virtual press conference. “We know how important that is in this league that a DP player is the right fit. We’ve been discussing a lot of players, there’s a possibility we’ll bring in someone that can be a difference-maker for us.”
Dallas will also expect much more from Paxton Pomykal, who missed essentially all of 2020 with an injury. The rising midfielder was expected to be a mainstay in the team.
Externally, Dallas are plotting quality over quantity to accentuate their roster.
“We’re going to be open (to adding) at all positions,” head coach Luchi Gonzalez said. “Obviously not re-signing Reto we’re going to be looking at a center back. Potentially, one or two attacking pieces could be added. We’ll be looking at that position. We have good pieces internally, but we need to be smart (in additions). It’s going to be a few tweaks we believe can help us take a big step.”
Homegrown defender Bryan Reynolds could be next in FC Dallas' line of Homegrown standouts to make a move overseas | USA Today Sports
With Dallas’ burgeoning academy, the club aren’t unfamiliar with reports linking rising talents away from Dallas. Weston McKennie, Chris Richards and Reggie Cannon are a few high-profile examples of that.
Cannon’s de facto replacement Bryan Reynolds might be next.
The 19-year-old right back excelled as the starter following Cannon’s transfer and has been linked with a number of clubs in Europe, including Juventus.
“Where I’m from, I’m used to this,” Zanotta said. “I’m used to having young players getting clubs in Europe interested. We need to be open. If it’s a good offer for the club and a good offer for the player, we’ll see what happens. At this moment I can tell you there’s nothing concrete. We’re going to keep working as if Bryan will be here next season.”
Things can change quickly, of course.
“It’s such a great problem to have, when clubs from top leagues in Europe are watching our team and starting to look at our players,” Zanotta said. “Bryan stepped up, he’s still 19. He’s still developing and has many years in his career ahead of him.”
Keeping Bressan, Phelipe
Another two players currently not under contract for 2021 include defender Bressan and Phelipe.
Phelipe was on loan from Gremio last season and made one appearance for Dallas. He is a highly-rated ‘keeper and a regular with the Brazilian U-23s. The club didn’t pick up his purchase option but are hopeful they can sort a return.
“Phelipe is a young goalkeeper with a high projection,” Zanotta said. “The idea was to bring him just to see how he’d adapt then we had the option to buy him. But we have to be smart with our decisions, there’s a possibility of extending the loan. That’s why we didn’t exercise the option because we’re considering extending his loan. Due to my relationship with Gremio, I believe this will be possible.”
Zanotta previously worked at Gremio, overseeing a team that won Copa Libertadores during his time and made the Club World Cup final.
Meanwhile, Bressan has made 36 appearances since arriving in 2019. Particularly with Ziegler already departing the club hope to re-sign him.
“We want Bressan to stay here,” Zanotta said. “He really stepped up and helped us, being that consistent defensively. We want to keep him, we’re negotiating a new deal with him. Let’s see what happens.”