Editoral Note: Dave Rowaan from Waking the Red gives us a little insight on FC Dallas' newest player, Kyle Bekker.
Kyle Bekker, at one point the highest Canadian selection in the SuperDraft, has been a polarizing figure since the day that he set foot in Toronto. His 3rd overall selection in the draft came after a very strong combine and a good showing in Olympic qualifying with Canada's Under-23 team. It also came with some fairly high expectations with fans hoping for him to be an impact in the middle of the park.
The problem with that hope was that Bekker never really found a position in the midfield and was asked to play a variety of different roles without ever really finding one in which he excelled. He seemed at his best when he was just allowed to drift in the middle of the park since his defending was not up to par to be used as a ball winner and his pace and vision did not lend itself to being an attacking playmaker. The best position for him seemed to be next to a true ball winner where he was allowed to essentially serve as the link between the defenders and the attacking player. That role allowed him to rely on quick touches and short simple passes which seemed to best suit his skills.
Bekker did show the ability to hit a decent set piece from time to time but even that element of his game seemed to take a step back from where it was during his time at Boston College. Too ofter his free kicks wound up going over everyone's heads and harmlessly to the keeper. It was just another reason that left TFC fans frustrated with the Canadian.
What really put the frustration over the top for most fans was that fact that he continued to show moments of being a quality midfielder. From time to time he would pick out and impressive pass or make a key interception but the problem was the good moments were too rare and only left fans wanting to see more of that side of Bekker rather than the player who seemed to float around the field having a limited impact on the game.
It seems that Bekker is the victim of a crowded midfield in Toronto which made him expendable to the club. Based on his play in the first two seasons there was no reason to believe that he would be able to get minutes ahead of the likes of Michael Bradley, Colleen Warner, Jonathan Osorio, or even younger players like Chris Mannella or Jay Chapman. The best thing for the player and the club seems to have been to find him a new home where he could get a fresh start and hopefully more playing time.
This trade has a lot of similarities to when FC Dallas took on Julian De Guzman in that both Canadians headed South after really failing to live up to expectations in Toronto. There games are not all that similar but their need for a fresh start certainly is.