Last Friday, FC Dallas announced on Twitter that Jacori Hayes had been loaned to the USL side Tulsa Roughnecks FC.
This was a surprise, but not that Hayes was loaned. With heavy competition in the FC Dallas midfield, it seemed likely Hayes would be loaned to get some professional minutes. The reason it was a surprise is because FC Dallas has a partnership with the OKC Energy, who are a rival of the Roughnecks. It is possible that the Energy were not going to use him, and that is why Dallas skipped over them. Maybe FC Dallas was upset that Coy Craft, their last USL loanee, didn’t get many minutes with them while he was in OKC. Whatever the case, this move gave Jacori some valuable experience and will hopefully continue to do so.
Saturday night’s game looked like it would be a hard one to get points out of for Tulsa. While they would be at home, they had lost three straight games before this one while their opponent, the Real Monarchs SLC, were on a 10-game unbeaten run.
Jacori Hayes Highlights from the Game:
Here are all of Jacori’s touches on the ball during the game:
Hayes slotted into the midfield in Tulsa’s 4-2-3-1 playing as a box-to-box midfielder and looked really good. Hayes was aware of his surroundings and the game around him and the way he played looked natural. Check out 1:00 in the video above. The ball is thrown to Hayes, who uses a wonderful touch to control the ball. He then picks up his head and surveys his surroundings before playing it back to the thrower who was left open by the opposing defense. Hayes then immediately runs forward into a pocket of space and gets the ball back. He doesn’t get unnerved by the pressure from the defenders and he slips the ball through a player’s legs to an open teammate on the wing. Some of the impressive parts of his game were how calm and composed he was and his ability to read and react to the situations around him. That was just one example of many from the game that showed these attributes of his.
FC Dallas’ loanee was an important piece of Tulsa’s pressure. Hayes helped his team make it difficult for the Monarchs to puncture Tulsa’s defensive shape. He didn’t slow towards the end, and actually seemed to work even harder, disrupting the opposition’s offense and producing turnovers towards the end of the match. Offensively, he created several great chances both for himself and for his teammates throughout the night.
The two main weaknesses I saw were his shooting and aerial ability, but both of them are hard to judge with such a small sample size. Overall, Hayes had a wonderful performance. Hopefully we get to see him again next weekend when Tulsa will head out to play against the OKC Energy FC on Saturday.