FC Dallas has always prided itself in being the best academy in Major League Soccer, and have proved it time and time again with the number of homegrowns in the starting eleven.
With Luchi at the helm for the foreseeable future, it makes sense that this trend will continue, so I thought it would be cool to create next year’s all academy lineup.
Next up, the midfielders.
Who Will Be Leaving Next Year
Pomykal is currently the most talented player on the FC Dallas roster, and I don’t think that its out there to say that he is one of the best talents that the academy system has ever produced.
In his first year as a starter, he was able to earn the starting role, earn a callup with the US Men’s National Team, and earn a callup to the MLS All-Star game. He has already been dubbed by many in MLS as a future National Team starter, and he has already brought a lot of attention to himself from Europe.
Even though he has stated his commitment to FC Dallas, which no one doubts, it seems like he has his eyes set for a move sooner rather than later.
Asterisk means that the player is not currently signed to FC Dallas or North Texas SC
Holding Midfielders: Tanner Tessmann, Edwin Cerrillo, Cesar Garcia*
I know that Tanner Tessmann can basically play center back, holding midfielder, and center midfielder, but based on how Luchi used him in the first two games of the season, I think that Tessmann will attempt to play deeper, and distribute from the back into more threatening attacking areas. Tessmann has impressed in his first two matches as a professional player, but at 18 years of age, he has the capability of improving immensely over the next couple of years.
Edwin Cerrillo came onto the scene last year due to injuries and call-ups for Carlos Gruezo and Bryan Acosta. He showed his talent of possession, often having the highest passing accuracy of any player when he was on the field. His overall performances, however, began to deteriorate, and with the rise of Brandon Servania, Cerrillo was relegated to playing time with North Texas SC, where he often seemed disinterested. He showed last year his ability to possess the ball, but he needs to improve the defensive aspects of his game and cover ground better.
Even though he was part of the official North Texas SC roster as an academy player, Cesar Garcia has yet to start a professional match. I would say that he hasn’t played a single professional minute, but that would be a lie, as he has played a minute of professional soccer, subbing into a match at the 89th minute last year against Toronto FC II. Garcia has, however, proved to be an integral part of the U19 side over the past couple of seasons, especially now with the departure of Diego Letayf to Tigres. He is currently committed to SMU, but that could change this summer if Luchi wanted some depth.
Center Midfielders: Brandon Servania, Thomas Roberts
Brandon Servania had an amazing U20 World Cup last year, and he never looked back. He was able to put together a string of performances and became a mainstay in Luchi’s starting eleven. His performances led to a callup to the senior national team this past February. If he continues these performances, he will definitely give both Acosta and Thiago Santos competition for the center midfielder spots.
I know this is cheating, but as you will see later, the attacking midfielder spot is filled to the brim with talent, and I actually think that Thomas Roberts would do better in a deeper role. His skill set, which includes ball control and tenacity, would work wonders closer to the midfield circle than at the top of the box. The center midfielder has struggled with minutes for the first team for the last couple of seasons and has been in and out of the North Texas SC starting eleven.
Theoretically, if/when Pomykal leaves, Roberts will take his role, but his performances with North Texas SC, which were levels above anyone else on the field, need to transpire to the first team.
Attacking Midfielders: Arturo Rodriguez, David Rodriguez, Giovanni Montesdeoca*, Bryan Padilla*
Currently, the older Rodriguez brother, Arturo, is with Real Monarchs, on loan from North Texas SC for the remainder of the season. This was due to a wonderful professional season debut, where he ended the year with the USL League One MVP and Assist Leader trophies. Due to the roster cap, he was unable to sign with the first team, but this does not lower his overall quality. His performances last year were often better than his FC Dallas counterpart Thomas Roberts. It will be interesting to see if he ends up signing with Real Monarchs at the end of the year.
The younger brother, David Rodriguez, was often overshadowed last year by Arturo. However, it seems that people forget that this kid was signed at 16 years of age. Only a year has passed, and the kid has gained 19 professional matches of experience under his belt, which will surely improve over time.
The next two picks are quality academy alum that has been plagued by injuries during their college careers. The first is Giovanni Montesdeoca one of the academy graduates that have the purest talent. If it were not for an injury that kept him out for the college season, Montesdeoca was looking at being the star of a very good UNC team. He has one or maybe two years left of college soccer, but with highlights like this, he definitely has the ability to perform at the highest level.
The other talented college player is Bryan Padilla. Bryan is basically a younger Montesdeoca: same position, limited minutes in the 2018 college season, was looking at a more prominent role in 2019 but got a season-ending injury. However, Padilla will only be a Junior next year, and he has a couple of games under his belt 2018 for Maryland, the school that won the national championship that year. Under Cirovski, he has the ability to turn into a pro.
Next week is the last installment of this mini-series with forwards.
What did you think of the list? Anyone I missed?
Featured Image: FC Dallas