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What we learned against Orlando City: Victor Ulloa is an unlikely hero

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What do Victor Ulloa and Odysseus have in common?

MLS: Orlando City SC at FC Dallas Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas got another three points on Saturday against Orlando. They’re inching towards locking up that first round playoff bye, but next week’s game at DC should be interesting. Dallas have been nothing but business as of late and this week wasn’t any different.

Congrats Vic!

Victor’s story is what sports are all about. The story of a player getting cut, only to get one last shot to prove themself and then successfully making the team felt like a movie cliche. But actually, I think Victor’s career path story may have similarities to more than just corny sports movies.

I think Ulloa’s career mimics the Hero’s Journey archetype. So I’m going to do my best to turn Ulloa’s life into a literary masterpiece.

As a child, he always wanted to play soccer and he was good at it. Young Victor was better than all the other kids and he started playing for the FC Dallas academy. But it wasn’t easy. He wasn’t the biggest, strongest, or fastest, but he could always be the one that worked the hardest.

One day, his U18 coach named Oscar Pareja told him that Coach Hyndman wanted to sign him for the first team. Victor had never been so happy! This was everything that he ever wanted. He hugged Coach Pareja and thanked him for making him the player that he was today.

But Victor’s problems didn’t end when he was signed with the first team. In fact, they just started. Coach Hyndman wouldn’t play Victor and Coach Pareja left to go coach somewhere else. Victor thought things couldn’t get any worse.

When his contract expired, Victor decided he would try to play somewhere else. Shortly after getting to his new team, he heard that his good friend Coach Pareja was going to be the new Dallas coach. Coach Pareja called him and told him that he would give Victor a shot with the team, but he had to promise to work hard. Victor knew that was what he did best and promised Coach Pareja that he would.

Five years later Victor is one of Dallas’ most important players. Even though he’s been in the team for a long time and he’s good friends with Coach Pareja, he still works hard no matter what.


You get the idea. The pieces are all there. Feel free to email me Netflix.

Leaving it late

Dallas are 11-0-2 when leading at halftime and 4-1-5 when trailing at halftime. These are the stats of a contender. I’ve talked a lot before about Dallas grinding out results, but that means not giving up games late either.

Dallas couldn’t protect a lead last year and they received a lot of criticism of their mentality for it. Whether or not it was warranted is besides the point because they’ve fixed it. Dallas are competing at an elite level right now. They may not have the star power of other MLS teams, but they can square off against anyone in MLS right now and give them hell over two legs.

That’s always been the way Dallas is going to do it. There’s never going to be a savior DP player that carries the team to the MLS Cup. It’s going to be a bit boring when Dallas does it, but if it gets guys like Victor a Cup, then who cares.

Depth

Being able to sub Aranguiz for Mosquera feels like an FM move. Dallas are building some seriously intimidating depth. Couple that with the fact that Pareja is the position whisperer and can morph players into whatever he wants them to be (Urruti, Atiba Harris, Hollingshead) and you have an increasingly intimidating roster. They’re no longer reliant on one player like they were in the Diaz days and they team is a lot more consistent as a result.


Are you a publisher interested in publishing my biography of Victor Ulloa? Are you nervous about Dallas’ ability to pull out six points from the rest of the season? Did this game make you think Dallas can win the Cup? No matter who you are or what you think, feel free to comment.