2012 Season Evaluations: Julian de Guzman

Cooper Neill

The Canadian international impressed in his short time with FC Dallas, but can they afford to keep him?

Previous Evaluations: Fabian Castillo

Julian de Guzman was acquired by FC Dallas on July 13 in exchange for Andrew Wiedeman in a deal that brought the Canadian international to Dallas while Toronto FC paid his entire salary. It turned out to be one of the major turning points of FCD's season, coupled with the returned health of David Ferreira, that gave the club some hope of making a playoff spot even into the next to last game of the season.

Pros

Fits in Dallas' System There can be no doubts that Julian de Guzman and FC Dallas are a perfect fit for each other. De Guzman said in an interview soon after joining that FCD was a team that liked to play football and reminded him of teams he'd played for in Europe that he worked very well with. So much of a player's success can be based on how well he fits into the team he's on and de Guzman fits here both on the field and in the locker room.

Honesty This is one for the media more than fans, but de Guzman is a guy who will actually answer the questions you ask honestly rather than give the regular canned answers that you hear so often. It's gotten him in a little bit of hot water every now and then, but when you tell the truth there's never anything anyone can criticize you for.

That goal No matter what happens with de Guzman between now and next season, we will always have that one moment of magic against Vancouver that set FC Dallas Stadium alive.

Moment of the Year

Do I even need to say it?

Cons

Stopgap It's tough to find a lot wrong with de Guzman and I guess this isn't even really a criticism of him but more of the timing. If de Guzman is not re-signed, he was simply a stopgap that prevented the development of a player like Bobby Warshaw in taking minutes away from youngsters while leaving FCD with a gaping hole in the roster heading into 2013.

Is he too expensive? There's no doubt that FC Dallas can be a great team with JDG as the defensive midfield anchor, but the question is, do you pay a player like him designated player money? I'm sure Dallas would love to have him back, but his price tag may be a little too much. We will find out soon.

Final Thoughts

Julian de Guzman's time in Dallas is about as positive as any player's that I can remember. He glowed about the team, the setup and the city while proving his worth in MLS in a system that fit his style rather than the disaster going on in Toronto. He called Dallas a breath of fresh air and an eye opener as to what the rest of the league can be like.

On the other hand, it will very likely take at least close to Designated Player money to keep him, money that could take away from much needed depth that Dallas needs to add. It's a major question that Fernando Clavijo and company will need to figure out in the off-season.

2013 Rating

1-10 scale...10 being MLS MVP...9 is MLS Best XI....8 is team MVP...7 is indispensable player...1 is Eric Quill.

You have to say that if you take away the money and just look at the performances, which is what you should do in a rating, that de Guzman has earned a 7.5. If he had been here for a couple years, you'd have to say he is an indispensable player and would probably fall just behind David Ferreira as the MVP of the team through the last three months of the season. Just a class, class player.

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