We all wondered going into 2019 if it was going to be the Year of Paxton. In a small way it certainly was a big year for the 19-year old Homegrown. Paxton Pomykal took the keys that new FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez offered to him early in the season and ran with it. Literally. Earning him a main spot in the lineup, an MLS All-Star nomination, and a key role in the United States’ U-20 World Cup run.
By the end of the season, Pomykal had earned himself a fat new contract with the team.
We all remember the numbers going into the season. From 2017 to 2018, Pomykal actually saw a confusing decrease in minutes this season from 140 to 125. 2019 was a drastically different story under Gonzalez though as he not only saw his minutes increase (up to 1876) but he started 20 games, and appeared in five others off the bench.
More importantly, we saw what he could do in the attack as he scored two goals and added in five assists. He also averaged 41.3 passes per game, with an 86.4% completion rate, and 1.5 key passes per game.
Defensively, Pomykal also brings a lot to the field to help keep things calmer in the back. He averages more tackles than most attacking players, which really helps Gonzalez’s possession-type system work when you really get down to it.
Game That Best Sums Up Paxton
As much as I wanted to put a goal highlight in here, it had to be an assist to really emphasize how good he is for this team. Plus, it is always fun throwing out what was Bryan Acsota’s best goal of the year.
Fantastic goal for Dallas from Acosta but this assist from US U-20 playmaker Paxton Pomykal was terrific pic.twitter.com/nSNTUmy2EH— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) March 9, 2019
Most 19 year olds in MLS wouldn’t be able to pick out that pass if they wanted to. Pomykal not only finds the ball in space but picks out his target to help open him up for easily the best shot he’s made all year.
I think we all know we want the attack to flow more consistently through Pomykal moving forward. The team just looks better with him in my eyes than they do without him. Now that he is locked up with the team for four more years, it will be key to continue to see Gonzalez find ways to adapt his system to help Pomykal grow his game. Next year, we really need to see more minutes, less injuries and hopefully more stats in the goal and assist columns.