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Minnesota Stars Defender Jack Stewart Loaned to FC Dallas for Remainder of Season

2011 August 15
tags: ,
by Brian Quarstad

FC Dallas will soon announce they have picked up Jack Stewart on loan from the NSC Minnesota Stars of the North American Soccer League.

Photo by Jeremy Olson - www.digitalgopher.net

Stewart will go on loan to FC Dallas for the remainder of the season for an undisclosed fee. With the deal, Dallas has an option to purchase his contract from Minnesota for a permanent transfer at the end of the season.

According to Djorn Buchholz, CEO of the Stars, FC Dallas contacted Minnesota last week to see if a deal could be arranged. He said the MLS team was looking for some defensive cover as they head into the final stretch of the MLS season. Buchholz said ultimately the decision came down to Stars head coach Manny Lagos who felt it was a good move for both teams as well as a chance for Stewart to get back to MLS, something he had talked to the defender about before the season started.

When Lagos signed Stewart he was coming off two frustrating years where he had struggled through several injuries. Before playing for the Stars, Stewart had made only 6 appearances for the Carolina RailHawks in 2009. The Torrance, California native never saw a minute of action in 2010 as he struggled through rehab.

Stewart, who attended Notre Dame, was drafted by the Chicago Fire in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft. He was traded to Real Salt Lake midseason in 2006. He played 25 games for RSL between 2006 and 2007. FC Dallas assistant coach John Ellinger became familiar with Stewart when he was head coach at RSL.

Stewart started at central defense for Minnesota this season but sustained a minor injury early on. Before long he was back in the starting rotation. He has logged 1215 minutes this season for the Stars and has 1 assist.

The loan is pending approval from Major League Soccer.

17 Responses
  1. bullsear permalink
    August 16, 2011

    Thanks for the update, BQ. I look forward to hearing more about it from the FC Dallas side as well.
    I’m really glad that for some players, the US soccer pyramid does work. Too bad for the stars, but it’s great that a player who has been troubled by injuries can come back to the second division, regain fitness, and make a return to the top league.

  2. August 16, 2011

    Bullsear,

    I think for me the exchange of players from MLS to NASL and NASL to MLS along with other leagues like Brad Rusin has gone to, has been one of the highlights for me. If the league can continue it’s consistency and relationships with MLS teams, it will certainly bring more notice and respect to the NASL.

    This all reminds me of something Aaron Davidson had said last winter before the league was sanctioned. He said the NASL must stop the constant churn of teams in and out of 2nd division which in turn will finally earn the league respect and acknowledgment from soccer supporters in the US as a legitimate league to pay attention to.

    Year one is coming to a close and although there have been a few glitches, the NASL has done pretty well and is continuing to improve as a League front office. We will watch and see in the offseason how year 2 goes.

  3. thesuperrookie permalink
    August 16, 2011

    The offseason is my favorite time of year :)

  4. August 16, 2011

    Way to go Jack! I’m psyched for him and the Stars.
    I think it shows the professional environment Manny & Djorn have created here with this NASL team.

  5. August 16, 2011

    Good move Dallas. Lets see if it pays off.

  6. August 16, 2011

    Good for Jack Stewart !!! That makes three players from NASL rosters this season playing in D1 leagues….Mario Perez has started four of Estudiantes Tecos five games so far, and subbed in the other….Brad Rusin has been starting for HB Koge in Denmark and scored a goal….and now Stewart. Not forgetting Carolina’s Martin Rennie going to coach in MLS next year.

    And it works the other way too. Luis Gil, Chris Schuler and Collen Warner all played on loan at ACSTL last season and benefited from getting some competitive games, resulting in each having played 15, 11 and 18 matches respectively for Real Salt Lake so far this year.

    The NASL is certainly doing many things right in its inaugural season, and the fact that MLS teams continue to loan players to NASL clubs verifies that assessment.

  7. Soccer Boy permalink
    August 16, 2011

    In order to stay positive, I am not going to comment on this story.

  8. Jim permalink
    August 16, 2011

    I think the movement of players between the leagues – MLS to NASL and vice versa has been great and give the league credibility. Now let’s just get to year two without any offseason drama like the last two.

    Don’t get me wrong – I hope the offseason is as “entertaining” as the last two years because I enjoy that time of year too! I really hope the leagues (NASL & USL Pro) are both more stable this offseason and we can avoid the constant worry of will the league exist or not.

    This offseason, I hope I can enjoy news about about player signings, new coaches, expansion news (San Antonio & Ottawa) and more.

    BQ keep up the great work! Thank you for what you and the IMSoccer staff does to keep us soccer fans in the loop every day.

