FC Dallas' addition of central defender Stephen Keel through last week’s Re-Entry draft is looking like an even smarter move.
Defender Hernán Pertúz, on loan to FCD last season from Colombian club Independiente Medellín, may head back home in 2013 instead of remaining in Frisco, according to Fernando Clavijo.
“We’re still working on it, but we’re not able to come to terms with the team that owns his rights,” FC Dallas' technical director told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday.
It was thought that Pertúz (above) would be returning to the MLS club next season, but reports out of Colombia have his return home as nearly a done deal. The 23-year-old played 30 games for FC Dallas last season, making 24 starts and scoring his lone goal of the season at San Jose on July 18.
While Pertúz was not likely to start, his departure would leave a hole in the squad’s defensive depth, raising the likelihood that Dallas look for a defender in the first round of next month's SuperDraft.
“Right now, I can only tell you that we’re working and we don’t know what the outcome will be,” said Clavijo.
While one player looks to be on the way out, Clavijo informed reporters that FCD is looking not only to sign Maryland defender London Woodberry to a Homegrown deal, but that they’ve got South Carolina forward Bradlee Baladez in their sights as well.
“We have instructed the league to make a commitment to two players, Bradlee Baladez and London Woodberry,” said Clavijo. “They are players we would like to see the league sign and hopefully we will have an answer soon. We have definitely informed the league that we would like to pursue those two.”
Clavijo reiterated FCD’s intention to sign Woodberry last week, but Tuesday marked the first time he has indicated the club would like to lock down Baladez. The 6-foot-1 junior, who was South Carolina’s leading scorer each of the past two seasons, trained for most of the summer with the FC Dallas first team and earned All-Conference USA second-team honors this fall.