North Texas SC: Positional Breakdown
Let's take a look at the roster in detail, before FCD player loans are announced.
The MLS Next Pro regular season is almost upon us, and North Texas SC is finalizing its roster. 12 players have been signed to NTXSC only contracts, and FC Dallas has yet to announce senior team players joining NTXSC on season-long loans.
Last season, not including FC Dallas loanees (4 loanees total), North Texas SC had 14 players signed to their roster. This means we can still expect 1 or 2 players will be signed to the NTXSC roster, and a further 3 to 4 loanees will be added from FC Dallas.
Fun Fact: Last season North Texas SC had 36 total players see playing time, with the bulk of the additional players coming from the FC Dallas Academy, one of the top academies in MLS. The average age of all 36 players was 17.4 years old, making NTXSC the youngest squad in MLS Next Pro, and tied for that honor with the Philadelphia Union II, also backed by one of the top MLS Academies. Despite their youth, North Texas SC and Union II made the MLS Next Pro Playoffs.
Let’s look at the current North Texas SC roster, position by position. I will also speculate on potential FC Dallas loans at specific positions. North Texas SC will lineup in a 4-3-3, identical to how FC Dallas lines up. North Texas has played 4 preseason matches, so we’ve been given a glimpse at who will line up where.
Goal Keeper: No keeper has been signed to the NTXSC roster…..yet. This position will be manned by last year’s starter, Antonio Carrera, who is 3rd on the depth chart for FC Dallas. Carrera is a USMNT-U20 player, who started 16 matches for NTXSC last season. FC Dallas has several promising keepers in the academy, and they are likely to see starts when Carrera is unavailable. Julian Eyestone who is 6 foot 7 inches tall is a coveted potential Home Grown signing for FC Dallas and would replace Carrera as the starter should the signing come to fruition.
Left Back: Tyshawn Rose (22 years old) was signed out of Boston College, where he played in 70 matches, starting 62. Rose is an attack-minded left-back who is your likely starter. Isaiah Parker, last year’s starter while on loan from FC Dallas, may see minutes this season with NTXSC. Parker is considered too good to play at this level (Division 3) and will likely be loaned out to a USL Championship (Division 2) team instead. Manuel Caicedo (19 years old) has been signed on loan from Cortulua FC (Colombia Division 2), where he was a starter for their U20 team. Manuel will likely split starts with Rose at Left Back, but at 6 foot 3 inches tall, he could also see minutes at center back.
Right Back: Yeicar Perlaza, a Colombia U19, is on loan from Atletico Nacional (Colombia top flight) where he played for their U20 squad, starting 52 matches for them (6 goals, 15 assists). FC Dallas 1st-round draft pick Herbert Endeley (21) is widely expected to join NTXSC on loan. Endeley is a right winger, capable of playing both sides of the field and transitioning to outside back. Enderley would be your starter should the loan materialize.
Center Back: Henri (21 years old), on loan from Palmeiras in the Brazilian top flight, will earn many minutes. Henri has won multiple youth cups for club and country and is best known for captaining the Brazil U17 squad that won the U17 World Cup.
Fun Fact: Henri has the highest player value ($2 Million) in all of MLS Next Pro (per Transfrmarkt).
Center Back: Alex Araneda (20 years old), a 6 foot 3 midfielder, who transitioned to center back last season, played in 13 matches while starting 8 for NTXSC.
FC Dallas will likely loan Amet Korca (22 years old) to NTXSC. Korca is 5th on the FC Dallas depth chart but has experience playing in the Croatia top flight. Should the loan happen, Korca would start alongside Henri as the center-back pair. Nollan Norris (18 years old, Home Grown) could also see a loan to NTXSC, but he currently sits 4th on the FC Dallas depth chart, which means he will likely only see action with NTXSC when he is not needed on the first team.
Defensive Midfielder: Carl Sainte (20 years old), a Haiti Men’s National Team member, started 5 matches for NTXSC after joining late last season from New Mexico United (Division 2). Carl is a physical destroyer who will man the single pivot and add some needed nastiness to the club. Diego Hernandez (16) will be Sainte’s understudy and primary backup.
Midfielder: Andre “Luque” Costa (21 years old), a former USMNT U17, played in 23 matches (2 goals, 1 assist) last season for NTXSC. Andre has been training with FC Dallas this preseason, which he will likely do at times.
Midfielder: Alejandro Urzua (16 years old) signed from the FCD Academy after playing in 5 matches for NTXSC last season. In an academy known for producing 8s (box-to-box midfielders) and still stacked with talent at that position, Urzua is considered the top prospect and a likely future Home Grown signing for FC Dallas. Due to the high number of midfield prospects in the FCD Academy, expect several prospects to get minutes with NTXSC.
Left Wing: Hope Aveyevu (20 years old) played in 23 matches last season (5 goals, 9 assists). Hope enters his 3rd season with NTXSC, the only returning starting attacker from the dangerous trio (Bernard Kamungo, Jose Mulato the other 2) that keyed the 3rd best attack in the Western Conference (48 goals).
Fun Fact: Hope Aveyevu is only the second player in North Texas SC history (Derek Waldeck is the other) to be signed to the roster for a 3rd season. NTXSC prefers to give players 2 years to prove they can jump to the senior roster, but an exception was made for Hope, a very raw young talent when he first signed with NTXSC.
Right Wing: Tomas Pondeca (21 years old) signed as a trialist after impressing in 3 preseason matches where he scored 2 goals. Pondeca is a former Futsal player and starter for the Futsal USMNT that played in the Futsal World Cup, winning the CONCACAF Futsal Young Player Award during World Cup qualification. Anthony Ramirez (17 years old), an FC Dallas Academy player coveted by the US and Mexico youth national teams, has been getting extensive minutes with NTXSC this preseason. Ramirez is one of the academy’s brightest prospects and is seen as a future Home Grown signing, so expect him to get minutes with NTXSC this season.
Center Forward: Pablo Torre (19 years old) played 15 matches (4 goals, 1 assist) for NTXSC last season. Diego Pepi (17 years old), the younger brother of Ricardo Pepi, has been getting a lot of minutes with NTXSC this preseason. Diego is not a member of the main FCD Academy in Frisco and instead plays a level below (ECNL), so it would not be surprising if NTXSC tries to sign him to the roster.
Fun Fact: The average age of the current North Texas SC roster is 19.7 years old, making NTXSC the second youngest team in MLS Next Pro. Real Monarchs are #1 at 18.7 years old.
Final Thoughts: Expect North Texas SC to add at least 3 to 4 players on loan from FC Dallas, likely Antonio Carrera, Amet Korca, and Herbert Endeley.
Unlike last season, when only 1 player from the senior roster saw action in just 1 match the entire season. Expect several senior roster players to see action with NTXSC this season. Those players will likely be Nolan Norris, Bernard Kamungo, Jose Mulato, and Isaiah Parker. Also, unlike last season, expect to see senior roster players recovering from injuries or trying to regain their form to be given minutes with NTXSC this season.
Finally, expect the number of FC Dallas Academy players that will see action with NTXSC to be in the double digits by the end of the season. The inclusion of academy players will likely make NTXSC the youngest team in MLS Next Pro (again) by the end of the season. NTXSC will once again be one of the top teams in MLS Next Pro, and a contender to be crowned champions of MLS Next Pro.
Sources: Transfermarkt.com, fcdallas.com, @northtexasSC, mlsnextpro.com, and I get most of my FC Dallas Academy information from Buzz Carrick of 3rdDegree.net
What are your thoughts on the NTXSC roster so far? Is NTXSC a title contender, or just a pretender? Comment below.
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