Every single offseason, our writers cover the rumors and official announcements of outgoing and incoming transfers for FC Dallas and North Texas SC.
Bryan Reynolds to Juventus
Juventus are set to complete the signing of Bryan Reynolds from Dallas FC.
He’ll renew his passport in the next days, he’ll join Benevento side in Serie A until June [Juve can’t sign any extra UE player now] then next season Reynolds will play for Juve. ??⚪️⚫️ @UCLonCBSSports
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 13, 2021
After a seemingly unending transfer saga that has largely involved Juventus, Roma, and Club Brugge, Bryan finally seems poised to officially join Juventus. In keeping in line with how this saga has gone though, it won’t be quite that simple. In Serie A, clubs have a limited number of non-EU players they are able to sign and have as part of their registered squad.
Juventus are out of those spots, meaning, for them to secure Bryan’s services, they would need to loan him out to another club in Serie A that did have a spot available.
Initial reports seemed to indicate that Cagliari would be Bryan’s destination, though those discussions seemed to break down in recent weeks, leaving Bryan’s status up in the air. Juventus continued to maneuver and found another landing spot for him in Benevento, where he seems poised to go for the remainder of the 20/21 season before officially joining the Juventus first team for 21/22.
However, the deal is still not quite official and Paul Tenorio has reported that Club Brugge are still in the mix. Most signs seem to be indicating that Bryan is on his way to Juventus, but until we get official confirmation from the clubs themselves, anything could happen.
Michael Barrios to Colorado Rapids
FC Dallas has traded winger Michael Barrios to the Colorado Rapids in exchange for an international roster spot.
Thank you for everything, Mikey. ♥️
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) January 13, 2021
On Wednesday morning, FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids announced that a trade deal had been reached that would send Michael Barrios and FC Dallas’ first-round 2021 SuperDraft pick to the Rapids in exchange for an international roster spot and the Rapids’ first-round pick. As is the case with a lot of inter-league deals, this one came out of nowhere, with basically no rumors preceding it. The trade marks the end of an era for FC Dallas as Barrios had become a staple in the team since his signing ahead of the 2015 season. His departure means that only two squad members from the double-winning 2016 team remain: Matt Hedges and Ryan Hollingshead. Barrios leaves the club having made over 200 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring 36 goals and adding 44 assists in MLS play.
From FCD’s perspective, the move, although rather sad from a personnel standpoint, seems to be the right move going forward. Barrios was reportedly seeking a pay raise and was in the final year of his contract. Beyond that, he was coming off his worst season for the club, having only scored a single goal while adding 5 assists. Barrios seemed to have lost half a step in 2020, he wasn’t getting by defenders as easily as he had in previous seasons, and his typically inconsistent end product was rarely seen.
Barrios is also set to turn 30 in 2021, so although it is unfortunate that Dallas got a seemingly small amount in return for such an important player, it is good that they were able to get something for him. I think I can speak for all FCD fans in wishing Mikey the best and I’m sure he will always get a standing ovation when he returns to Toyota Stadium going forward.
? FC Dallas has signed winger Kalil ElMedkhar to a two-year contract with club options after acquiring his Homegrown Rights from the Philadelphia Union.
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) January 14, 2021
Just a day after trading away Michael Barrios, FC Dallas announced the signing of Kalil ElMedkhar, a winger out of the University of Kentucky. ElMedkhar came through the Philadelphia Union academy, but with their recent senior team move away from utilizing wingers, he didn’t have much of a place in the first team’s future in Chester. Dallas traded $50,000 in General Allocation Money to the Union to acquire his homegrown rights, allowing them to sign him ahead of next week’s SuperDraft, where he almost certainly would have been taken before FC Dallas’ chance to pick a player. ElMedkhar was prolific at Kentucky, to say the least, scoring 20 goals and recording 21 assists in his 66 games.
Although he wears the same number as Barrios, ElMedkhar casts a different profile, standing at 6’2″, and seems to be an attacker who switches his game up, with an ability to push the ball to the end line and deliver a cross, while also having the ability to cut inside and create goal-scoring opportunities for himself and others. As with any player coming from the college game, it is a bit of a toss-up as to whether he’ll be able to recreate that kind of quality and production at the professional level, but the numbers and the highlights for ElMedkhar certainly look promising.
FC Dallas to sign Freddy Vargas!
What can fans expect from the 21yo left-footed winger who will join on loan?
In 2020, he led Liga FUTVE for:
?Key Passes (19)
⚡️Successful Dribbles (75)
?Expected Assists (9)
?We’ll be releasing a full-length podcast once it’s official! pic.twitter.com/Ahiu7YukJU
— FUTVE English (@FUTVEEnglish) January 14, 2021
What had started off as a relatively small rumor early in the week, based on a tweet noting that Vargas had re-signed with his club Deportivo Lara and would then be loan to FC Dallas, has turned into something that looks to be very close to being confirmed. Vargas is a 21-year-old Venezuelan left-footed winger who, as the tweet above notes, had a very productive 2020 season in his nation’s domestic league. However, it is a significant jump to go straight from the Venezuelan league to MLS, both stylistically on the field and in terms of the change of cultures.
The deal is reportedly a year-long loan, which has been commonly used by Dallas in recent years while making signings from South America. At only 21 years old, Vargas may spend some time early in the season playing with North Texas SC as he acclimates to a new country and new league, but this definitely looks like one of Dallas’ typical “diamond in the rough” attempts in Latin America. Look for an official announcement on Vargas in the near future.
What are your thoughts on the recent transfer activity for FC Dallas? How are you feeling about Michael Barrios being traded?
What areas should Dallas still be looking to improve in the market?
Featured Image: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports