FRISCO, Texas – If FC Dallas name a head coach this week as expected, the new gaffer will have one big decision to weigh in on: who to sign as the team’s third Designated Player.
The club currently has two DP slots taken up by winger Fabian Castillo and creative midfielder Mauro Diaz. By not picking up 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira’s option, FCD opened up room for a potential new high-priced impact player.
FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo told media in a conference call Tuesday that he expects to have all three Designated Player slots filled in 2014, though the position they are focused on for the current opening may be a surprise.
“I think you’re going to see hopefully a box-to-box kind of player,” explained Clavijo (above). “Everybody, all of the [head coach] candidates have identified an issue which we already knew of in defensive midfield.”
Dallas recently traded popular striker Kenny Cooper’s rights and allocation money to the Seattle Sounders in exchange for defensive midfielder Adam Moffat. The team also still expects to finalize bringing La Liga veteran Peter Luccin, a holding midfielder, back to the team in 2014, but Clavijo still says, “…that’s a position where we still need a little bit more cover.
“It is [our intention to sign Luccin], no question about it. Peter we all know, he played two games for us at the end of the year extremely well, but that would be the second knee surgery for him at 34. We have to learn from the past mistake, we never recovered from that last year and I want to make sure that we don’t have the same issue.”
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Clavijo said that the decision to not bring back Ferreira was largely economic – though also related to Ferreira’s declining performance – and had nothing to do with the on-field scuffle late in the season between he and former midfielder Jackson.
There is still a possibility that El Torito will be in red and white hoops in 2014, though.
“To guarantee the option we had at the time, it would guarantee [Ferreira] a DP and we didn’t want to do that. The next step is that we are going to try to talk to him and we have not made that decision yet. Ideally, we need to have a coach to help us make those decisions,” said Clavijo.