Having filed my two stories for the day, here's most of the leftover stuff from Julian de Guzman, Schellas and Clavijo on JDG, Colorado, Acosta and more. Definitely some informative stuff in here, if it is a bit daunting, so enjoy, it's been a long afternoon of transcribing. *deep breath*
Julian de Guzman
Did this move come as a surprise?
It was a bit of a surprise but at the same time I think Toronto FC was leaning towards something, a trade in my sense, so they got the job done and pretty much satisfied that I find myself with a group of guys who play football so I’m looking forward to the experience.
Has it been tough in Toronto?
Its' been a pretty tough situation at the moment. When you have a new coach and a new system with preferences different from the previous one then it affects players in certain roles. That was my situation pretty much. I think the situation has changed again finding myself in a different team and I’m pretty familiar with the system Dallas has so I’m looking forward to getting involved.
Did you know anybody here?
No, just as players on the pitch but personally no.
How quickly did this all come about?
I was having lunch with my mom yesterday in the afternoon, got the call around 4PM and had to be on a plane in the next 3 or 4 hours so it was a pretty quick transition.
Is it tough coming here as a Canadian guy playing up there, being uprooted
It’s part of the game and a side that you accept as a professional. For myself, Toronto will always be home but football is the love of my life and to continue to play and have the chance to play here, it’s a great opportunity.
What can you bring to the team?
I know the team’s been struggling with a lot of injuries and they have been struggling on the road as well. For myself to be able to fill into certain spots on the pitch in the midfield is a great opportunity to help out. My role as a midfielder for myself is pretty clear.
Did you feel like a deal could be coming to send you somewhere else?
Not in my mind but I know it’s been part of Toronto’s agenda and their plans. It’s been an ongoing thing for a couple years now. If they finally got their wish so it’s part of the game, the business side of things that players don’t really have control of. For myself I’m just happy I get to continue to play the game with quality players.
What do you see out of Dallas?
Definitely a lot of talent. For myself they’re a team that plays some of the most attractive football one of the better sides in the league. It’s been really unfortunate with the results and injuries that have come their way this season but in most cases Dallas is usually one of the more competitive teams in the league.
What does JDG bring to this team?
Julian is a very good player. If you look at his resume with his experiences of playing in France, Germany, Spain and then the last few years with Toronto. Presently still in the top XI for Canada. He brings a lot of experience, he’s a good central midfielder that can hold the ball. He has the capability of playing great penetrating passes and I think he has a little bit of fight in him to win balls.
Did this deal come about pretty quickly?
It did come by pretty quickly. It was brought to us on Monday or Tuesday and it was really too good of an opportunity for us not to take seriously and then it happened.
Do you feel like bringing in another defensive midfielder that you’re not getting enough out of the position right now?
No, no it really has nothing to do with that. If the conditions weren’t so FC Dallas favorable, we wouldn’t have done this, because we need other positions first. What you have to look at, is Andrew Wiedeman a Generation Adidas player that is basically going to be out of his contract after this year. We would have to deal with that in some point in time. Andrew’s done well for us, he played 45 minutes against San Jose, and I think Toronto saw a player on the rise and they also are looking at a player that wouldn’t cost them anything.
How soon can he get major minutes?
I don’t believe he will be ready for Colorado with the paperwork, but we hope that he will be available for us in San Jose if the paperwork comes through. We’ve got three games in 7 or 8 days and what ends up happening is we need depth and hav players come on the field. Is Daniel Hernandez capable of playing 2 games in 3 days? And if he’s unable to, I think Julian can come in and do that.
How important is it to end the streak?
Of course it’s important, I think with the poor results we’ve been getting we’re still not that far out of it and I think a big part of that is other teams have been having poor results. So it’s almost like hey they’re giving us a chance to come back and all of a sudden you’ve got David back in the lineup. Is he at his best? No but he’s better than on the field than without...There was a point in time where we were 3-3-3 and we had injuries then but we were 3-3-3 and saying things are going to go one way or the other right now. We didn’t expect the historic number of injuries that have come to key players but on the positive side I think our players have really given everything they’ve had under difficult conditions...I think our defense is playing a little bit better...
Talk about the Acosta signing
I’ve known Kellyn for quite a few years because he’s the same birthyear as my Grandson Emerson. So whenever I went and watched my grandson I’d see Kellyn. He’s always been a little bit more mature physically player than most people in that age group and because of that maturity I think he started developing confidence and he became a pretty important player on the team whether he’s playing holding midfield, in a reserve game against Houston he played right side midfield and scored a goal so he’s got a lot of versatility.
I think he was the youngest player on the U16s last year that was starting so hes’ got great experience there. I also know he’s being internationally targeted. People know who he is and we didn’t want to get into a situation where he may end up overseas because we weren’t willing to pull this trigger. I like a lot about Kellyn, I think he’s courages, athletic, he’s got a good soccer brain. He’s a player that plays on both sides of the ball, he’s versatile he can play a lot of different positions and I think if you look at the international game more and more teams are starting to have multiple position player. I think he’s got a wonderful work ethich and a very good attitude. All those reasons put together and the reason that we didn’t want to lose him I think it was a good decision on our part and a good decision on Kellyn’s part.
Can we get a statement on the passing of Blas' father?
