This has been the biggest offseason in FC Dallas’ history.
The 2022 winter transfer period, alone, has been the most profitable in Dallas’ history, marked by FC Augsburg’s record $18 million transfer fee to acquire Ricardo Pepi.
Needless to say, FC Dallas is not hard-pressed for cash. Luckily for fans, Dan Hunt seems willing to spend the money and renew interest in the club.
“Diamante” in Dallas: The FC Dallas Left winger Alan Velasco
The biggest acquisition this offseason was Argentine Alan Velasco, who FC Dallas picked up for a club-record transfer fee. He becomes the second most valuable player in Major League Soccer at $13.2 million.
Velasco has been praised for his playmaking capabilities and outstanding maneuvering of defenders. What made him especially compelling to team leadership, however, was his young age and desire to play for FC Dallas.
“He’s thrilled to come to Dallas. This has been the destination of his choosing,” FC Dallas President Dan Hunt said. “He had opportunities to go to European clubs. Clubs in England and Spain had shown a lot of interest in him, but he thought this was the next stop in his logical progression to come here and play.”
Velasco is a part of a recent trend of transfer players that are challenging the notion that the MLS is a retirement league for former greats. His youth and talent should be exciting for the entire league as it signifies that top talents see America as a place where they can develop, with Dallas topping that list.
As for his actual impact on the team in the upcoming season, Velasco is a part of the new attacking front for Dallas. While Hunt was thrilled to pick up Velasco at what he felt like was a bargain, new FC Dallas coach Nico Estévez feels really good about his ability to help the team.
“He’s very mature for his age and I think he’s the right fit for our style of play,” Estévez said. I think the fans will love the way he plays and I believe he’ll make a big impact in this league.”
There’s a sense of optimism this season amongst the fanbase for this acquisition, but that’s going to rely heavily on the performance of Velasco, and his ability to bring success back to Frisco.
Pushin’ Paul: Right winger Paul Arriola
FC Dallas has become known as quite the youth-centric club, however the signing of the U.S. Men’s National Team captain Paul Arriola brings a veteran into the locker room.
Despite only being 26, Arriola has built an impressive resume, enshrined in two Gold Cups for the stars and stripes in 2017 and 2021.
Additionally, Arriola brings in an exciting form of play and an impressive knack for finding the net. Alongside Velasco, FC Dallas hopes that Arriola’s success will transfer from D.C. into Estévez’s new system in Dallas.
Dallas-made in the midfield: Jesús Ferreira
Over the offseason, FC Dallas offered attacking midfielder Jesús Ferreira a contract extension to make him the first homegrown designated player in club history.
His performance in the 2021 season saw three MLS Team of the Week awards as he accumulated eight goals and nine assists. It was a huge accomplishment for the Colombian native, who joined the FC Dallas Academy in 2009. A year later, his father David Ferreira, lead Dallas to the MLS cup final and earned the league’s MVP award as a designated player.
“My dad was a big part FC Dallas and his name stays here in Dallas,” Ferreira said. “When I first signed, I wanted to make sure that they don’t remember me because of my dad. I want to make sure that they remember me, Jesús.”
Jesús is inspiring the next generation with his impressive performances and now will be tasked with leading up the middle alongside Velasco and Arriola. After his debut for the USMNT, he’s looking to put together his best season yet in 2022.
Youth prevails: Marco Farfan
This week, FC Dallas announced that they had traded fan-favorite Ryan Hollingshead to Los Angeles FC for 23-year-old Marco Farfan. Hollingshead has made 222 appearances for the club, and prior to the trade, had spent his entire career in Dallas after being drafted from UCLA.
The trade came as a shock to fans, as with the deal comes the loss of a club staple since 2014 at the height of his career’s value. While Farfan is a bit better defensively, Hollingshead was a huge producer on the offensive side of the ball and arguably one of MLS’ best left backs.
As it currently stands, the trade seems to be a big loss for the club. The hope seems to be that the improved strikers up front will make up for the lost power at left back, and Farfan can be developed into another top player for the club. Only time can tell if this will be the right decision.
Dallas will get a better understanding of where it stands as it continues preseason matches this week. Here is the remainder of their upcoming preseason slate:
FC Dallas vs San Antonio FC (USL Championship)
Saturday, February 12th at 1:00 p.m. CST
Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
FC Dallas vs Chicago Fire FC
Wednesday, February 16th at 11:00 a.m. CST
St. David’s Performance Center, Austin, Texas
FC Dallas vs Houston Dynamo FC
Saturday, February 19th at 6:00 p.m. CST
Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
Matches against the Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo will be broadcasted on fcdallas.com/stream with the club’s Senior Social Media Coordinator Eddie Koton on play-by-play and Team Reporter Garrett Melcer on color commentary.