Will the season being a tumultuous amalgamation of matches, it’s been a very difficult year for players, especially the academy graduates.
With the season becoming more and more consistent, and the pandemic being less of a factor, however, players have been able to fall into the rhythm. 

I decided it would be interesting to list the academy players from both FC Dallas and North Texas SC, and see how they compare to each other based on their performances.

This week we take a look at FC Dallas.

Consistent Performer

Tanner Tessmann

At the beginning of the season, there were a multitude of injuries to many of the important midfielders on the squad, including Brandon Servania and Bryan Acosta. Tessmann, who at that point had only be a professional for a handful of games, was thrown into the mix, starting the first two matches and even notching an assist. With the return of the season after the MLS is Back Tournament, there were some questions whether he would be able to retain his spot, with Acosta, Ferreira, Santos, Paxton, and Santos all healthy and above him in the pecking order.

Nevertheless, Tessmann has continued to be an important piece in what Luchi has tried to achieve with this squad. He’s started the last 4 matches and has brought strength, calmness, and consistency to a midfield that was unable to achieve any of that in the first 5 matches of the restart. His range and precision in his passing is better than most on the squad, and his flexibility is an untapped skill set that he has at the disposal of the team.

Don’t be surprised to see him earn a senior callup in the next couple of months.

Bryan Reynolds

Although this may be premature to many readers, it wasn’t premature for the front office, who recently have signed Reynolds to a contract extension through 2024.

For me, Reynolds is a carbon copy of Cannon. Many don’t remember, but in his first season as a starter, was mired with moments of brilliance coupled with mind lapses the decision-making people should expect from an adolescent soccer player. Reynolds will definitely go through that in his first season as a starter and has already shown glimpses of this probable inconsistency. The key is his potential to be better than Cannon in two years or so. Reynolds is taller and a better defender right now than Cannon was in his first year as a starter. This is why the club gave Reynolds a contract extension.

Hollingshead is still Lucchi’s primary choice in a pivotal game at right-back. Still, don’t be surprised if Nelson and Reynolds are the starting wingbacks next season.

Decent Contributor

Ricardo Pepi

It would be fun to see Pepi start in his natural position. So far, he’s played primarily as a winger that slashes in for crosses. That’s how he’s scored his two goals this season, and how he will continue to contribute to the squad until either Jara runs out of gas or he gets sold to some European Giant.

I can’t really call him a consistent performer because he hasn’t had the opportunity to perform week in and week out. He will continue to get opportunities to impress because of how congested the season is. Hopefully, his role in the club will grow as time goes on because the club probably won’t be able to keep him for long

Brandon Servania

Servania has not been the same since his injury in preseason earlier in the year.

Last year was a career year for the Wake Forest player. He became a shoo-in starter, he got called up to the national team, and his career was on the up. However, the club signed two center midfielders in the winter transfer market, and for some reason, Servania has not been able to perform at his level from last year.

Now, this is not to say that he has been terrible, like certain designated players. He has done enough to be kept in the starting eleven with Acosta being unable to play for various reasons.

His performances haven’t been awful, they just haven’t been at the level that we saw last year when many MLS writers were drooling over him.

Maybe it’s a lack of confidence. If so, then Acosta’s suspension and poor performances from Jesus Ferreira are going to give him time to get back into rhythm. Hopefully, that’s all Brandon needs.

Dante Sealy

Alright, this is premature, but he doesn’t really fit into the other two categories on this list, so I’m stuffing him here.

Plus, everything I’ve seen so far is that his confidence is sky-high. Since he is unable to jump down to NTSC for minutes, coupled with Picault’s injury and Mosquera’s inconsistency, he has been on the bench for multiple games this season, which was not expected back in March (to be fair, March was a long time ago).

Look, despite his hattrick, Mosquera will definitely be leaving next year. Picault is good, but old, and he seems like a stand-in until Sealy is of age. But if he continues to contribute off the bench this season, that moment could come next season.

Worrying Inconsistency

Paxton Pomykal

Look, at this point, it is impossible to ignore the multitude of surgeries he’s had for different parts of his body. That is not a good sign for someone who is still only 20. When he plays, he is incredible, so it isn’t his play that is inconsistent, but his health.

If he comes back next season, tears up the league for a couple of months, and then goes to Europe, then the injury issues might seem at that point like a thing of the past. And trust me, no one wants his surgeries to be a mild blip in his career more than I do. Let’s just pray for his swift recovery so he can come back next season and terrorize defenses.

Jesus Ferreira

When Jesus was a shoo-in starter every week, no one cared that his main position wasn’t clear. He played most of his matches at the end of last season in the attacking mid position and was relatively fine. When he played up top last year, he performed fine. As a winger, he was relatively poor.

But now, all those positions are filled by other players, which leaves Ferreira on the bench with no place in the starting eleven. He had an opportunity to give Luchi something to think about yesterday when he started against Atlanta, but he did absolutely nothing for over an hour.

With Pomykal injured, Ferreira was the star for the majority of the year last season and was expected to be the linchpin in 2020. But his performances have been subpar, and he is continually outperformed by other midfielders.

A solution needs to be figured out quickly because there is no doubt in my mind that Ferreira will loose confidence if this goes on.

Thomas Roberts

Another player low on confidence. I sense a pattern.

When Pomykal became a starter for this side, it was expected that Roberts would be his replacement whenever he got tired, injured, or eventually sold. But that hasn’t happened. As soon as Pomykal’s injury began to rear its ugly head, Dan Hunt and Zannota loaned in an attacking midfielder from Colombia and put Roberts farther down the pecking order. In the few matches he’s played for North Texas, he’s outperformed all the players on the pitch. But you can tell that he is above anyone’s level when he’s playing in League One. He should have been sent on loans, like Twumasi and Atuahene. Roberts is far too young and skillful to warm a seat on the bench.

Edwin Cerrillo

It’s not a good sign when you’re serving a suspension with the first team for something you’ve committed on the second team.

Nevertheless, Cerrillo has been in the doghouse since he lost his starting spot last year. His performances with North Texas have been relatively good, but his constant red cards (he got one last year too) is not a good sign, and he doesn’t seem to be in contention to start, even when a 30-year-old defensive midfielder has been playing more matches than normal. He is also another player who should be playing matches in the Championship.

I haven’t forgotten Eddie Munjoma, but he hasn’t played at all so far this season, which is unfortunate because he can’t go down to North Texas SC due to COVID precautions.

Next week we will talk about the academy and academy graduate players of North Texas SC. What did you think of my list?
It’s a little worrying, in my opinion, to see so many academy players be in poor form.

Featured Image: MLSsoccer.com
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