Top Five Pre-Season Roster Battles: #4 Ricardo Villar vs Daniel Cruz

FRISCO, TX - OCTOBER 15: Nizar Khalfan #16 of the Vancouver FC and Daniel Cruz #7 of the FC Dallas battle for control of the ball during the second half of a soccer game at Pizza Hut Park on October 15, 2011 in Frisco, Texas. FC Dallas won 2-0. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)

Currently, FC Dallas sits with all eight international spots filled with the additions of Blas Perez, Hernan Pertuz and Carlos Rodriguez. With those three as well as roster stalwarts Fabian Castillo, David Ferreira and Jair Benitez taking up the other three spots that leaves Villar and Cruz as the guys on the chopping block should another international be signed.

Ricardo Villar was thrust into the spotlight last season when David Ferreira's injury happened, starting 14 of the last 16 games including the playoff loss to New York. His time last year was up and down, though, in my opinion, Villar struggled to catch up to the speed of MLS. I, as much as anyone, respect the need to give a player time to adjust to a new league, David Ferreira being the prime example, however Villar's play did not seem to get better as the season went on.

The bottom line is the attacking midfield position needs to have production and 0 goals/2 assists isn't getting the job done, especially given Villar's inexplicably high contract, tied for 5th highest on the squad. On the bright side, the Brazilian did bring a level of professionalism and technical ability to the position. He scored a very nice free kick in Open Cup play and was shifted around positions a bit.

Keep reading

Daniel Cruz was brought in without a whole lot of fanfare in the middle of the 2011 season with a nice pedigree as the #10 and talisman of Belgian first division side Germinal Beerschot for nearly a decade. Cruz came in and showed flashes of talent, scoring a very nice goal in Chicago, but also struggled to really make an impact. On a significantly smaller contract closer to $100k and two years younger than Villar, Cruz seemed to have the inside leg on making the squad coming into 2012, but he has been sidelined with an injury that could keep him out for the majority of the pre-season.

I can't see how FC Dallas keeps both guys on the roster, but you've got to think at least one will stick around for the time being as Dallas sits without a suitable replacement for David Ferreira should the unthinkable happen again. Realistically, I think Dallas could do well finding a better option than either of these guys to backup Ferreira, but as it stands, Villar and Cruz are likely going head to head for a 2012 roster spot. What are your thoughts on these two players?

For further coverage follow Big D Soccer on Twitter and Like us on Facebook

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Big D Soccer

You must be a member of Big D Soccer to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Big D Soccer. You should read them.

Join Big D Soccer

You must be a member of Big D Soccer to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Big D Soccer. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker