Sebastian Lletget to FC Dallas: "A perfect fit" for USMNT midfielder

Sebastian Lletget, through the first half of the US men’s national team’s Concacaf Octagonal campaign, was a key part of head coach Gregg Berhalter’s plans.

The 29-year-old midfielder’s hopes of reigniting that role got a potential boost earlier this week, Tom Bogert noted on Extratime’s transfer deadline special, after a trade from the New England Revolution to FC Dallas. Lletget arrives in Texas for $600,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM), split evenly across this season and next year.

“Lletget's fallen out of the national team,” Bogert said. “If he wants to get back into the national team, he probably had to move clubs right now. And there's not a better place than FC Dallas.”

A major part of that logic is head coach Nico Estevez, a former USMNT assistant under Berhalter who’s got FC Dallas at fourth place in the Western Conference standings as they chase an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs return.

And a trade similar to Lletget’s occurred last January, when the club acquired USMNT winger Paul Arriola from FC Dallas in a record-breaking intra-league move. Arriola’s since become a 2022 MLS All-Star and is fighting for a place on the 26-man World Cup roster.

That’s not to contend Lletget is guaranteed a ticket to Qatar or similarly improved production that Arriola’s enjoyed, but the pieces are there to be successful.

“I think bringing Lletget's experience, his ability to fill minutes, to connect in the game – I'm pretty sure he's going to score a bunch of goals there,” said Extratime’s David Gass. “When he has been played in central areas and been a late runner and finding spots, especially off of Jesus Ferreira, he's going to get back to what he does well.”

Lletget has eight goals in 33 USMNT appearances, and now is likely to play alongside midfielder Paxton Pomykal at FC Dallas. That pairing, with the likes of Arriola, Ferreira and club-record signing Alan Velasco running in front of them, has great potential.

After being played as a winger with the Revs, a mutually beneficial departure worked in Dallas’ favor in a position Lletget prefers.

“He's one of those players who likes to get on the ball and control it, knock it side to side,” said Extratime’s Charlie Davies. “He's one of those players who likes to be in possession and be central. So I think for Dallas, they needed a central midfielder, they wanted to bring one in. It's a perfect fit.”

Lletget spent roughly eight months in New England following an offseason trade from the LA Galaxy and found some success production-wise, chipping in two goals and five assists across 19 matches for the defending Supporters’ Shield winners. But playing out wide wasn’t quite the right match, Davies said.

“That's just not his game,” Davies said. “He's not a player who's going to be getting up and down and taking players on 1-v-1 and creating space from those wide areas.”

Now on his third MLS team in under a year, Lletget gets a chance to feature prominently.

“Dallas kind of came in a little bit late and Dallas were pretty desperately – maybe desperate is too strong – but they really wanted a player to play as a No. 8 like Lletget,” Bogert said. “It really worked out that the Revs would be open to moving him and Lletget would be open to leaving. This wasn't him necessarily being pushed out or anything. It was kind of a mutually beneficial move for the Revs and for Lletget.”

For more Extratime analysis, check out their transfer deadline special here.