If we were playing a game of FC Dallas Taboo, the words that you are not able to use to describe Jackson are: pest, menace, terror, speedster, and frustrating. So far, Jackson has been playing at a very high level. Jax hustles on the field at a level I have not really seen before. He never seems to give up on chasing down the ball and frustrates defenders a lot by pressuring at a high level and getting in the passing lanes. His goal against Real Salt Lake is a testament to his racehorse work ethic. Jackson is having a great beginning of the season. The only flaw I see is that at times he hesitates to play the killer ball and does not share the ball well on the counterattack at times. Against Houston, many times I saw chances for him to play Coop in and he hesitated to do so. That's the only thing I have been critical of Jackson. Otherwise, I think he is having a stellar season so far. As long as FCD keeps winning, Jackson will keep his composure. However, there will be bumps in the road and the way he reacts will tell the tale as to whether or not he really has matured into the player Schellas wants him to be.
Michel Garbini Pereira is the leading point scorer for the defenders on MLS Fantasy Soccer with 34 points (FCD has four players in the top eight). Ignoring the fact that he is probably going to be playing defensive midfield for a while and is a potential sleeper fantasy pickup, Michel has provided this team with something they have needed for a while. FCD has found its Brad Davis (to use Hyndman's terminology), a left-footed specialist. Michel makes every corner kick and free kick from the right side a dangerous opportunity. He also seems very comfortable distributing the ball from the center of the park. Sometimes, I worry that his willingness to join the attack will cost the team on a counterattack. However, Michel has been nothing short of a revelation and will be a big part of this team's success, be it from left back or central midfield.
It is fun watching Castillo play, right? I was there to witness his moment of magic against Real Salt Lake in person. Such a beautiful move to create a little space, and the finish was picture perfect. I am witnessing a star being born. Castillo (similar to Jackson) has raw skill that is evident to anybody that knows anything about soccer. When Fabian learns to blend his skills and technical abilities, he will become a force to be reckoned with for defenders in this league. So far, I believe Castillo has played very well, but the ceiling is the limit for this kid. He has yet to turn 21 years of age, so he still has a lot of time to figure things out. Speed is a skill that cannot be taught and Castillo has been blessed with electrifying energy and quickness. It seems to me like he's starting to figure out how to use it.
Raul Fernandez- left to international duty as the starter and returned as the starter.
Andrew Jacobson- scored a goal against Houston and has been steady recently after starting slow.
Jair Benitez- After losing his starting job, Benitez is back starting at LB since Michel moved to DM.
When FC Dallas first signed Hassli, I was very excited. I was hoping the Hassli (and Kenny Cooper) signing would be the key to a switch to a 4-4-2, but it has not materialized yet. So far, Hassli has had minimal impact on the Hoops. This is due to the fact that Eric was carrying a knock coming in to the season and was not match fit. As the season progresses and Blas Perez gets called up to more international games (Gold Cup and WCQ), Hassli has to step up. Even as a super sub, you want to see him come in and make some noise. Hassli seems like a good guy, as evidenced by his partaking in the FCD TV videos. I hope this translates to increased chemistry on the field with his teammates, especially Ferreira.
It has not been the best first month of the season for Warshaw. He was expected to be the starter alongside Jacobson in the center of the pitch, but has been overtaken by Michel. Even Je-Vaughn Watson appears to be ahead of Bobby in the depth chart. Mr. Warshaw needs to ply his trade in the reserve league and show Schellas that he is capable defensively of stepping into games at the end to close them out. I think Je-Vaugh has been okay, but I prefer Warshaw get those minutes.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
1. Who do you think is more talented, Bobby Warshaw or Je-Vaughn Watson?
2. What does Castillo still need to work on, in your opinion?
3. Is Cooper being wasted in this system?
BE SURE TO ANSWER THE POLL QUESTION!