Injuries, international call-ups, and personnel choices made it hard for Paxton to see the field in 2018. While he’s only 18, many fans expected him to be the face of this year’s promised re-focus on playing the kids. Instead, Pomykal actually saw a confusing decrease in minutes this season from 140 to 125. Prompting many FC Dallas fans to ask: What is FC Dallas doing with Paxton Pomykal?
Paxton’s lack of playing time in 2018 make it hard to take away anything from his stats. But he is currently having an impressive run with the U20s in the ongoing CONCACAF U20 Championship. He grabbed three goals and five assists across five group stage games earlier this month. So, it’s safe to say, he’s still got it. Even though he didn’t tear up MLS this year at 18, he’s still one of the USA’s top prospects.
Game That Best Sums Up Paxton
Pomykal is having a good game. Forced an own goal for the team’s first and now scored the third. 3-0 pic.twitter.com/c40sE09Ngi— American Soccer Now (@ClassicASN) November 1, 2018
That nifty finish landed Paxton on the Sports Center top 10. He tallied one goal and three assists in the game as USA went on to win 7-1. While his stat line is impressive, it isn’t enough to fulfill massive expectations placed on him by fans. Many expect him to do this for the first team next season. So this game embodies where Paxton is at right now: a great youth prospect, but not quite ready to do this at the highest level.
Whereas many of his peers saw time with USL teams, Paxton couldn’t find minutes anywhere other than the youth national teams. If last year was supposed to be his season, I would hope that means this year definitely will. Best case scenario: he’s 2019’s Reggie Cannon and slots in, makes a few growing pains errors, but delivers consistently by the end of the season. More realistically: he bounces between bench appearances for FCD and playing for the USL team as he further solidifies his game in the second division and features occasionally for the first team.