Mauro Diaz has all the talent in the world and showed it to great effect on Saturday night. Watching the game, Mauro Diaz had a hand in both of the gorgeous strikes to send Toyota Stadium into pandemonium. Diaz's finish on the volley was as clinical a finish as I have seen in MLS this season, but his hard work on defense and outlet pass to Benitez (and the rest is history) on the third goal stood out to me. Mauro seems selfless and that is a quality hard to find in young players.
Only good things can be said about Mr. Luccin. After the unfortunate injury, Peter stepped up and made himself available to advise and help the team in any way possible. From this article earlier in the summer, Schellas Hyndman says that players are not shy to come ask the experienced veteran for advice. Luccin had been seen working hard all summer and his positive attitude paid dividends when he returned to practice full time last month. His reward for being the ultimate team player was scoring in his reserve league debut. I am personally excited to see how Peter does when he makes his first team debut. He will not need to mesh with players that much, since he has been hanging around with them since the beginning of the season. Major respect for the Frenchman.
I am in love with Kellyn Acosta. Think about it, he exemplifies everything that we all want to see happen for this league and FC Dallas, specifically. A homegrown player who makes his first team debut at such a young age and continues to improve with every performance. Coach Hyndman is going to have a massive decision on his hands with what to do with Zach Loyd when he gets back to full strength. I do not want Kellyn to see the bench from now until the end of the season though. I believe these games are going to do wonders for his confidence and maturation to be one of the best right backs this league has to offer.
Can you tell that I am excited about Acosta? Good, because you all should be too.
This is a public service announcement. I am here to publicly apologize to Je-Vaughn Watson for what I see was misguided criticism at the beginning of this season. Lately, Mr. Watson has shut me and all the critics up by turning in two wonderful games against San Jose (two assists) and Vancouver (the bomb). Let's be honest, when played at defensive midfield Watson is hard to watch. Too many turnovers and not enough productivity to be starting in the center of the pitch. Now that Erick and Jacobson are healthy (and Michel and Luccin being viable options if need be), Watson can play in a more natural wing position. He has helped the attack with his speed and hustle on the wings. I still believe I want to see more creativity coming out of the wingers, but Watson has certainly proved that he is a serviceable player when called upon.
Toyota Stadium. Dan Hunt has come in to the offices on World Cup Way and been nothing short of brilliant. I remember a story earlier in the season that he bought some supporters at a tailgate before a home match pizza. Find me another owner in pro sports who does that. His weekly chats on Facebook are unprecedented in the modern pro sports era and it is not like he shies away from the tough questions asked either. He just has this passion about this team that I cannot explain. Not to forget, that Dan followed through on his promise by getting FC Dallas Stadium a big corporate sponsor. Toyota is a worldwide company and that should help bring FC Dallas the cash needed for stadium and overall club improvements. Major ups to Dan Hunt.
George John - continues to be the best performer on the back line day in and day out
Chris Seitz - performs admirably when Raul is out of town with Peru
David Ferreira - is not back to MVP form yet but is not playing worse than he was last month
Coop is one of my favorite players of all time. He is an FC Dallas icon and not someone I see FCD getting rid of any time soon. However, when you are a striker on a goalless drought, you get a mention in the stock down section. Kenny is having a hard time adjusting to the formation Schellas plays here in Frisco. Most of the time, it is one striker up top. Blas and Cooper are too similar a type of player, so Hyndman does not like pairing them together on the front line. Once Kenny adjusts, I believe he will be fine. I just hope he adjusts fast enough.
Injuries have kept Loyd out of the equation over the past month or so. One man's loss is another's gain though as Acosta has stepped up and been excellent at right back. The question that naturally arises, especially since Loyd's contract is up at the end of the season, is if Loyd will be here long term. I only see one way that happens. If Loyd makes a full time switch to left back, I believe he will be on the squad at the beginning of next year. Otherwise, I do not see him removing Acosta out of the starting lineup from now until the end of the season. Is it likely to happen? Unfortunately not, especially since Moises Hernandez looks to be a long term left back (not to forget London Woodberry can also play there). I am very interested to see what happens to Loyd after this season is up. Unfortunately, no playing time means that someone who was once a stud on this team has been relegated to bench, perhaps permanently.
Food For Thought:
1. Is Mauro Diaz higher up on your depth chart than David Ferreira?
2. Has Kellyn Acosta done enough to keep Zach Loyd out of the fold at right back (even if he is healthy)?
3. How effective has Dan Hunt been since he has arrived in Frisco?
4. Benitez, Michel, or (shocker alert) Zach Loyd at left back?
5. What happens to Zach Loyd after this season is up?