FC Dallas Makes Offseason Moves But Sign No Striker

FC Dallas head coach Óscar Pareja and technical director Fernando Clavijo have been quite active since their season ended in November. In fact, no other MLS club has made more offseason moves than last season’s US Open Cup and Supporters’ Shield winners. They’ve added depth to their roster and reinforced their philosophy of grooming young talent. They’ve also made transfer market waves by signing Javier Morales from Real Salt Lake. What’s the problem? They haven’t added the marquee striker that some expected and FC Dallas supporters yearn to see in their starting eleven.

FC Dallas Makes Offseason Moves But No Striker

Offseason business started early with the signing of two attack-minded players from the FC Dallas academy. Forward Jesus Ferreira and attacker Bryan Reynolds both inked contracts at the tender age of fifteen. More recently, they added eighteen year old defender Reggie Cannon to the senior squad. Cannon, an academy product who spent last year at UCLA, has the best chance of the three to see real playing time in 2017. FC Dallas boasts no fewer than ten homegrown players on their senior roster, a point of pride for the organization.

December saw FC Dallas dip into the transfer market for reinforcements. First, they signed 20 year old Ecuadorian left back Anibal Chalá. Chalá turned pro at age 16 and played in Ecuador with El Nacional until the Dallas transfer. Clavijo also added experience by signing Costa Rican right back José Salvatierra and 28 year old Belgian winger Roland Lamah. Lamah is an Ivory Coast born winger that grew up in Belgium. He’s featured in many of Europe’s top leagues including France’s Ligue 1, La Liga and the English Premier League.

The move that raised the most eyebrows around the league however is the recent acquisition of veteran playmaker Javier Morales. Morales adds leadership to the squad and depth in the playmaking role. Morales’ addition will be critical for the start of the season. He can slot in directly for lynchpin DP Mauro Díaz who may miss part of 2017 as he recovers from an achilles injury. Morales also adds 20 matches of CONCACAF Champions league experience.

Is the big-name striker coming? There’s reason to think perhaps not. In a recent Facebook Live appearance FC Dallas Social Media Manager Daniel Robertson discussed recent player acquisition. There was no mention of a striker and he said “all that’s left in terms of player acquisition is SuperDraft, and then we get to business.” Maxi Urruti scored nine goals as the lead striker for Dallas in 2016. Michael Barrios matched that total and Tesho Akindele added six more. Pareja may again rely on a thin, youth-laden strike force and count on goals from his talented wingers and midfield. There’s still time left before training camp begins in late January, but it looks unlikely that a new number nine will arrive. FC Dallas’ season starts on February 23 with a CONCACAF Champions League appearance against Árabe Unido of Panama.