FC Dallas has spent a good part of this off-season completing new deals and exercising contract options on most of the key figures that helped push the club to the brink of the playoffs.
The key word being most.
SBI has learned that FC Dallas declined to pick up the option on midfielder Dave Van Den Bergh's contract and has been actively shopping the Dutch midfielder around the league. One potential destination is New York, which Van Den Bergh helped lead to the 2008 MLS Cup Final.
Van Den Bergh finished the 2009 season, his first in Dallas, with three goals and eleven assists, a total good for third most in MLS.
So why didn't Dallas re-sign Van Den Bergh?
With Jeff Cunningham, Dax McCarty, David Ferreira and Daniel Hernandez all either earning new contracts or having large option years picked up, FC Dallas was forced to make a salary cap decision. With young prospect Brek Shea as a potential replacement, and with rumors circulating that FC Dallas will sign midfielder Lee Nguyen, Dallas may have no choice but to part ways with the 33-year-old winger.
Where could Van Den Bergh wind up? Sources tell SBI that he is interested in returning to the Red Bulls, where he spent two successful seasons. New York can certainly use him considering the club has no natural left winger on the roster (though Jeremy Hall is an option there). Van Den Bergh became a fan favorite with the Red Bulls after being one of the key figures behind the team's MLS Cup Final run.
If you're a bit confused about Dallas trying to deal a player who's option it failed to pick up, it is one of those MLS rules where a team can maintain the rights of a player as long as a "reasonable" offer has been made on a new contract. Whether Dallas and Van Den Bergh's definitions of reasionable offer are the same remains to be seen, but all signs point to Van Den Bergh being dealt.
What do you think of this development? Disappointed to see Dallas parting with Van Den Bergh? Love the idea of him returning to New York?
Share your thoughts below.