2023 FC Dallas Player Recaps: Alan Velasco
Velasco looked great at times in Year 2 but an injury will keep him out of most of 2024.
Our 2023 FC Dallas player recaps continue with attacker Alan Velasco.
The Argentine playmaker ended the 2023 season as the league’s top U-22 player Under 22 (according to MLSSoccer.com). Unfortunately for both FC Dallas and Velasco, his season ended early in the a playoff series against Seattle with a knee injury that will now keep him out for most of 2024.
Injuries were a bit of an issue for Velasco in 2023, but he actually appeared and started more games in his second season than he did in his first. Aside from injuries, form was a bit of an issue at times, as he scored four and assisted on four in 2023, down from his six goals and seven assists in 2022.
Nico Estevez tried moving Velasco into a new position midway through the season to help break him out of a rut he was experiencing, which seemed to help at times. He scored two goals in league play and two in the Leagues Cup following the switch from the wing to the middle of the field.
The struggles to continue were pretty obvious early on this season, but once Velasco found some footing in the middle of the field, good things began to happen. It is hard not to show off his performance against Lionel Messi and Inter Miami in the Leagues Cup. I’d imagine he would say that was a highlight of his season, too.
In league play, I’d still toss out his goal against Philadelphia on the road as his main highlight of the season. Truly remarkable strike there.
What can we expect from him in 2024?
We’re going to have to be very patient with Velasco as he returns from an ACL injury. The club wants to be optimistic that he can return sooner rather than late summer, like he is currently projected. But you have to factor in getting back to 100% game fit before really expecting anything out of him in 2024.
If he is able to appear in five-eight games in 2024, that would be impressive to me.
We know how special Velasco can be, and at times, this past season, we saw it. I know there are some talks and reports out there as of late that claim he wanted to go back to Argentina to help his old club but during a recent media call with. Andre Zanotta batted down those talks and said it was nothing to get worked up about.
The club has invested a lot in him, and he is the type of player who appears determined to use his time here as a springboard to a European move down the road. The main thing we have to hope for with Velasco is that he can indeed get healthy quickly in 2024, with the hopes that 2025 can be a massive year for him and the club.