Karate kick! - George Frey
Hernan Pertuz was signed, somewhat quietly, by FC Dallas in pre-season out of Colombia, but ended up playing a big role with FCD making 24 starts and 30 appearances at center back and right back. Having survived the roster cuts, Pertuz is almost a lock to return next season.
Clearly can play at this level There's no doubt about it that Pertuz can play at the MLS level. He's kind of in between a starter and backup, but Pertuz is definitely a solid contributor to the squad. It sounds simple, but when you get players from outside the country, you never really know if they can adjust to the style of MLS and Pertuz clearly is capable of playing in MLS.
Fits into the passing style Schellas likes his defenders to be able to pass out of the back competently and Pertuz showed good awareness and good passing sense to not turn the ball over in bad areas. More simply put, he doesn't make the dumb passes that get you beat.
Age and cost Pertuz doesn't even turn 24 until March, so he's still got some developing to do in his game which bodes well for FCD and made under $100,000 last season which is also very palatable. He's likely in line for a decent raise this off-season, but probably not anything that would break the bank.
Moment of the Year
There's two moments that come to mind right off the bat for Pertuz, so I'll include both of them...fantastic goal-saving clearances in games that Dallas drew....the save on Wondolowski really looms large when you think that Wondo ended up tying the all-time MLS goals record
Struggles with size So many times, MLS games turn into a knock down drag out affair in which the most physical player wins and Pertuz is not that type of defender. He was exposed the most in the 3-3 draw with San Jose where Pertuz was simply unable to cope with Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart late in the match(though he's hardly the first MLS defender to struggle with that duo).
Not quite a starter If Pertuz is starting 24 games for your defense, you might have a few issues. Dallas' hand was forced this year with all the injuries, but ideally you'd only have Pertuz start 10 or so games a season while coming off the bench to provide defensive depth later in matches.
Overall, I think Hernan Pertuz was a solid addition to FC Dallas last off-season. When you think that, in a perfect world, he was the #4 center back on the depth chart last year, suddenly his prospects with the team really improve. Pertuz is a guy who can provide solid depth for FCD and, against the right teams, play a style of defense that works very, very well with the way FC Dallas wants to play. He's not a guy I feel comfortable with writing into the starting lineup on opening day, but if Pertuz is the #4 center back going into next season, I think all is well with the Dallas defense.
2012 season rating
Solid...not spectacular with a few big mistakes during the season, but overall a nice piece to the puzzle. Pertuz gets a 5.5 for this season