The case of Julian de Guzman is certainly an interesting one. When he came to Dallas, it seemed like a stopgap that brought a lot of raised eyebrows from fans wondering why this deal was made in the first place.
What happened, however, was the Canadian perfectly slotting into the FCD five-man midfield as a smooth passer of the ball that kept the Dallas attack rolling and all for $0 on the salary cap.
The problem is that the honeymoon had to come to an end at some point and as I wrote about in a piece for MLSsoccer.com today, it's time for both sides to figure out whether de Guzman can be fit into the salary cap next season.
In my story, Schellas Hyndman has an interesting quote that kind of sums up the situation.
“There’s a chance [he stays] if he really likes what he has here,” Hyndman said. “We’re going to try to keep him.
"At the end of the day, with the trade, Toronto’s paying his salary and we obviously could not make that same commitment and he knows that. What it really comes down to is, are we going to be closer to the numbers and then is he going to want to continue to play MLS soccer.”
Basically he's saying, we know we can't pay as much as Europe, but if you really like your situation here, let's work something out.
For another great look at de Guzman, check out this article by Todd Date for 3rd Degree
So I'll pose the question to you, should FCD bring back de Guzman and would he be worth Designated Player money?
The transcript of my chat with Julian below:
What do you think happened with not being able to win any of the last four games after the high of beating Vancouver?
I think it was a little bit of being unlucky, running out of gas and those things lead to lack of concentration and mental lapses. It was a bit of everything during crunch time that made it unfortunate for us to not capture that playoff spot. I think we had a pretty decent run until the Chivas USA game and that was a blow for us at that point which made it harder for us to go to Seattle and then you saw what happened in the last couple minutes against Chivas.
It doesn't seem you guys are too far off of being a contender again, but what needs to happen to go from a good team to a great team?
I think one of the main factors is we seem to concede a lot of goals in the second half of games. We come out well, focused and everyone’s organized but around the 60th minute we go downhill and become disorganized. That’s when we get punished. The guys are fit and I wouldn’t question our fitness, it’s definitely more a mental thing and at the end of the day, the game is 90% mental. When it comes down to crunch time after the hour mark it’s important that everyone is still psyched up because once one guy starts to lose focus, the whole shape kind of goes away.
What do you think Schellas and the coaching staff have done to bring out the best in your game here?
It’s easy to understand his orders and his demands. Then you have a system that seems to work well for everybody. That definitely helps myself individually to bring out the best in my abilities. When you come to a team structured in that sense and well organized, everyone's on the same page it brings out the best from everyone. That most definitely gave me a second wind coming into this team and definitely gave me a boost from myself and my career
What do you like about Schellas?
He’s straight to the point and makes himself very clear. He doesn’t really beat around the bush and that’s something I look to in coaches like him and past coaches that have done well with. Sometimes they may seem like a--holes but those are usually the better coaches I’ve had in the past. It’s better for players to continue to develop and continue to learn as a professional.
Could you be back next year?
Oh yeah most definitely. This team has given me life again in football and everything around it. Most definitely my main objective before coming here to Dallas was to go to Europe and most importantly be close to the kids.
Coming here and really enjoying the game again is something I looked forward to experiencing before coming to MLS, it was what I experienced in Dallas and it’s unfortunate I couldn’t experience that in my first almost three years in Toronto. It definitely was frustrating in the beginning but being here now it opens another avenue for my next step and opportunity. It’s definitely something we’ll have time in Novemeber to sit down and talk about it.
No matter what happens, if you do have to close the chapter on MLS it’s got to feel good to do it on positive terms.
For sure that’s also a very important thing for me in the long run as well. It’s always good to leave on a good note and it helps when you’re around good people. Being here in Dalals that was the case for me and it made me feel better about the decision for myself.
How much does the money play into things looking at your next contract?
Of course the money is a factor that you have to sit down and talk about. That comes with the decision as well and it’s just a matter of how everything matches up. Being accepted in a club is most important and everything else that comes with it will come with talk