Even though Jacori Hayes hasn’t been playing much with the FC Dallas first team lately, he is getting meaningful minutes with the Tulsa Roughnecks FC, and is making the best out of those minutes.
He has become a fixture to play every minute available for him in Tulsa’s historic and impressive comeback season. ln the final USL standings of 2016, Tulsa was in dead last in the league consisting of twenty-nine teams, with only nineteen points. The second-to-last place team in the Western Conference had thirty-four points, a whole fifteen more than Tulsa. Right now, the Roughnecks sit above the playoff line by being sixth place in the West.
Game 1: TUL vs OKC (Black Gold Derby)
The Tulsa Roughnecks played a rivalry game on Saturday vs FC Dallas’ USL affiliate, OKC Energy FC. Jacori was a little sloppy at times in this match, but he made two big attacking plays. He played a beautiful ball over the top that set up TUL’s first goal (1:10 in the video). He also played a ball through to a teammate who was one vs one with OKC’s goalkeeper but failed to convert (1:58). FC Dallas loanee Aaron Guillen also got an appearance, subbing in for the Tulsa Rougnecks in the eighty-fifth minute to help them hold their lead. Tulsa grabbed a huge 2-1 win over their rivals.
Game 2: TUL vs OC
The Roughnecks then traveled to California to play Orange County SC three days later on Tuesday. Hayes had another good performance. After running through the midfield, Hayes plays a quick give-and-go in the box in a play that should have been converted by Brian Wright, a New England Revolution loanee, who whiffed on the ball while he had a wide open net (4:02). The Roughnecks had a great game against Orange County and got a road point via a 0-0 tie.
Hayes’ loan is getting him some valuable professional minutes. His loan has been a win-win, benefiting FCD by giving Jacori time on the field, and the loan is also helping the Tulsa Roughnecks, who are utilizing FCD’s loanee in their central midfield.
These past two games also showed that Hayes has impressive speed on the dribble. It also showed that although his aerial ability is not great, he can still win a fifty-fifty header.