There’s decisions we make as coaches and managers in our life that sometimes doesn’t come out right and you think "damn I wish I had that moment again." The other day in training on Tuesday Blas and I were here and Blas said "My father just got taken to the hospital. It was an emergency and I don’t know what the situation is."
I told Blas to go visit him and go home because the last thing you want to do is be here, have your mind here and let’s say something unbelievable happens and you lose your dad. You’re sitting here when you could’ve had your final days or minutes with him. As a coach I’m so glad I was able to say to him to go home and I’m so glad he did go home. I called him last night and he was very obviously shocked…three days later [after going to the hospital] he dies.
I called him and he was very thankful for the call and very appreciative that we had the empathy of letting him be a part of that. Quite a few of the players have contacted him and you know unless you’ve been through it, deaths to a loved one is final. Those are simple words we can all understand. But how deep it goes into your soul and roots, how long is it for you to get back into a normal phase? Again Im’ just really glad FC Dallas had the wisdom to have him go home and that he took advantage of that.
What can you talk about with the trade, obviously he’s a DP so Toronto picked up some of his salary?
First of all, we need a forward. We all know that but to be able to come across a talented player like De Guzman and to add him to your roster without compromising this year or the future is always a plus. He fits when you look at the way we play. He’s 31 years old still in his prime so I think it can be an incredible opportunity for us and something we couldn’t pass. We’re still in the search for our needs, the guidelines are clear on what we can and can’t do but I’m excited because we have added a quality player.
Whether it’s a designated player or not, it’s just another quality player that plays a good brand of soccer, he can manage and he’s excited to be here.
What can a change of scenery do for him?
When you’re talking about his stay in Toronto, you don’t hear anything bad, he just wasn’t getting enough time and I think when you have a quality individual that demands the kind of money he was receiving from Toronto, you want to play. As a former pro, you can’t complain with that.
He did it in a very professional way, he never voiced it out he never really created any issue for the club. That also speaks very good for him as an individual with his character. Again, we bring him here as a brand new place for him. What a great opportunity to showcase what we all believe he’s capable of doing in a brand new and good environment. I think when you look at the players we put around him, Ricardo Villar, Blas at the end, we have David Ferreira and Brek and Fabian Castillo. He fits with everything we have around him so it could be a great opportunity but only time will tell.
How much of his salary is Toronto picking up?
You know how it is, we’re not entitled to release that kind of information but I can tell you that it is a deal that makes sense for Toronto and it makes a lot of sense for us.
Do you see him as a guy for the future or right now?
One of the things that we worry, why open with him was, if it makes sense it’s a great opportunity. We don’t bring him here for the next 15 games. We bring you here to showcase what we all believe are your qualities. That opens up an incredible amount of opportunities both for him and for us to be able to have a player that we will be able to evaluate among games that we have during the season is a tool that we don’t have every day.
A lot of people pay a lot of money to bring players and some of those players didn’t turn around the way that everybody planned it to be. We’re going to have somebody else we can evaluate every day in practice, we can evaluate him every day in games, evaluate his personality and I think it’s invaluable.
How much did your work with Traffic deal in?(JDG is reportedly represented by Traffic Sports which Clavijo used to work for)
When you look, he’s an international star. You have to realize when he was at Deportivo La Coruna he was a key player there and he was well seen by everybody. Not necessarily because he wasn’t playing doesn’t mean he isn’t a good player. He’s still playing for the Canadian national taem and doing very well. The whole midfield runs through him.
I’ll tell you the whole situation with him and Toronto was a good one. It was an opportunity for them that they had a new coach who wants to bring new things up thinking in a completely different direction and that gives an opportunity for us to be more flexible and look at things to work for us and see how we can fit him. To me, when I’m looking at how we can set up the future of this team today and in 2013 and more, we needed to do moves that don’t compromise that and this move didn’t compromise anything whatsoever in the future of this franchise so it’s a win-win situation for us.
How much of the Kellyn Acosta signing was forced by international teams looking at him?
I’ve known Kellyn for two and a half years, I’ve been chasing him around watching him and everything else from my previous job with Traffic(sports). That’s what I was doing was investing in players and looking at and evaluating players. For me it was easy and quicker to evaluating him everyday knowing what he would think, talking to the coaches about the way he behaves on and off the field. I wasn’t able to do that before.
He was somebody who was on the radar of the coach, he’s rated very highly in the academy so it was a win-win situation. We were not pushed by any situation more than the opportunity not to lose him. So of course there were teams abroad looking at a young talent from the united states and trying to take him away but I think we had that one pretty tight already from the beginning. He’s happy here and I can tell you this is a new beginning because I want this guy to start competing at the highest level early on to make sure we can give him the path to develop to the pros.
Having seen a lot of guys around his age with your previous job do you feel like he is possibly the best player in the country at his age?
Absolutely, I have no dobut. There’s a lot of young players out there but I think Kellyn is coming along and we are responsible for his development from now on and we have to make sure we bring him along, we don’t force him, we don’t push him. We have seen unfortunately other clubs and leagues push players quicker than they should but I thin kthat the environment that we have for him that hopefully we can achieve in the next couple months for him and in the future is going to be great and I think he’s going to be one of the very good stars of the future.