FC Dallas has a very unusual problem heading into the 2015 season. Maybe problem isn’t the right word, because it certainly won’t cause me any grief or lost sleep. Maybe we should call it a unique predicament. Yeah, let’s go with that.
Throughout the 2014 season, FCD had two top class goalkeepers at their disposal. Both Chris Seitz and Raul Fernandez offered experience and quality in goal and made Oscar Pareja’s decision each game a challenge.
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It seemed as if the partnership/competition was working out well for both keepers and for FCD. They each started similar amounts of games in 2014 and neither staked an outright claim on the #1 job. Frankly, it was a good problem to have.
I assumed at season’s end that both would stay on the roster and continue into 2015 with the team. I assumed Dallas would continue to swap both players and use them interchangeably. Well, you know what assuming does…
Much to my surprise, FC Dallas picked up Dan Kennedy in the draft that dispersed out the now defunct Chivas USA team. Allow me put this into perspective for you.
Dan Kennedy was the best player for Chivas USA, by far! Even though his defense was lackluster and left him vulnerable game after game, Kennedy was a rock in goal. Dan Kennedy was to Chivas USA what Brad Guzan is to Aston Villa. Don’t get the reference? Just watch one Villa game and you’ll understand.
When I say I was surprised, I mean it in a very pleasant way. Don’t get me wrong. Seitz and Fernandez were great, but Dan Kennedy brings a little something extra that the other two don’t have. Honestly, it was a no brainer to pick him up.
With the addition of Kennedy, FCD was in goalkeeper heaven. Three top keepers on one team? It was too good to be true…and that’s exactly what it was, too good to be true.
Just recently, in preparation for the expansion draft, FCD made some roster moves. With three experienced keepers, the execs needed to make a decision as to who they wanted in between the sticks come 2015. And based on their decision, it seems like the team is ready to cut ties with Raul Fernandez.
Seitz was resigned by the team and joined Kennedy and Jese Gonzalez as the third keeper on the FCD roster. Gonzalez, a member of the Mexican youth national team system, is a Homegrown player, meaning that he cannot be taken in the upcoming expansion draft. And considering FCD is not going to let Kennedy go after just signing him, it appears Fernandez is going to be the odd man out.
At the end of the day, someone had to go. You just can’t have three starting goalkeepers on your roster. Nobody does that, it doesn’t make sense, and Fernandez found himself in an unfortunate position. He didn’t do anything wrong. He didn’t play particularly poorly. He was just overcrowded by talent.
Things aren’t too bleak for Fernandez though. He won’t have a problem finding work. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the new teams, Orlando City or NYCFC picks him up. He’s a solid keeper with national team experience that will add value to any team.
But I must say; I’m excited for an FCD team without Fernandez. Both Kennedy and Seitz will be imposing figures for any opposition and are solid options for Pareja.
When all the dust settles, Dallas will have two quality goalkeepers. That’s an asset that any team would kill for. Even if it’s at the expense of Fernandez, I’ll live. Tough times call for tough measures…right?