  9. August 16, 2011

    Thanks, Jim!

  10. Dave permalink
    August 16, 2011

    Unfortunately, chaos and D2/D3 soccer go hand and hand. It always has. So this offseason will likely be just as crazy. It wouldn’t be D2 without a few close calls for the season.

    Yes, the NASL has done some good things its first year. But attendance across the board, now without Montreal, is a major concern. Traffic is funding too many teams. We need more owners. USL and NASL are still at war. We still have a long way to go before anyone can feel sure about the league. Even MLS had many shaky years before they made it.

    Frankly, I wanted to see more movement between NASL, USL, and MLS clubs. Only a few players moving isn’t enough. MLS seems to be relying less on D2 than it ever has for players now with their reserve squads and academies. The NASL needs to send more players to MLS and have more players from USL move up to them. That is how you legitimize your league. Right now there seems to be little difference between USL-Pro and NASL clubs talent wise. The MLS reserve squads also probably kept more players in MLS that could have been in NASL.

  11. Bart permalink
    August 18, 2011

    @Dave

    Where have you seen this war between USL and NASL this year? Along the news and blog fronts, all has been very quiet between the groups as they have progressed through the season.

    With NASL and MLS taking a slightly more proactive role in the movement of players, the initial evolution of talent exchange is being recognized at the coaching level.

    Yes, attendance is an issue with Montreal leaving, but as BQ has indicated, the NASL home office seems to have circled the wagons pretty well administering the league and providing information to the fans. I would agree that Traffic funded way too many teams this season, but that is a risk they chose to take to get the league up and running. I doubt that it is Traffic’s business plan to continue with the funding on a long term basis, unless they can raise the level of revenue to NASL in a manner that allows them to be paid back on their investment funding.

    I don’t foresee the same emotional and chaotic off season moments that occurred over the last 2 years. There seems to be a good differentiation between the leagues that includes minor overlaps on markets as well.

    Unless I am mssing something, this should be a pretty boring off season between all parties, as they ready themselves for the 2012 season.

  12. August 18, 2011

    Agreed, Bart. I think there will still be some interest in whether USSF sanctions NASL, at least not on a provisional status. But after this season I’m not sure how or why they would denny them.

  13. Bart permalink
    August 18, 2011

    BQ

    I am not sure I agree that NASL deserves what you might call “permanent” sanctioning based on this year. The fundamentals have not changed. The league still has foreign team issues, as well as having too many teams owned by the ownership entity of NASL, Traffic Sports.

    Yes, they have played a season without the drama from last year, but that in and of itself should not qualify a league to have more than provisional sanctioning, if the same problems that existed a year ago, still exist today. In spite of the hiring of a Commissioner, NASL still has front office issues, and it will be interesting to see how long some of these teams that thought they would at least break even, have bled some serious cash.

    One could also argue that every year is a provisional year, as even MLS has to go in front of the USSF board to demonstrate their ability to function under the D1 regulations. I don’t think this is a bad thing, it keeps each league responsible for maintaining the standard.

  14. Tom permalink
    August 18, 2011

    Does anyone ever envision D3 ownership standards being implemented or is that so far down the priority list at USSF to the point where its not even on the horizon?

  15. August 18, 2011

    Tom, I was told by US Soccer late last summer that specific D3 standards would be coming. I continued to follow up with this and eventually that changed to they don’t plan on making any standards for D3 at this time. Of course there are general standards that apply, but it sounds as if you shouldn’t hold your breath for D3 ownership standards. There will be none.

  16. Dave permalink
    August 18, 2011

    @Bart

    I still hear rumblings of USL looking to place some teams in NASL markets. Just like they almost did last year in Florida. USL stills calls USL-Pro the top level under MLS. The war is still there, but has mostly gone behind the scenes during the season. But it is always ready to flare up.

    It will never reach WPS v. Borislaw craziness, but it is there. There will always be drama in D2 soccer. Nothing is ever sure. You always look for something to drop on your head.

  17. Bart permalink
    August 19, 2011

    @ Dave

    Not to nitpick here, but I believe that USL promotes USL Pro as being “the most professional league under MLS”, a distinction somewhat different than being the top level under MLS. I don’t see the USL promotion as being D2.

    Further, USSF does not define D1/D2/D3 markets in their standards, and any market appears to be fair game if that league believes it can have a team there that will be successful. There is no “protected territory”, if you will.

    Nothing wrong with a little competition, especially if the business group of the team believes it can operate effectively in a market where another league has ties.

    I do think this will be a boring off season.

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