Tuesday night was a lot of fun. The team played loose and great. Mauro Diaz tried a rabona through ball in the first half for goodness sake. It was the first time in a while where I saw the team legitimately smiling on the pitch. The game reflected what they were feeling. For the most part, the match was never really in doubt. Even when Colorado equalized it, the game never felt like it was getting away from FC Dallas.
There is a lot to dissect from the match and I’m sure we will over the next couple of days, but there are a couple of things that jumped out to me right now.
Reggie Cannon is the real deal
This kid is something else. He is smart with the ball and might be even smarter without it. He makes smart runs, is able to thread perfectly weighted passes and plays great one-on-one defense. More than once tonight he bombed down the wing and was able to put in an excellent cross. His right leg is something special. Time and time again the ball had the perfect amount of pace on it to get where it was going. Too many times, fullbacks put their heads down and just shoot a cross into the box hoping it finds someone. It seems like Reggie is able to pull his head up and pick out his passes.
I am really really excited to see him grow. There is no reason why he can’t be in the running for a spot on the national team roster. The fullback position isn’t very strong and he is already a really polished player, at the age of 18.
I understand we have Hernan Grana starting in front of him, but part of me thinks that Reggie brings something to this team that it’s missing. Whereas Grana likes to put his foot on the ball try to beat people one-on-one, Reggie is wanting to bomb down that sideline with nice interlocking play. They are two complete different styles sure, but there is something to say on how efficient Reggie is at what he does. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets some game minutes after Tuesday night’s game. He definitely deserves it.
Walker Hume has something
I was really hard on Walker after his first match. I believe I said something to the effect of, “Shawn Bradley could beat him in a foot race.” Well after watching a few more games of him, I am more than willing to take that comment back. Walker has gotten better every time he has been on the field and tonight was by far his best game yet.
He looked extremely comfortable stepping and more importantly he was reading the game really well. He was constantly in the right position used his body perfectly. In a lot of ways, he looks like a young Matt Hedges. Sure he has a long way to go to even come close to Matty, but his game is similar. What he lacks in foot speed he makes up for in positioning and anticipation.
I’m really excited to see how he matures and what he looks like when he figures out how to properly use that big frame of his. It seemed like in the earlier games this year, he was a bit timid, instead of being physical with players. As he has gotten more minutes, he has looked more willing to lean on people and use that big frame of his to his advantage. I’m still not thrilled at the thought of him starting in big games down the stretch, yet, but I am definitely encouraged by his progress. His hard work since arriving here is definitely starting to show.
I need more Cermano in my life
Carlos Cermano is probably the best player on the team that the average fan hasn’t heard of. If it wasn’t for two national teams players and regular starter (on most other teams in the league) he would be able to show what he’s got more often. Unfortunately, his position is a bit log jammed right now and he has nowhere to go.
With that being said, he has really impressed in the games he has featured in. He’s like the perfect combination of Kellyn Acosta and Victor Ulloa. He is very solid defensively, but still has some flair to his game. His ability to wiggle out of tight spaces really is a joy to watch. Hopefully with Kellyn being gone with the national team, we are able to see more of Cermano. I have a fever and he is the only one who can heal it.
I would love to repeat as USOC champs. Who wouldn’t? Part of me though, wants to keep winning so I can see these younger guys keep getting minutes. It was honestly a joy getting to watch Reggie, Paxton Pomykal, Hume, Cermano and Ryan Hollingshead play (notice I left Roland Lamah off). As long as the team keeps advancing, we get to see more of them. So I say, win the whole dang thing.
I forget how deep this team really is. They is so much talent around the squad right now it’s crazy. We have 16, 17, and 18 year olds who have the chance to be big playmakers going forward. We are spoiled. Enjoy the ride. This team is in a great place and I wouldn’t trade our situation with anyone’s in MLS.