Ahead of the LA Galaxy - FC Dallas matchup tomorrow, we've asked three questions of Brian Wachholz of SB Nation's FC Dallas blog Big D Soccer. We discussed Dallas' hot start, Jackson, and if anything interesting happened in the Dallas Cup this year. As always, you can read my answers to his questions over there.
1. FC Dallas has had a hot start to 2012, which surprised some as they lost Brek Shea in the offseason. How was that transfer money spent, and how have FC Dallas filled the hole he left in the starting XI?
The transfer money was well spent in bringing in veteran reinforcements such as Kenny Cooper, Michel, and Eric Hassli. This has been a great help to FC Dallas because the team has been lacking depth on the bench and when squad rotation becomes necessary. Ramon Nunez was another addition to the team who has recently returned to training and is hoped to see first team minutes soon.
As important as Brek Shea was to FC Dallas, he didn't leave too large a hole on the field. The senior team is flush with wingers. Fabian Castillo and Jackson have been doing well so far this season. The striker reinforcements also allow Hyndman to play more than one forward at a time, so the team in 2013 is more dynamic and less dependent on the wings for service.
2. That was essentially two questions, so I'll keep this one brief. Jackson, star or time bomb?
If you had asked me this question in 2011, I would have said time bomb. However nowadays, he is an absolute gem. He is and will continue to be an MLS star. Jackson has really matured over the past year or so. He got married in 2011 and then returned to Brazil in the offseason to take care of his family. FCD helped set up a loan deal so that he could work while he was in Brazil, leaving the FCD faithful unsure if he would ever return to Texas. When injuries ravaged the senior squad, FC Dallas recalled Jackson in April of last year. Jackson has been a beacon of light since returning to Big D. The guy is all over the field, and he almost never runs out of energy. He was an absolute lifesaver during the 2012 season during the extended injury spell, and he has started off 2013 as one of our best, if not THE best player. I don't know what exactly happened in Brazil during his time away, but Jackson is a star today.
3. Dallas just got done hosting the annual Dallas Cup. Did anything interesting happen this year?
I would say that one of the most interesting storylines was the appearance of Emerson Hyndman. The grandson of FCD Head Coach, Schellas Hyndman, plays for the Fulham FC Academy. The American put in a strong performance over the course of the tournament and helped Fulham to win the Championship match over Japan's Kashiwa Reysol.
Additionally, this year marked the return of the Dallas Cup tournament to the City of Dallas. The tournament has been held at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco the last several years since the stadium was completed in 2005. The relocation is good for the tournament because they are able to spread the matches throughout the Dallas area rather than have everything centralized in the northern suburb. Dallas Cup matches were played at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park and on the soccer fields at Richland College and the University of Texas at Dallas.