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FC Dallas Selects Two Players in 2019 MLS SuperDraft

January 11, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - FC Dallas News Release

Chicago, Illinois - FC Dallas selected Callum Montgomery (UNC Charlotte, 4th overall) and John Nelson (UNC Chapel Hill, 10th overall) in the first round of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, which was held today at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.

For video and photos of Callum Montgomery and John Nelson, click here.

"We felt our strategy was always to pick the highest value, the highest ceiling, and if it happens to be what you need, fantastic," FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez said. "These are two picks that fit into that category, they're both players that we think will be important for the depth chart."

Montgomery, 21, played four seasons at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. The defender started in 70 matches and scored 11 goals and seven assists for UNC. He was named to the United Soccer Coaches' First Team All-American and Conference USA Defender of the Year in 2018.

Montgomery is the son of general practitioners and studied biology at UNC.

Nelson, 20, played two seasons with North Carolina starting in 41 matches for the Tar Heels. He was named to the 2017 All-ACC Freshman team and named to the second-team All-ACC member during his sophomore year. The Ohio-native is a Generations adidas player.

Nelson has been called up to U.S. youth national teams and competed in the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.

The third and fourth rounds of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft will be held via conference call on Monday, January 14. FC Dallas holds the No. 63, 87 and 88 overall selections.

Name: Callum Montgomery

Drafted: 1st Round, No. 4 Overall

Connect with Callum: Twitter | Instagram

Position: Defender

DOB: May 14, 1997 (21)

College: UNC Charlotte

Birthplace: Nanaimo, British Columbia

Hometown: Victoria, B.C.

Height: 6-3

Weight: 185

Nationality: Canada

Name: John Nelson

Drafted: 1st Round, No. 10 Overall

Connect with John: Twitter | Instagram

Position: Defender

DOB: July 11, 1998 (20)

College: UNC Chapel Hill

Birthplace: Medina, Ohio

Hometown: Medina, Ohio

Height: 5-9

Weight: 160

Nationality: USA

FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez

On today's picks...

In Callum, high ceiling. Just a student of the game, always learning, always critical of himself and adapting. That's a player that's been through a pathway and has shown resilience and he earned his way here and has a family that supported that and a college program that supported that. We felt he was a top pick in terms of a center back at the combine. In terms of game, intelligence, decision, distributions, knowing when to break line, drop. So defense will be very sound, leader, commander, a player that we feel can have a career in the league. We're excited to develop him and give him the opportunity to compete with this roster. So well earned.

For John Nelson, another technical player, a left back, left footed player as well, who is very reliable defensively in his dueling and supports the attack, gets involved with great decision making in combination play up through the thirds of the field. Both players, for me, who have high ceilings, with great integrity and great backgrounds in terms of the human being and they're going to fit in our culture because they're going to fight but they're going to show respect for where we are and where we're going to go.

On assimilating the players to the team...

That obviously important in our profiles that we selected. Number one is good technique, good awareness and visions, good decision making with the ball. Without it, a desire to recover the ball in transition and press and tackle when needed. And then a mentality we felt was consistent with Callum and John- resilient, winners, hardworking, good locker pieces, a great fit for our culture.

On the coincidence of picking two defenders...

Our thought in this whole process was pick the highest value in player for projection, and whether that's in this season or in two season or three we were confident in our environment to have long careers in MLS. So them being center backs is a coincidence, but center backs that fit our culture and philosophy on how we want to play.

FC Dallas No. 4 overall draft pick Callum Montgomery

On heading to North Texas...

North Texas...I hear Dallas is a great city. New coach coming in it's an exciting time for the club and I think it's going to be an unbelievable experience. Some great center backs I can learn from and grow my game every single day. That's my mentality, I want to get better every single day, so I'm really excited and just looking forward to the home opener.

On his high draft pick...

You read mock drafts, but I try not to read too much. I try to focus myself every single day, what can I do to get better. When you hear your name called it's such a relief and it's an amazing experience. It's a great day so far.

On being a late bloomer...

Growing up I don't think I was ever selected to make provincial teams, or I was never invited into the Whitecaps residency so that's all been part of my journey. If I was to go back, I wouldn't change anything. What I've had, and the successes and people that I've been around and surrounded myself have really helped me and I'm so thankful that everybody else- my coaching staff at Charlotte, coaches growing up in youth- without all of them and my teammates there's no way I'd be in this situation now so I'm just really grateful in this moment right now.

FC Dallas No. 10 overall draft pick John Nelson

On talking with the FC Dallas coaches...

So we talked about positionally what they want out of a left back, and we talked a lot about the youth. They believe in the youth; they want the youth. It doesn't matter the kid or his age, if he's doing well they're going to bring him up and that's obviously good for me.

On his time with North Carolina...

I think I had a very good season with North Carolina, and it's been my dream to play. And obviously this Generation Adidas deal is very good and I'm very fortunate so that was kind of the main reason to go to the next step.

On his style of play...

I'm a hard-working player. I'm very consistent no matter where I play, left back or anything, I'm always going to give it my all. I'm always going to work hard, I'm a competitor so that's what the fans and the FC Dallas community can look out for.


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