Just like Ricardo Villar, Bobby Warshaw's 2012 season is another one left to wonder what could've been. The man from Mechanicsburg, PA had a nice rookie season, making 17 appearances and looked to be the heir apparent to Daniel Hernandez's spot in defensive midfield.
2012 was going well for Warshaw having made appearances in four of the first six games, then starting games at Vancouver and against Real Salt Lake. After that, disaster struck as Warshaw broke his foot in the waning moments of a reserve game at Kansas City. Warshaw returned to FCD in mid-July, but with the acquisition of Julian de Guzman, he did not see the field for FC Dallas in an MLS match for the rest of the season, limited to reserve appearances.
Tons of potential I think people sometimes forget how much progression Warshaw was showing to his game late in the 2011 season and early in 2012. A hugely decorated college player, Warshaw's best days seem to be ahead of him.
Strong Leadership When you're talking about guys who aren't afraid to fairly speak their mind and be a leader out on the pitch, there's no one better than Warshaw. He has the potential to be a future captain of this team if he can just step up his game a little bit higher.
Could fill a need If Peter Luccin is slated in as the starting defensive midfielder next season, Warshaw could end up having a very prominent role on the team as Luccin is a complete unknown and it's possible he won't work. While he got buried at the end of the bench last year, I anticipate Warshaw being given a chance in 2013.
Warshaw scored in a reserve game against Chicago and I got it on video...so there's that
Can he take the next step? The leap from good college player to good MLS player is a big one. That doesn't mean he can't do it, generally it takes a couple years for NCAA players to adapt, but we need to see it this year in Warshaw.
Improved passing If Warshaw can improve his passing accuracy just a bit more, he can transition from a guy who gets by on good positioning, work rate and tenacity into a more cultured midfielder that better fits what FC Dallas wants out of the d-mid position.
The spotlight is going to be squarely on Warshaw in 2013 as this year will be make or break for his career with FC Dallas. He's one of the best guys in the locker room and has the leadership skills to be a big part of this team for the future. What we need to see is him take a step forward on the field and prove to Schellas Hyndman that he can trust him with the full-time starting role in 2014. I have high hopes for the Stanford alum.
The season ended just when it got started for Warshaw. Like Villar, it's tough to fault a player for getting injured and Warshaw was healthy for much of the second half, but found himself behind Julian de Guzman. I'll give him a 4.0 for the season, looking for much better things in 2013.