Image: FC Dallas (https://www.fcdallas.com/players/jimmy-maurer)
Preseason has finally arrived and with it a look at FC Dallas' current roster. Dallas will be heading into the 2021 preseason with three goalkeepers currently on their roster, Jimmy Maurer, Phelipe Megiolaro, and Kyle Zobeck.
In addition to the three players mentioned above, Dallas also drafted University of Virginia goalkeeper, Colin Shutler in the 2021 Superdraft. (https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2021/01/21/fc-dallas-gets-top-goalkeeper-2021-mls-superdraft-colin-shutler)
Last year, Dallas became thin at goalkeeper and even ended up having to loan an emergency goalkeeper for a couple of games. (https://3rddegree.net/fc-dallas-adds-mls-pool-goalkeeper-charlie-lyon-for-two-games)
Maurer became the club's main goalkeeper after the departure of long time, homegrown goalkeeper, Jesse Gonzalez during the Covid break last year. They signed homegrown Carlos Avilez as their third keeper for the 2020 season ahead of the MLSisBack Tournament. (https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2020/06/18/fc-dallas-signs-carlos-avilez-club-s-29th-homegrown-player) Avilez did not play for Dallas during the 2020 season and has since signed for USL League One side Tormenta FC. (https://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/tormenta-fc-signs-fc-dallas-homegrown-carlos-avilez/n-5670095)
In addition to Avilez, Dallas also acquired young Brazilian goalkeeper Phelipe Megiolaro on loan from Gremio. (https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2020/08/19/how-and-why-fc-dallas-signed-21-year-old-goalkeeper-phelipe-megiolaro) After the completion of his loan last year, Megiolaro was brought back to Dallas for the upcoming season on another loan with an option to buy. (https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2020/12/21/bressan-and-phelipe-megiolaro-return-fc-dallas-2021-season)
FC Dallas should be more prepared this year as far as keepers go. Maurer was quickly able to stake his claim as the number one goalkeeper, with Zobeck and Megiolaro filling in when needed, and should they choose to sign draft pick Colin Shutler to the first team or can convince him to sign for North Texas Soccer Club, that would give them another option should an emergency occur. Here is a quick look at FC Dallas' goalkeeping options:
Image: FC Dallas (https://www.fcdallas.com/gallery/inside-look-first-week-preseason)
After spending two years as Dallas' back-up keeper, Jimmy made the position his own in 2020. When the season started back up after having to stop due to Covid, Maurer became Luchi's first choice for goalie. In the shorten season, he played 16 games, missing 6 due to an injury. (https://www.transfermarkt.us/jimmy-maurer/verletzungen/spieler/183337)
Statistically, Maurer had an excellent season. In his 16 games, he registered 7 shutouts, had a 0.81 GGA and 79.4% in saves. (https://www.fcdallas.com/players/jimmy-maurer) His play earned him MLS Team of the Week honors for week 20 ( https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2020/10/26/jimmy-maurer-named-mls-team-week-bench-week-20) and 21 (https://3rddegree.net/hollingshead-reynolds-and-maurer-named-to-the-mls-team-of-the-week), although for week 20 was on the bench for Team of the Week. Fans have noted that Maurer is also very vocal when in the net and helps to lead his defense in games, something that many have criticized Jesse Gonzalez for his lack of doing.
Unless he becomes injured or another player steps up in training, Maurer will be Dallas' first choice in the net come opening day.
Phelipe is a loaned player from Brazilian club Gremio. At 22 years old, he is very young as a goalkeeper and should be looked at as a project player for Luchi and the coaching staff. Acquired mid-season, he spent most of 2020 on the bench, playing a single game for the club, a 0-3 loss. He registered 6 saves in the game.
The loan was set to end when Dallas finished the season ( https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2020/08/19/how-and-why-fc-dallas-signed-21-year-old-goalkeeper-phelipe-megiolaro) however the club extended it until the completion of the 2021 season with an option to buy. (https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2020/12/21/bressan-and-phelipe-megiolaro-return-fc-dallas-2021-season)
Phelipe has already earn the attention of the Brazilian National Team, having been called up to their U-23 Squad in the past. (https://www.newsbreak.com/news/2089140560341/fc-dallas-keeper-phelipe-megiolaro-called-into-brazil-u-23-squad) It is possible that he will be gone for the Olympics during the summer.
Phelipe will more than likely spend the 2021 season on the bench as Maurer's back-up. He could see some time with North Texas Soccer Club should it be deemed safe for players to travel freely between the two clubs or should he acquire the Covid antibodies.
Zobeck is in the third season of his second stint with FC Dallas. His first stint came in 2013, when he was drafted by Dallas in the Supplemental Draft, a draft that is no longer done. In his first year with Dallas, he did not make any appearances for the first team and was released upon the completion of the season. He was brought to Dallas once again in the 2018 season and has since then been Dallas' third choice goalkeeper.
Zobeck spent some time with North Texas Soccer Club in 2019 and helped them to win the first ever USL-League One cup. In 2020, at the age 30, he made his MLS debut after teammate Jimmy Maurer was injured in game. (https://www.dallasnews.com/sports/fc-dallas/2020/09/11/a-soldier-to-this-club-after-being-a-backup-throughout-his-career-fc-dallas-kyle-zobeck-is-ready-to-step-up-as-a-starter/)
The injury to Maurer gave Zobeck a chance to start for Dallas in 3 games, during which he allowed 5 goals, one of which was a penalty. (https://3rddegree.net/grading-goalkeepers-an-fc-dallas-goals-allowed-breakdown) In his second start in goal, Zobeck was named to the MLS Team of the Week Week 11 Bench. (https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2020/09/14/team-week-presented-audi-sounders-lead-week-11-honors-after-7-goal-romp)
Zobeck had to undergo knee surgery on January 5th, FC Dallas reported that it is estimated that recovery will take four to six weeks. ( https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2021/01/07/fc-dallas-goalkeeper-kyle-zobeck-undergoes-successful-surgery) He should just be ready to compete at the beginning of preseason.
Zobeck will challenge Phelipe for the back-up spot in 2021. He has proven that he can be depended upon should the club need him.
Image: The Cavalier Daily
Drafted in the second round of the 2021 Super-Draft, Shutler is considered by FC Dallas to be a top rated goalkeeper. (https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2021/01/21/fc-dallas-gets-top-goalkeeper-2021-mls-superdraft-colin-shutler) He is not yet signed by FC Dallas but as a draft pick will be going to preseason to compete with the other goalkeepers and will have a chance to earn an MLS contract with the club.
During his time in college, Shutler played in 45 games, recording 19 shutouts, a 0.68 GAA, and an 81 save percentage as well. He was the first Cavalier goalkeeper to earn All-ACC First Team honors since Tony Meola. The source for these stats can be found in the link above.
Shutler will more than likely see time with North Texas Soccer Club as the USL-One side does not currently have a goalkeeper on their roster. Shutler, like Phelipe, is a project for the future. Maurer and Zobeck are both in their 30s, although that it is still relative young for goalkeepers, Luchi and the club will need to start thinking about the future for that position.
Image: Jerome Miron- USA TODAY Sports
Despite seeing four different keepers in the net in 2020, it was one of FC Dallas' best positions. (https://3rddegree.net/grading-goalkeepers-an-fc-dallas-goals-allowed-breakdown) 2021 should see very little changes in the goalkeeping personnel, aside from the possible signing of Colin Shutler. Goalkeeper is the one area that Dallas fans should not worry about.
By Melanie G. Isbell