Perez, Rodriguez, Hedges, Pertuz – not household names. Marquee signings? It remains to be seen with the season slowly approaching, attesting to the offseason activity that has picked up recently since the turn of 2012. They all certainly give FCD added depth in the back, save Blas Perez, who the club and supporters hope proves to be the target man FCD has lacked for two seasons.
Still, with all transfer window signings signed, sealed, and stamped, one question remains with many FCD supporters: when will we see David Ferreira back in action?
Reports have come slowly out of Frisco about the status of Ferreira. As of today’s report (2/1) he was fully training with the team. It’s fairly safe to assume we’ll see him back for the beginning of 2012. The creative void left in the attack without David was certainly evident by the end of the 2011 season.
Dallas will certainly have added depth at the back with the drafting of Matt Hedges and the acquisitions of Pertuz and Rodriguez, which will no doubt be viewed as upgrades. Remember, at the beginning of last season Brek Shea knocked opposition heads around as a center-half. Any depth at the back would be welcomed. Pertuz is a former U23 Columbian national team center back, Rodriguez (the most recent of the signings) comes in as a high-pressing, attack-minded outside back from Tauro FC, and Hedges is a Californian redwood who will no doubt block the path to goal with his 6’4” frame, and tally a goal or two from set pieces (he scored 18 over his college career). Hedges will hopefully provide the speed and aerial prowess that the departed George John did so well since 2009, even if Taylor Twellman tends to liken his running style to a deer getting out of a car (skip to 1:10 and enjoy). That is, of course, if West Ham purchases John after a two-month loan.
The midfield will be the most stable coming into the new season, with few new acquisitions to upset the status quo held by (left to right) Shea-Jacobson-Hernandez-Villar-(?). The question mark is who will be the choice to replace Martin Chavez on the right. The first guess is Fabian Castillo, albeit he was slow to get the minutes he originally obtained upon his arrival in 2011 towards the end of the season. Hyndman will no doubt look at Wiedeman and Castillo (even Ulloa) to fill the void. Last season also saw Villar out on the wing at times. But his distribution, whilst outstanding in the middle of the park, is minimalized when he is stuck down the sideline. Daniel Cruz will provide competition for Villar in the center of midfield. Daniel Hernandez’ heir must also be found this season, as he’ll be heading up to the soccer retirement community in the sky – the FCD manager’s office – soon after 2012. They’ll be big shoes to fill, as Hernandez is the de-facto leader on and off the field for the hoops. Even if he is replaced on the pitch, his impact on the morale of the team will be tough to substitute.
Blas Perez is the natural option up top with the welcome exodus of Maicon Santos. At times it was legitimately painful to see a forward, who had done some serious damage to defenses with Toronto, repeatedly fail to produce for FCD. A productive start from Blas Perez will open up the attacking options for FCD that so often last season fell solely upon Brek Shea, on occasion Jackson (also out – loaned to Cruzeiro), and Chavez (now with San Jose). Perez showed some dangerous moments against the US in the friendly against Panama this past week; we can only hope he’ll terrorize opposing defenses in a much more effective fashion in 2012.
However, FCD still finds itself within the second half of the season limbo from 2011. Cruz and Santos had just found their way into the team, Castillo was just returning from the U20 World Cup, and the momentum that had built at the beginning of the season was starting to wane. Without a grueling CCL schedule this year the team will have time to coalesce and find its way - one that will hopefully harken back to the quality FCD of the second half of 2010 and the first half of 2011.
The real question is: how many ankles will Bobby Warshaw break in the 2012 season?
Non-soccer questions for 2012:
- New FCD kits – when will we see ‘em?
- Stadium sponsor – has one been found? Is the creativity lacking so badly in Frisco that ‘FC Dallas Stadium’ is our best option? Get Exxon/Mobil Oil in on this – ‘Pegasus Park’ has a nice ring to it. Any recommendations below will be taken seriously.
- Jersey sponsor – is it coming? Lots of rumors abounded last season about an FCD jersey sponsor. I hope it’s something that fits the team; otherwise we can pull a Philly and get something as embarrassing as Bimbo as a sponsor. But if that is the case I hear Cashforgold.com has some deep pockets.
Mon the Hoops.
(image courtesy of fcdallas.com)