DALLAS — FC Dallas will soon have a third-tier professional team in the United Soccer League’s League One, which will begin play in 2019.
The club announced Friday the League One side will play in Toyota Stadium and potentially “a handful of games” in other stadiums across the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
“USL League One offers an outstanding opportunity for our younger players to compete against quality opponents,” FC Dallas President Dan Hunt said in a statement. “Having a second professional team will allow us to create a culture throughout the organization that will help us succeed at every level.”
FC Dallas’ academy has been touted as one of the best in Major League Soccer, producing talent that has made an impact on the team and outside of it. Products include Colorado Rapids midfielder Kellyn Acosta, Schalke FC midfielder Weston McKennie and current Dallas player Reggie Cannon.
However, many of the team’s academy players have struggled to find playing time with the MLS team or on loan. FC Dallas sends its players to the USL’s Oklahoma City Energy and Tulsa Roughnecks to get match minutes. FCD players Jesus Ferriera, Brandon Servania, Francis Atuahene, Ema Twumasi and Jordan Cano have all spent time on loan with the two clubs.
Ferreira and midfielder Jacori Hayes both spoke to ProSoccer USA earlier in October about the benefits of playing time with USL teams.
“Sometimes I didn’t make the roster in Dallas, so I’d kinda get upset,” Ferreira said to Pro Soccer USA. “Here, I’m getting games, I’m getting to play other teams that in the MLS we don’t play. They have different styles of players, different types of centerbacks, different types of defenders, different types of forwards. … I feel like me playing over here helps me gather more information and put more details in my system of play.”
Dallas will join the New York Red Bulls, Orlando City, Toronto FC, Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, Los Angeles Galaxy, Sporting Kansas City and Atlanta United as teams than run their USL affiliates. Orlando and Toronto both will have teams in USL League One, while the rest of the group participates in the USL Championship, the division above.
FC Dallas is the 10th and final member for USL League One’s founding year and the second team added west of the Mississippi.
“We are delighted to have FC Dallas join the USL,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said in the statement. “For decades, the Hunt family has been at the forefront of growing the game in the United States, and now, they are embracing a tremendous opportunity to strengthen their club and the Dallas-Fort Worth region by launching a team in USL League One.”