I meant to post this the other day and it slipped my mind...Just a few observations on the Ponies that couldn't be included in my game report.
Juan Castillo, the SMU freshman from Texans SC in Houston, is remarkably fast with the ball. It's not hard to see why he has 10 goals in 18 games for SMU this season. Castillo didn't start the game and failed to score on a few late counterattacks due to some rookie mistakes, but he's definitely one to watch for the future. You can't teach speed, especially speed on the ball, and he's got it in spades.
Senior Kekoa Osorio is an interesting player. He's basically started every game in his four years at SMU and played a very solid, composed game at defensive mid for the Mustangs as I'm sure he has in his four years. It will be interesting to see what kind of MLS talk this guy gets as I don't ever see him being a starter in MLS, but with his maturity and experience he should be able to contribute right away. Knowing how big Schellas is on character guys, it wouldn't shock me to see Osorio, the team captain, in pre-season camp if he isn't drafted.
Zach Barnes will play in MLS. Very impressive performance from the freshman. It's not hard to see why he was named the Gatorade Texas Soccer Player of the Year. Barnes, a two way midfielder with a knack for getting forward, reads the game very well, has a great burst of speed, and rarely turns the ball over. A huge future for the kid from Flower Mound.
It's going to be a lot of fun watching the SMU team develop. With five freshman(in my opinion) that could have professional futures in Zach Barnes, AJ Corrado, Juan Castillo, Robbie Dershang and Jaime Ibarra, there's a lot of reasons to watch the Mustangs in the next couple of years. If all these guys stick around for a few years, this team will be something special in 2012.
I saw Schellas, Ellinger, Daniel Hernandez and Ugo Ihemelu out there on Sunday night. Cool to see the former SMU guys(besides Ellinger) supporting their team...just another sign of the high character, high class guys they've got on FC Dallas.
It's a shame UNC beat Michigan State(the Tar Heels tied the game with just 9 seconds left). I'd have loved to get another look at some of these guys.