I've had several folks ask me lately about one rookie that got minutes early in the season but hasn't seen the field in a while. Yes, I'm talking about FC Dallas Homegrown defender London Woodberry.
Woodberry came onto the scene earlier this year when he made his debut against Real Salt Lake back in March. He then picked up big minutes in a 2-2 draw at Toronto when George John went down. Later on in the month of May, Woodberry started three straight games thanks in large part due to injuries that FC Dallas was facing at the time.
But ever since that rough outing in Seattle in May, Woodberry has yet to see any sizable minutes. FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman offered up some thoughts on how the young player is doing earlier this week during a media call.
"Yeah London is on track here really," said Hyndman. "Sometimes we put a little too much excitement and hope in a young player. They get out there and play and are enthusiastic. Sometimes they are prepared for it and other times they are not. I think London was thrown in there right away as a center back because George (John) or Matt (Hedges) was getting hurt, or Walker (Zimmerman) wasn't ready. But now that we got the other guys back, he needs to spend a little more time developing his game."
I know some of you may think that means getting him a loan similar to Bradlee Baladez or Richard Sanchez. But I can assure you that isn't the case for Woodberry. Hyndman mentioned that with three games coming up against conference foes that the club will need as many healthy bodies as possible to handle the load. With the likes of Zach Loyd and Andrew Jacobson potentially out for this weekends' match in Portland, it isn't out of the question that we could see Woodberry pick up some extra minutes in one of these three games.
Still, Woodberry has done well for himself so far appearing in eight games and starting three. If you look at past Homegrown players, it took ages for most of them to get their first starts, let alone play in that many games in their first year with the club.