FRISCO, Tex. – With the top spot in the Allocation Ranking, two transactions providing an additional $550,000 in allocation funds, and the much discussed additional Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) infusion throughout the league, FC Dallas find themselves with plenty of resources at their disposal after a stunning collapse at the end of 2017.
What they do with those resources is the big question surrounding the team after failing to make the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time under Oscar Pareja.
After trading defender Walker Zimmerman to LAFC on Sunday, FC Dallas president Dan Hunt, and his brother Clark, the team's CEO, had slightly different answers as to what they would do with the $250,000 of General Allocation Money and another $250,000 of Targeted Allocation Money acquired in the deal, not to mention the top spot in the Allocation Ranking.
Dan Hunt indicated that there were a couple of players on the Allocation list that were being discussed, but the Allocation Ranking may not factor for them until the summer. Clark Hunt, meanwhile, was keen to point out that the top spot could also be monetized.
Should they opt to sign a new player, one glaring area of concern coming into the offseason is the backline. Of last year's starting defenders, only Matt Hedges remains on the roster for the time being, with Maynor Figueroa believed to be close to signing a new to return to Toyota Stadium. This leaves 19-year-old HomegrownReggie Cannon, and possibly 21-year-old Aníbal Chala, currently on loan back in his home country of Ecuador, as the main remaining defensive players.
"You'll see some experienced pieces added," said Dan Hunt. "Hopefully in the next ten days to two weeks, we'll be across the finish line. There will also be some younger FC Dallas Homegrown players get their opportunity. We're excited about Reggie Cannon's future here. We think he will do great, and we have some players coming up through the academy. We also have kids graduating college that we have first right on, and we think a couple of those may make the team also."
Chala, meanwhile, has been linked with several teams following a year on loan with LDU Quito, and Hunt confirmed that there has been a great deal of interest for the Ecuadorian.
"We're excited to bring him back, but that being said there's a lot of global interest in him," said Hunt. "Not only in Ecuador but abroad, we've received inquiries to sign him so we'll have to decide what we want to do with him.
"...I think he has a bright future, but we're not turning down the opportunity. We may sell him on because there's interest globally for him. We've had three inquiries in the last eight days for him."
With the increase in available TAM the next two years, teams like FC Dallas will be looking to maximize the cash available for building their roster. But the moment may be one where conventional wisdom in building successful rosters is shifting.
"This is a really strange year," Dan Hunt explained. "With the US not qualifying [for the World Cup], I don't think there will be an influx of US players coming in, and with a World Cup year you don't necessarily have players move around a lot anyway until the summer. You'll see some save it, and you'll see us in Dallas do something similar. We'll spend some now and save money for the summer window too, because there's always a great player to get to add."