Behind the MLS Ambition Rankings: FC Dallas
• How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?
We have approximately 5,800 players in our youth system overall, including nine affiliate teams in other cities/states/countries (El Paso, Tyler, Midland, Laredo, San Antonio, Florida, Tennessee, Mexico, Costa Rica). Of that 5,800, there are 120 players under the “academy” umbrella, which is five teams here at our training facility. In the last five years we have spent approximately $5 million on the academy with well over $1 million of that coming in 2015.
• How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?
We have signed 14 Homegrown players to professional contracts since 2009. Seven of those players are on the current roster (Victor Ulloa, Moises Hernandez, Kellyn Acosta, Jesse Gonzalez, Coy Craft, Alex Zendejas, Aaron Guillen), while two are playing for a lower division league in the U.S. (Bradlee Baladez, NASL's Carolina Railhawks and Danny Garcia, USL's San Antonio FC); one is playing professionally in Guatemala (Jonathan Top, Comunicaciones). Two are playing professionally in Mexico (Ruben Luna, Inter Playa in Mexico's second division) and Richard Sanchez (who the club sold to Tigres); and one is playing professionally for another MLS club (London Woodberry, New England). Bryan Leyva, who was the very first Homegrown signing in 2009, was most recently with NPSL's Dallas City FC.
Our Homegrown players logged a league-high 4,607 minutes (14% of the team’s total minutes) in 2014. In 2015, FC Dallas again led MLS with 6,733 minutes (20% of the team’s total) played by homegrowns. Ulloa also set a franchise record for minutes played by a field player in 2015. From 2014 to 2015, Ulloa ran his consecutive-appearance streak to 55 (including playoffs) before missing the NYCFC match on Sept. 12 due to injury.
On Sept. 6, 2015, FCD started a league-record five homegrowns on the road at Columbus, winning 3-0.
• Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?
Our Academy teams are fully funded by the club (coaches, medical and support staff, travel, uniforms, facilities, etc…)
• How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?
Undisclosed, however continue to have double-digit percentage growth.
• Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?
Toyota Soccer Center adjacent to Toyota Stadium–total complex cost $105 million and includes 17 full-size, tournament-grade fields (13 natural grass and 4 turf), with one field belonging solely to the pro team.
• Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?
It’s fully integrated, mirror image. Oscar is fully invested with the academy and is the former director of it. Current academy players and coaches participate in first-team trainings on a daily basis. We even brought 4-5 academy players to Arizona with the pro team for preseason. Several of them join the pro team for preseason friendlies and scrimmages. They do the same drills and exercises that the pro team does and on any given game day there is an academy coach on the bench with the pro team. Their locker room is also across the hall from the pro team’s, and they train on an adjacent field in the mornings.
• What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?
We try to use technology as much as possible while taking into consideration costs. Currently, you will find a drone overhead filming at all training sessions.
• Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?
AdvoCare yielded the highest sponsorship revenue in club history in 2015 and was the precursor for the league’s AdvoCare deal.
• Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?
28–30 (depending on national flex schedule for weeks 33 and 34), including pre-game shows for select games and new for 2016, an online post game show for home games, but essentially all non-nationally televised games are televised locally.
• Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?
Every game is on English and Spanish radio (Spanish includes 30-minute pre- and post-game shows, while English includes a 30-minute post-game show). We also sponsors two English and one Spanish weekly soccer talk shows. The English shows are ESPN’s Soccer Today on Sunday mornings with Steve Davis, Marc Stein and Tyler Kern; and The Kickaround on 1310 The Ticket (highest rated radio sports talk station in market) on Saturday afternoons with Peter Welpton and Andy Swift. The Spanish show is on ESPN Deportes every Thursday evening.
• How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?
• Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?
Yes, additional hires: strength and conditioning coach, team administrator and trainer; Yes, future hire: scouting