Yeesh It took me a long time to get back to this...promise it won't be another week before we get to Jair Benitez.
It was another up and down year for the 3rd year man from UC Santa Barbara. Avila is a player just loaded with attacking talent, but has suffered because of the success of David Ferreira. Sitting behind Ferreira, a player who has made all 60 starts in two seasons for FC Dallas, on the depth chart can be a lonely position. Avila managed to make his first start in a couple of years, but throughout the season struggled to gain any consistent playing time. With 18 appearances, it's clear that Schellas wants to get him on the pitch, but there just hasn't been much room at attacking mid, the only position where Hyndman trusts him on the field.
I think more than just about any player in the league, Avila has been a victim of MLS dropping their reserve league. Eric shows flashes of greatness in practice all the time, but there just haven't been enough game opportunities to show the gaffer that he belongs on the pitch.
Read on to see Avila's moment of the season, what he needs to work on and why 2011 is Avila's best opportunity in Dallas.
Moment of the Season
This one's pretty much a no-brainer. Avi's late winner(and for all intents and purposes series winner) against RSL in the first leg in Frisco was not only Avi's best moment as a professional, but probably the biggest goal of the past three seasons for FC Dallas.
What to Work on
For Avila it's the same thing that he's struggled with since 2008, consistency. It's not an attitude thing as Avila knows what Schellas wants out of him and tries to give it, but for Avi to get more starts he must play more defense while improving his passing range and tactical shape. Avila is among the most offensively talented players on the team, but as we've seen Schellas is more concerned about defense than offense.
2011 is put up or shut up time for Avila in Dallas. Having survived the expansion draft and graduated from Generation Adidas, Eric has to prove his worth to FCD in 2011 or it's probably the end for him in Frisco. However, with the return of reserve league, US Open Cup and Concacaf Champions League, Avila is also more valuable to Dallas than in previous seasons and should get upwards of 20 games outside of regular league play to prove himself. Just like the development of Brek Shea was one of the big storylines of 2010, the development of Shea's good friend Avila will be a huge story to watch in 2011.
Had he not scored the brilliant goal against RSL, I would've given the Gaucho a C, however that moment of magic was what separated the sides over two legs so Avila gets a...
What are your feelings about Avila? Has he not been given enough time to prove himself?
Previous 2010 player reviews