FC Dallas is most famous for its renowned academy and youth programs which are consistently ranked as the best in the league and the country as a whole.
This week will continue with part 2 of our Homegrown History series, highlighting all the homegrown player signings FC Dallas has made throughout the years.
Signed: January 9, 2013
Following 4 years at the University of Maryland, McKinney native London Woodberry was signed to a homegrown deal ahead of the 2013 season. After making 8 appearances under Schellas Hyndman in 2013, Woodberry was released by the club just ahead of the 2014 season under new manager Oscar Pareja.
Woodberry spent the 2014 season playing for Arizona United in the USL before moving back to MLS with the New England Revolution, where he made 46 appearances between 2015 and 2017, notably playing back home against his old club at Toyota Stadium in the 2016 US Open Cup Final. Woodberry moved back to USL in 2018 with Nashville SC before coming back home to Texas and Austin Bold FC in 2019. Woodberry is currently a free agent.
Signed: March 21, 2013
The second homegrown goalkeeper signed by the club, Jesse Gonzalez has gone on to have one of the most successful careers of any FC Dallas homegrown. Signed just after the start of the 2013 season as a 17-year-old, Gonzalez spent his first two seasons as a professional with the academy and reserve teams. It wasn’t until an injury to starting keeper Dan Kennedy in 2015 that Gonzalez got his first taste of action as a professional, and he has hardly looked back since, cementing his spot in the team with a brilliant performance in the 2015 playoffs against Seattle.
Subsequent seasons saw Gonzalez suffer some issues with consistency as he only made 6 appearances in goal in 2016 as Chris Seitz became the starter. In 2017 however, Jesse came into his own, starting almost every match and has since cemented himself as FCD’s primary keeper. After making the switch from the Mexican youth national teams, Gonzalez has also been called up by the US Men’s National Team multiple times, though he is yet to earn his first cap.
Signed: June 18, 2013
Signed mid-way through the 2013 season after one single season at the University of North Carolina in which he was named ACC Freshman of the Year, Danny Garcia did not make his first FC Dallas appearance until the 2014 season. In fact, 2014 ended up being the only season in which Garcia made any appearances for the clubs as he made all 4 of his career appearances for the club in that season.
After spending the 2015 season on loan to Arizona United (seemed to be a popular destination for FC Dallas homegrown), Garcia was released by the club following the season. In 2016, he moved down to San Antonio FC where he was a regular player but the former US U20 international was released following the season and has not played professionally since.
Signed: August 1, 2014
Signed in the second half of 2014, Coy Craft joined a crowded group of attackers in the 2014 season. Signed as a 17-year-old, Craft was one of the younger homegrowns to make his debut when he made a substitute appearance near the end of the 2014 season.
Craft was never able to make a mark on the first team, only totaling 6 MLS appearances in his career. In both 2016 and 2017, in the absence of a second-team run by FC Dallas, Craft spent significant time on loan with OKC Energy in the USL while also regularly being called up to the US U20 national team.
Following the 2017 season, Craft was released by the club and played for Miami FC 2 in NPSL in 2018, with hopes to continue on with the first team when they made the jump back to the professional ranks. This did not end up being the case and Craft spent the second half of 2018 in Sweden with Nyköpings BIS, a team in the third tier in Sweden. Craft is currently a free agent.
Signed: October 1, 2014
Signed very late in 2014 after being brought into the FC Dallas academy from FCD’s affiliate in El Paso, Zendejas was not eligible to play for the first team until the 2015 season.
As a 17-year-old, Zendejas made 8 appearances for the FC Dallas first team and looked like one of the more promising young attacking talents the club had produced. Zendejas was also an integral part of the 2015 US U-17 team that played in the U-17 World Cup. Zendejas did not make an appearance in the early part of the 2016 season prior to becoming the first FC Dallas homegrown to be sold abroad when he made a somewhat controversial move to Chivas Guadalajara in Liga MX. The controversy came down to whether or not Zendejas was born in Mexico or the US, due to Chivas’ rule of only signing Mexican players.
Previously, Zendejas had been announced as having been born in El Paso, but ahead of his move to Chivas, his birthplace was announced as having been Ciudad Juarez, just across the border from El Paso. Zendejas made his move in the summer of 2016 and has since spent time on loan at Zacatepec in 2017 and 2018. Zendejas is still under contract with Chivas and is still only a 22 year old. He will hope to break into the first team in Guadalajara soon.
