FRISCO, Texas — New FC Dallas director of soccer operations Marco Ferruzzi has already been with the club for many years. After 14 years as an assistant, Ferruzzi was moved to the front office as a part of the coaching staff shuffle with the arrival of new coach Luchi Gonzalez.
Ferruzzi knows the club inside and out. The title change ensures he will continue assisting the team in some fashion, which is all he wanted.
“I’m in many ways still helping the club in the same capacity,” Ferruzzi said Friday. “Just trying to help build the teams and the overall picture of all of our groups, and we’re fortunate here that we have an academy system, now we have a second team and, obviously, a first team that’s competitive in MLS. We’re always looking to win and compete for championships. Putting all that together has been a real interesting build, and now working with other people that have been that global look on our club for many years upstairs is very rewarding.”
To continue building FC Dallas’ roster, Ferruzzi will work closely with new technical director Andre Zanotta, who is from Brazilian club Gremio and joined Dallas last week. Zanotta has extensive education in the sport, including a FIFA Masters Degree.
“We’ve been in communication,” Ferruzzi said. “He’s been in and out. Obviously, we’ve been waiting for him to get his status confirmed, which it has been. He’s going back to Brazil to take care of that, but we’ve been in communication and working for the last couple of weeks.”
One of Ferruzzi and Zanotta’s early tasks will be to take care of FC Dallas’ designated player situation. Currently, the team has four designated players: Cristian Colman, Carlos Gruezo, Santiago Mosquera and new signing Bryan Acosta. By March 1, the team must only have three DPs. FCD is not the only team to deal with this; Atlanta United parted ways with midfielder Miguel Almiron after having four designated players, while the Los Angeles Galaxy currently also have four DPs.
The team has options. It can part with one of the players, buy out one of the players at its own expense or buy down a player’s salary budget charge to below DP status using targeted allocation money.
“I think we have our roster set up taken care of, probably before [Zanotta’s] announcement,” Ferruzzi said. “These are all the questions that we’re going to be working together as a group right now — and I know it’s early days until March 1 — where everybody understands exactly which teams have designated players and etcetera. Those are things that we work on way back in November and December. All of those of things will come to light within the next month or so.”
When asked about his confidence in being roster compliant by March 1, Ferruzzi said, “If we’re not early, we’re definitely on time. I’d like to say that we’re early.”