FC Dallas is undoubtedly heading into the 2017 MLS season with a strong roster. The Supporters’ Shield and US Open Cup holders will add more talent this weekend as holders of three picks in the first two rounds of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.
FC Dallas’ first selection is not until the 18th overall pick. In a Facebook Live video released on Tuesday evening, technical director Fernando Clavijo stated that it was “probable” that FC Dallas would make a deal in order to move to a higher position in the draft.
“We are really happy with the roster that we have right now,” Clavijo said. “After the top one, two, three, four players, it’s very difficult for any of those players to come in and be an impact player on our roster.”
FC Dallas is looking to fill only one or two more roster spots. Trading one of their three picks to move to a higher position makes sense.
FC Dallas Will Trade For A Top SuperDraft Spot
FC Dallas’ biggest needs are a true number nine striker and defensive depth. While a front man might be their most glaring need, finding an impact forward in the SuperDraft that can provide immediate goals seems unlikely. FC Dallas is also reportedly bidding for Cristian Colmán, a striker who currently plays for Paraguay’s Nacional Ascúncion.
Directivos de #Nacional ya no escuchan ofertas, porque tendrían ya finiquitada la transferencia de Cristian Colmán a FC Dallas de la MLS
— El Imparcial #THD (@vicsostoa) January 10, 2017
The tweet above by a Paraguayan sports journalist states that Club Nacional of Paraguay are no longer taking offers for Colmán because his transfer to Dallas has already been finalized. Neither club has made an official announcement about the deal.
Since Clavijo recently signed two fullbacks, central defensive depth is what Dallas will likely target. Matt Hedges and Walker Zimmerman could be the best center back pairing in the league, but a sustained injury to either could leave FC Dallas short in the heart of their defense. Atlanta United FC poached veteran defender Zach Loyd from Dallas with the third pick of the MLS Expansion Draft. If Clavijo wants to move up to a top spot in the draft, they’ll likely take aim at these top central defensive prospects.
Miles Robinson – The Syracuse sophomore is a member of the five man 2017 Generation Adidas class. Robinson was a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann trophy and is the fourth overall player on Top Drawer Soccer’s 2017 Draft Big Board. He’s the reigning ACC Defender of the year and was called up to the U20 Men’s National team last year. He played right center back for an Orange defense that posted ten clean sheets in 2016. Dallas would likely have to trade up very high to land Robinson.
Brandon Aubrey – The Plano, TX native recently finished a stellar career at Notre Dame and signed an MLS contract prior to the combine. Aubrey has good size and can contribute offensively. He scored no less than nine times for the Fighting Irish in 21 2016 appearances. Aubrey’s recent struggles at the MLS Combine may have dropped his stock however.
Lalas Abubakar – The University of Dayton’s Ghanaian born center back is apparently making an impression at the Combine. The 2016 Atlantic 10 Defender of the year has size, speed and aerial ability. He represented Ghana at the U-20 level and was also named PDL defender of the year. He led the 2016 PDL champion Michigan Bucks to a record setting 13 clean sheets.
While securing depth at center back is the most obvious course of action, having three picks gives FC Dallas some flexibility. If no one will deal or the draft picks play out unfavorably, Clavijo can fall back and select three players in the current draft order. Those selections will face a tough road to find a place on an already young, talented and deep roster.