Signed: January 5, 2016
The 2015 season marked the first season since FC Dallas started signing homegrowns that not a single homegrown player was signed. Very early in 2016, FC Dallas picked back up where they left off in 2014 and signed Aaron Guillen a few days into 2016 after four years at Florida Gulf Coast. In the extremely successful 2016 season, Guillen didn’t see the field much, only making 2 appearances in his rookie year. He made a bit of a jump in 2017, making 6 appearances with 4 starts, as well as spending some time on loan at Tulsa Roughnecks.
Unfortunately for Guillen, that step in 2017 wasn’t enough and he was released following the 2017 season. Guillen then made the drop down to USL with North Carolina FC, playing there as a regular starter in both 2018 and 2019. He is now under contract with Tampa Bay Rowdies for the 2020 season.
Signed: September 8, 2016
One of the most hyped youth prospects to come out of the FC Dallas Academy, Lewisville native Paxton Pomykal was signed as a 16-year-old late in the 2016 season. The level at which he was regarded by the club was made apparent very quickly for anyone who was not familiar with his exploits for the academy as he became the first player since Bobby Rhine’s tragic death in 2011 to wear the number 19 jersey, having received the blessing of Rhine’s family and the FCD front office.
After not appearing in the remainder of that season, mostly playing with academy teams, Pomykal was slowly brought into the first team, making two appearances in the 2017 season, both of which were starts. Between some injuries and consistently being called up to youth national teams, Pomykal had a hard time marking his place in the first team in his first few years, only making 6 appearances with one start in the 2018 season. As any FC Dallas or MLS fan knows, the hiring of Luchi Gonzalez drastically changed the narrative for Pomykal and he exploded in the 2019 season, becoming a regular and arguably the most important player for the team. He had a massive performance for the US U20 team at the U20 World Cup in 2019 and has started attracting serious interest from overseas.
He signed a major contract extension with Dallas ahead of the 2020 season and once play picks back up he will certainly continue to be one of the most important players for FCD as long as he is here.
Signed: November 17, 2016
Another heavily hyped youth prospect and the son of FC Dallas legend and 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira, Jesus Ferreira was signed following the 2016 season. Similarly to Pomykal, Ferreira was brought along and integrated into the FC Dallas first team slowly, spending as much time playing with the older academy teams as anything else in his earliest time as a professional.
Ferreira made just one single appearance in both the 2017 and 2018 seasons, while also spending a significant part of the 2018 season on loan to Tulsa Roughnecks in the USL. Much like with Pomykal, the 2019 season and hiring of Luchi Gonzalez changed things significantly for Ferreira as he was essentially written in ink on the starting lineup, starting the season as the starting striker and ending the season playing in a position closer to what his father played as a kind of false 9 or 10.
Ferreira also recently got his first US National Team call up during the MLS offseason and will look to continue to push on in 2020 and beyond.
Signed: November 22, 2016
Hot on the heels of signing Jesus Ferreira, FC Dallas signed another hot prospect in Bryan Reynolds. Signed as a 15-year-old, Reynolds was and still is, the youngest homegrown signing in club history. Reynolds has an extensive history in the US youth national teams, having basically played for every youth age group at this point in time. Obviously, as a 15-year-old singing, Reynolds was signed with an eye toward the future and he did not make his professional debut until the 2019 season under Luchi Gonzalez.
Having played as a forward or winger in the academy and youth national teams, Reynolds seems to have more of a future as an outside back, where he played extensively for North Texas SC in 2019. Commonly used as a late-game sub in the majority of his 10 appearances, Reynolds will push for more playing time in 2020 and beyond. He’s still only 18 years old!
Signed: December 22, 2016
The final homegrown signing in 2016 to cap off a frankly dazzling selection, Reggie Cannon signed just before Christmas following a single season at UCLA. Cannon spent the 2017 season deputizing for veteran right back Hernan Grana, only making one single late-game sub appearance. Following Grana’s departure after the season, Reggie made the big step up to the first team in 2018 and started all but a single game in Oscar Pareja’s final season in charge. His steadily improving performances over the course of that season saw him get involved in the US Men’s National Team set up.
He pushed on from there in 2019, making fewer appearances due to international call ups (he started the 2019 Gold Cup Final for the US), but establishing himself as one of the best right-backs in the league. Reggie signed a contract extension ahead of the 2020 season, earning a much-needed pay raise and setting him up to be sold on to Europe in the near future. Reggie may not have long left in an FCD jersey but his future is certainly bright.
What are your thoughts about this period of homegrown signings as the team transitioned to life under Oscar Pareja?
Next week, we’ll finish this series with homegrowns signed from 2017 through 2020!
Featured Image: Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports