Yeisley still learning the ropes for FCD

Rookie credits much of his determination to Penn State

It was just a
scrimmage, but it showed how far a rookie had come. Last week against the
Austin Aztex, Jason Yeisley had a goal and an assist for FC Dallas in a 4-1
win.

It may have been the
most heartening development for the former Penn State Nittany Lion since the
2010 MLS Super Draft, in which the young striker was taken in the third round.

Just after arriving
in Frisco, Yeisley suffered two injuries and was on the shelf for much of
preseason. He did finally get on the field during a trip to Florida in late
February and made FCD’s roster to start the season.

“It’s
been a great experience just to be out here practicing every day,” he said
after training on Tuesday. “Getting to play with these guys, it’s a whole different
level from college. Everything is a step up -- everyone’s touch and everyone’s
speed. You have to think a whole lot quicker. I feel really fortunate to be out
here practicing every day, learning from so many older guys and picking up
different things.”

After
FCD concludes training each day, it’s a frequent site to see Yeisley, fellow
rookie Andrew Wiedeman and several other players getting in extra finishing
practice with Jeff Cunningham, last year’s Budweiser Golden Boot winner with 17
goals.

“Just to have the privilege to go to practice every day with someone
that works as hard as he does is great,” Yeisley said. “Every touch is spot on.
You can pick up so much just from being on the field with him and by watching
how he reacts to certain situations. He’s one of the veterans that players like
myself look up to and try to learn from every single day.”

Cunningham sees a great deal of potential in his young teammate.

“He’s a good player,” said the veteran striker. “He has a lot of
potential. He works hard. He’s scrappy and finds a way to get goals.”

FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman also likes what he has seen thus far
from his rookie forward and gives much of the credit to the Big Ten powerhouse.

“Players that come out of Penn State know soccer,” he said. “Many of
them become passionate about the game of soccer because of the environment. [Penn
State coach Barry] Gorman said he’s a hard worker. He has the size and he’s a
pretty good finisher. I think he brings a little bit of enthusiasm and work
ethic. That can get transferred into other players as well and it becomes
contagious.”

A
native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, Yeisley realizes that had he not gone to
Happy Valley, there was a good chance he never would have been drafted to play
in MLS.

“Coming
to Penn State, I didn’t spend any time with the national teams or much time in
the Olympic Development Program,” he said. “Penn State really helped mold me
into a player and changed the things that I did. I couldn’t be here today
without my time there.”