FC Dallas' Sections in the 2021 Superdraft

Image: from FC Dallas' website

Yesterday was the annual MLS Superdraft. FC Dallas held the 15th, 48th, 75th, 76th, and the 79th picks of the draft. Over the last couple of years, the draft has been a bit of a toss up for Dallas. Their academy has been producing several great young players who have already grown up within the Dallas system and can make the transition to the professional life a little bit easier than their drafted peers. Last year Dallas selected three players, Nkosi Burgess, Cal Jennings, and Manuel Ferriol. Of those three players, only Burgess was officially signed by the club, though he has yet to make his debut with the club. Johnny Nelson was the last player Dallas has gotten from the draft who has played significant minutes for the club, mostly as Ryan Hollingshead's backup.

In the 2021 draft, Dallas acquired the rights to five players. It is unlikely that FC Dallas will sign any of these players to the first team, they will mostly be offered contracts with the second division team, North Texas Soccer Club. NTSC usually keeps players for a couple of years before either signing them to FC Dallas or letting them go elsewhere, however, should any of them have a breakout year with NTSC or earn interest with clubs overseas, they may be signed sooner rather than later.

With the 15th pick, FC Dallas selected Nick Hernandez. Hernandez has a good chance of signing for Dallas, however, he plays as a box-to-box midfielder, a position that Dallas is well stocked in. Should any of Dallas' current midfielders leave on a transfer or loan though, Hernandez could be signed to the club. He is already under contract with North Texas Soccer Club and played for them last year, scoring three goals and recording a single assist. Due to his involvement with NTSC, Luchi is already familiar with Hernandez as a player and gave him heaps of praise after the draft. The Dallas Morning News had an article going into more detail of Nicky Hernandez and Luchi Gonzalez's thoughts on him. (https://www.dallasnews.com/sports/fc-dallas/2021/01/22/fc-dallas-selects-smus-nicky-hernandez-in-the-first-round-of-mls-superdraft/)

Image: From FC Dallas' website

FC Dallas mentioned on their website that Nicky Hernandez's father, Edgar Hernandez, a member of Dallas during the 1998 season, back when they were known as the Dallas Burn. Edgar was the second player to wear the number 19, as found on Buzz Carrick's 3rd Degree page "All-Time Numberic Roster". (https://3rddegree.net/fc-dallas-history/all-time-numeric-roster) Unforunately, Edgar did not play for the Burn according to the Stats Crew. (https://www.statscrew.com/soccer/stats/p-hernaedg001)

Before signing for NTSC, Nicky played for Southern Methodist University, located in Dallas, Texas. As a member of SMU, he played in 48 games, where he scored 8 goals and recorded 9 assists. In addition to college soccer, he also played in the National Premier Soccer League for the Denton Diablos.

Image: From FC Dallas' website

During the second round of the Superdraft, Dallas selected goalkeeper, Colin Shutler. Shutler will mostly likely get signed to NTSC and play as their number-one keeper. FC Dallas currently have three keepers on their roster right now, Jimmy Maurer, Phelipe Megiolaro, and Kyle Zobeck. Maurer became the first choice keeper for Dallas last year and made the position his own. Phelipe is currently on loan from Gremio, he has made one appearance for Dallas during the regular season, a 3-0 loss for the club. He has made the 18 numerous times though. Kyle Zobeck is the team's 3rd choice keeper.

Goalkeeper is the one position that does not have a ton of youth. Maurer and Zobeck are 32 and 30. Phelipe is the youngest keeper on the roster at 21 but it is speculated that he will move onto a bigger club soon. Shutler would be a great project for the future. He played for the University of Virginia, where he played in 45 games and had 19 shutouts. FC Dallas reported on their website that he also had a 0.68 Goals Against Average and an 81% save percentage. (https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2021/01/21/fc-dallas-gets-top-goalkeeper-2021-mls-superdraft-colin-shutler)

Shutler has a good chance at making the FC Dallas roster.

Image: From FC Dallas' website

With the 75th pick, Dallas selected Thibaut Jacquel. Jacquel played for Campbell University. During his time at Campbell University, Jacquel played as a forward and scored 22 goals and tallied 13 assists in 41 games. Unfortunately, Jacquel will probably require an international slot to be eligible to play. He will most likely be offered a contract to NTSC.

Image: From FC Dallas' Website

With the 76th pick, Dallas selected Mark Salas. Salas has played for the FC Dallas academy in the past. Buzz Carrick named him as a potential homegrown signing in one of his articles. (https://3rddegree.net/slim-pickings-potential-2021-college-homegrown-signings)

During his time with the academy, Salas won the 2017 Dallas Cup, alongside Dallas homegrowns, Paxton Pomykal, Jesus Ferreira, Brandon Servania and USMNT player Reggie Cannon. Buzz Carrick wrote an article of those players and where they were 2020. (https://3rddegree.net/the-2017-fc-dallas-u18s-once-a-decade-champions)

Image: From Buzz Carrick's "The 2017 FC Dallas U-18s - Once A Decade Champions" (Link is above)

Mark Salas attended the University of North Carolina, the same university where current player Matt Hedges finished out his college career. At UNC, Salas played as a defender. He played a total of 62 games for the Tar Heels. Buzz Carrick has reported Salas to be very versatile and can play anywhere on the backline (the link to that report is above on the article on potential homegrown signings).

Luchi may try Salas as a rightback during preseason to compete with Twumasi and Munjoma, should he out-preform those two, he may end up with a first team contract. If he is unable to beat out his competition, he will more than likely be offered a spot with NTSC for a couple of years to see if he can make the jump to MLS.

Image: From FC Dallas' website

The last pick from FC Dallas came in the third round and was the 79th overall pick. Like Mark Salas, Giovanni Montesdeoca played for the University of North Carolina. He was also a part of the FC Dallas academy growing up and was a member of the 2015 USSDA U-15/16 Championship as reported by FC Dallas. (https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2021/01/21/fc-dallas-selects-five-players-2021-mls-superdraft)

During his time with the Tar Heels, Giovanni played as a forward, scoring 13 goals and tallying 6 assists in 37 games. Like Salas, Giovanni spent some time with NPSL's Denton Diablos. Unfortunately, the stats for Giovanni during his time with the Denton Diablos could not been found at the time of this writing. Giovanni will probably get signed to NTSC with the potential to move to the main team in a year or two.

The dream is just beginning for these young men. Hopefully they will all see time in MLS soon.

By Melanie G. Isbell

Twitter: M_Isbell95

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