Having a transfer saga resolved may be something of a relief around FC Dallas Stadium, where manager Schellas Hyndman can now move forward with just a little more knowledge of what his team might look like in 2013.
But there’s a pretty big hole to fill now … and not much time to do so.
The depth at wide spots in midfield already looked threadbare. In fact, past the two featured attackers, uh, who in the world will score goals for the club this year?
The news from late Monday night that Brek Shea has been sold to Stoke City leaves FC Dallas’ offense with striker Blas Perez and playmaker David Ferreira and a lot of role players. That is not a good place to be.
While FC Dallas is left to ponder a transfer price that still looks low at around $4 million – a year ago Shea probably could have been sold for nearly twice that – they will also need to scare up some depth. Pronto.
Fabian Castillo is good enough to bother teams with his speed at one flank. And presumably Jackson, the utility knife around Dallas, has just been locked into a flank midfielder role. (That seemed his best spot all along.) And then there’s … uh … Nope, nevermind. That’s it.
That is hardly enough. Not when Ferreira never quite looked like the same game-changer when he finally came back from that year-long injury in 2012. Not when Blas Perez is the only man on FCD’s roster who even approached double-digit goals last year. He’s 31 and coming off a year where he missed 15 starts due to injury.
This also makes the club’s selection of Ryan Hollingshead in last week’s draft look a little more curious. The Pac-12 Player of the Year was certainly talented enough to be taken at that spot, but he has already told the league that he doesn’t plan to play professional soccer.
Snatching first-round talent in the second round would be worth the gamble for some teams – but today FC Dallas certainly doesn’t look like one of them.
Hyndman (pictured), technical director Fernando Clavijo and FC Dallas have their work cut out here. They have cash from Shea’s transfer, even if the value does appear low. There is a leadership void around the ground as the team sorts out a mess with its president, Doug Quinn, who remains on indefinite leave. That may be an unpleasant distraction, but Quinn was only peripherally involved with personnel matters anyway, so that can’t become an obstacle.
The choice to jettison goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who was still at his heroic, shot-stopping best in 2012, already looked half-baked, which means that the personnel choices around FC Dallas will fairly be called increasingly into question.
FC Dallas made it to MLS Cup in 2010. In 2011, the wandered into the playoffs but left quickly. Last year, no playoffs (although a devastating pile-up of injury had a lot to do with that.)
Bottom line: this thing needs to begin moving in the right direction. The clock is ticking ever louder.