North Texas SC begin preseason on February 10th, entering their second season as a club. With all the departures that have occurred this offseason, and with more probably on the way, Coach Quill will have difficulty replicating the amazing season that NTSC had last year.
With the season fast approaching, we thought it would be a good idea for a roster breakdown.
GK: Carlos Avilez // RB: Juan Alvarez, Pedro “Cuadrado” Conceicao Alves
CB: Phillip Ponder // LB: x
DM: Allison Dos Santos Correa // CM: Imanol Almaguer
CAM: David Rodriguez // RM: Gibran Rayo, Alex Bruce, Oscar Romero
LM: Arturo Rodriguez // ST: Ronaldo Damus
So there are a ton of holes in this roster, but it looks like the club will be looking on letting some of the more talented players on the roster go on loan. Former Captain Brecc Evans will be on loan to USL Championship side Austin Bold for the entirety of the 2020 season. The reasoning behind this seems to be a desire from the ownership and the tactical staffs of both NTSC and FC Dallas that many of the good players from NTSC’s championship season play in a more difficult league. Based on this, Arturo Rodriguez and Ronaldo Damus will probably end up leaving the squad for the year, along with FC Dallas players that featured heavily with North Texas SC last season, like Bryan Reynolds.
If you remove the USL League One 2019 Golden Boot and the USL League One Assist Leader from the picture, the roster looks extremely thin. However, like last year, North Texas will pool some players from the academy and some players from the first team. So who might those players be in 2020?
FC Dallas Players
Kyle Zobeck: With Maurer being the current backup at FC Dallas, and with Jesse Gonzalez signing a new contract recently, we will probably see Zobeck play a couple games this season.
Eddie Munjoma: Reggie Cannon’s departure from the club looks inevitable, but until that happens, FC Dallas will be looking to give both Munjoma and fellow right-back Bryan Reynolds minutes. Reynolds already bossed it in USL League One last year, so it would make no sense for the club to put him there again, as he has already proven his talent at that level. However, Munjoma as only played college ball, and the professional game is a different sport. He will also have competition, with Cuadrado and Alvarez already on the NTSC Roster.
Edwin Cerrillo: Cerrillo was a starter for FC Dallas at the beginning of the 2019 season, but has slowly fallen down the pecking order. He performed pretty well in USL League One last year, but with the lack of minutes available, it would make sense to play him with North Texas SC, or possibly a move to a Championship side.
Dante Sealy: Until recently, all the players on the list would definitely have seen some time with North Texas. However, Dante was recently seen trialing with the PSV U19. FC Dallas have him under contract, and he can’t sign in Europe until he’s 18, but it makes sense that the club would loan him to PSV for the year. Watch this space
This list does not include the draft picks. Even though, in all likelihood, not all of them will be signed (Megally never reported for training and Engebretson reportedly has left camp), the ones that will be signed will probably see most of their minutes with the second team.
Tanner Tessmann: DM/CB. Most fans know by now that Tessmann committed to Clemson, both for soccer and American Football. Unless given a massive MLS Homegrown contract, it seems unlikely that the club will be able to retain the athlete. However, he has gone to Chula Vista with the rest of the first team, so he will definitely see some playing time before his possible departure this summer.
Kevin Bonilla: RB. Bonilla is committed to Portland, but will definitely undertake in some NTSC matches, as he played in over a dozen matches with NTSC last season.
Camillo Estrada: CB. He was rostered for NTSC last year but didn’t play. This year, he probably will see some minutes, but is committed to playing with NIU in the fall.
Nicolas Carrera: CB. Even though he is currently on trial with Nuremberg, he will be a starter for NTSC this season. He is one of the most talented players in the pipeline, and hopefully, FC Dallas finds a way to sign him before he goes to Europe or Louisville in the fall.
Cesar Garcia: DM. Although he was rostered for NTSC last season, he didn’t play. The year, he will have opportunities to play in a professional level.
Erick Gunera: AM. Although not technically rostered with any academy team, he was seen with the U19s down in Mexico last month. As was reported earlier in the year, this player is a real talent that will definitely be given minutes with North Texas SC.
Seth Wilson: GK. Put on a pair of good games this season, which earned him a callup with the United States U18s. He was rostered with NTSC last season.
Justin Che: CB. Played in a friendly for FC Dallas against NTX Rayados and performed very well. Will probably see him in a couple games for NTSC.
Andres Dicun: ST. A new player for the U19s, Dicun is currently the top scorer for the academy side in the DA.
Cristian Escribano: RB. U19, rostered with NTSC last season.
Zach Shawl: GK. U19, rostered with NTSC last season.
Collin Smith: ST. Current goalscoring leader for the U17, rostered with NTSC last season
Beni Redzic: AM. Is a top talent, but has played very well. U19, Bosnia and Herzegovina youth international
Side note: Almost anyone in the academy could technically feature at some point with NTSC. Last year, the team didn’t play around that much with many academy players, and instead had a group of about half a dozen that were influential for the team during the season.
With this list, you can see that there is a pretty solid lineup. However, there will probably be some more signings for the team coming in the next few weeks.
There is no obvious way to know who the club will sign (they signed two Brazilians this offseason that no one knew about), but many of those signings will come from those that trialed with the team over the course of the second half of the season last year. So who were these players?
Franco Martinez: CM from Penarol. Trialist with the first team last year.
Emmanuel Awuah: CB from Bechem United. Can’t sign with the academy, and stayed with the Hunts for a time.
Hope Kodzo: AM from Bechem United. Trialist for some time, but can’t sign with the academy.
Mohamed Sesay: FW from Richland College, now NTX Rayados. Visa issues holding up the signing
Rodrigo Artiga: GK from Sonsonate. Seen training with FC Dallas
Carlos Enriquez: GK from Dallas Sidekicks. Seen Training with NTSC
Kareem Salem: DF from Marymount (Division III school). Seen Training with NTSC
Alejandro Radilla: MF from GCU (Division I School). Seen Training with NTSC
Rodolfo Sulia: DF from Gimnasia y Esgrima. Trialist for FC Dallas last year.
As we enter preseason, the starting roster will be more clear, but it will be interesting how this team is built. Currently, there is a lot of work to do for the champions, and they will need to improve if they want to defend their title.
What do you think if the current North Texas SC roster entering preseason?
Where does the team need to improve?
Featured Image: BigDSoccer