The first soccer game I ever attended in person was a playoff game in Frisco against Real Salt Lake in the fall of 2010.
I had already been watching FCD for the second half of the season following the World Cup, and the playoff ticket deal was too good to pass up. Man, what a fun lineup we had that year that carried us to the MLS Cup Final. David Ferreira. George John. Dax McCarty. Brek Shea. Kevin Hartman. And then, this scrawny kid that FC Dallas drafted would pop in off the bench - a young, hungry Eric Avila who had the occasional tendency for a dramatic moment or two.
That night, the game had drawn level, fans were getting nervous, and then Eric Avila struck again with a glorious goal that served as a huge momentum swing into the second leg of the series.
(Just put that on repeat. Watch the full clip here.)
Moments like that turned Eric Avila into a fan favorite.
Unfortunately, Eric was eventually traded away, one of those moves among many others that ultimately birthed (as well as a long history of other deals) stuff like #sadfcdfan. He bounced around a bit, from Toronto FC to Chivas USA and finally spent last season with Orlando City in their freshmen year in MLS. Regardless of where he ends up, Avila has been a steady contributor. He may not be the flashiest player, but he's been reliable, giving minutes both at right wing, right mid, and even right back.
Eric Avila now joins the list of free agents and is looking for a new home.
Why not bring him back, front office?
With CCL games coming up, FC Dallas needs steady, reliable contributors. Eric Avila fits that bill. He can play in multiple positions, works hard, and has lots more experience to share with younger players. He's only 28, which means he still has some good years of soccer left in him. And who knows? Maybe he'll turn in another wonder goal or two to help get this team over the hump.
There is only a single downside. What is Eric's status? If he is a free agent, any MLS team can make an offer to him, but Eric is actually under contract with Santos Laguna (unless that was a one year contract). Will he return there? Does he want to stay in MLS? What will it cost to bring him home? No matter, it's worth it.
What's your favorite Eric Avila moment?