Who needs a strong preseason camp in Spain for FC Dallas?
After a tough preseason scrimmage with Barcelona SC, it is starting to be clear who needs to step up more this preseason.
Like many of you, I could not watch Wednesday night’s preseason scrimmage with FC Dallas and Barcelona SC. Part of it was due to work; the other part was due to braving the chilly 30-degree weather.
Still, based on the club’s report and social media sleuthing, we could gather a decent bit on last night’s game. I already had this list in mind last night but held off on running with it. Now I am kind of glad, as some things I read firmed up where I was going with this post.
As the preseason moves on to Spain, FC Dallas has a roster full of players looking to make their mark on the team for the upcoming season, many of whom are young players trying to either make the team or find their way into the first team rotation in 2023. Here are five guys that I think need a big outing with the team in Spain.
The 2022 first round SuperDraft pick didn’t play a second for FC Dallas in 2022. He spent most of the year with North Texas SC, certainly by design. As he heads into his sophomore season as a professional, he has to progress in some way and staying with NTSC for another season won’t cut it.
Last night against Barcelona, he did manage to be the starter for the night at the left back spot. This seems to point to the belief that head coach Nico Estevez views him as the first backup to starter Marco Farfan in 2023.
My gut tells me he still needs time elsewhere to show his progression. FC Dallas has several wingbacks fighting for chances to play, and maybe a loan to a USL-C team is where Parker needs to go next. There is no point in having him warm the bench for most games in the regular season only to have him play in Open Cup and Leagues’ Cup matches this summer.
I view Smith in a similar light to Parker. Both had solid seasons at NTSC in 2022, but both need to be playing at a higher level than MLS Next Pro in 2023.
At the moment, the right back spot is kind of loaded with incumbent starter Ema Twumasi battling it out with newcomer Geovane Jesus. For Smith, finding time between two potential starters will be very tough. Also, I could see Estevez running Jesus as the starter and using Twumasi as a backup to him and Farfan this season.
So in the same vein, Smith must find ways to impress this preseason in Spain. At least enough to show the club he needs minutes on the field. Just like Parker, a USL-C loan could be his answer in 2023.
FC Dallas is super thin at the forward spot right now. I know the club is pretty high on Mulato, and for the most part, I could see him bouncing between FCD and NTSC this season, depending on Jesus Ferreira’s availability.
Last night against Barcelona, Mulato had a chance to put FCD on top in the first half but just missed on a cross from Bernardo Kumango.
Since Ferreira is out with the national team and will miss part of the Spain trip, this gives Mulato plenty of time to shine. If he can score a couple of goals or find ways to contribute to goals in Spain, I could see him spending a lot more of his time with the first team in 2023 than with NTSC.
Yeah, another defensive player being spotlighted here. Korca is technically a fourth or fifth center back on the depth charts, depending on how you look at things. He is an insurance policy for Estevez should Martinez, Ibeagha and Tarfari end up with injuries, suspensions, or both at the same time somehow.
However, he needs to find a way to distinguish himself as a reliable option off the bench in this preseason camp. The club saw enough to sign him to a deal for 2023, so he has the chops to make things happen. Let’s hope he isn’t a Lucas Bartlett 2.0-type signing that we barely see on the field.
After all the young players listed above, it is time to look at one veteran player that needs a big preseason camp. Obrian has proven to be a decent bench option, and he should be expected to be one of those first guys called up off the bench this season.
Given all the young behind him in the depth charts, Obrian has to stay hungry this preseason for his chances. We all know what to expect of him when he is on the field now that we’ve had a couple of seasons with him here. I don’t expect him to be the starter in every game over Alan Velasco or Paul Arriola, but I do hope to feel more comfortable with him as a starting option when one of those guys isn’t available. If not, he will lose out to guys like Kumango or even a Tarik Scott.
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