Luna makes pro debut for FC Dallas

Latest homegrown signee almost notches first career goal in stoppage time

Luna's Debut

Photo Credit: 
Rick Yeatts

FRISCO, TEXAS – When Ruben Luna signed his first professional contract with
FC Dallas five weeks ago, he knew he would be eligible to play during the 2010
season.  But he couldn’t have known
just how soon he would be making his MLS debut on the field at Pizza Hut
Park. 

In Saturday night’s match against Toronto FC, Luna came on
as a substitute for Jeff Cunningham in the 82nd minute with FC
Dallas leading 1-0.  The homegrown
rookie clearly had no interest in settling for a 1-0 victory, earning FCD a
free kick in the 83rd minute by frustrating the opposing defense
into tackling him off the ball.  In
the 88th minute Luna had a scoring opportunity in the box that
Toronto goalie Stefan Frei held onto, and he very nearly notched his first MLS
goal in stoppage time before it was disallowed on a controversial offside call.

Luna’s impact on the game should come as no surprise to
anybody who has followed his development through the FC Dallas Youth
System.  He was named the U.S.
Soccer Development Academy Player of the Year in 2009 and was named to the
USSDA U-17/18 Starting XI in 2010 before signing with FC Dallas.

FC Dallas broadcaster and former player Bobby Rhine has
witnessed Luna’s growth first-hand and calls him an immediate impact player.

“Once he gets his opportunity in and around the area he is
clinical in his ability to finish chances,” said Rhine.  “His work ethic is good, he’s got great
character, like all the players that come out of the FC Dallas Development
Academy, but he’s an exceptional talent with incredible potential.”

Also on the 18-man roster for FC Dallas Saturday night was
the team’s first homegrown player, Bryan Leyva.  Leyva was in Luna’s shoes four months ago when he made his
MLS debut at Pizza Hut Park against the Los Angeles Galaxy.  Leyva said he thought Luna handled the
pressure well.

“He’s a player that, when he comes in, he always thinks
about scoring and helping the team out,” said Leyva after the game.  “I think he did great and from now on
he’s going to get better and better. 
I’m proud of him.”

Luna admitted he was both excited and nervous when he found
out he was going to be on the 18-man roster, but said once he was called in as
a sub he just focused on helping the team.

“I went on the field and I tried to do my best,” said
Luna.  “I almost had a goal and
sadly it was called offside. 
Hopefully next game I can get one.”

Even with the disallowed goal, FC Dallas head coach Schellas
Hyndman said he was impressed with the way the rookie handled himself on the
field.

“The defender, (Adrian) Cann, the first time he went in and
tried to muscle (Luna) and he found out that he wasn’t going to be able to
muscle him,” said Hyndman.  “Ruben
just rolled right off of him.” 

“He brings a different look and he’s definitely a player for
FC Dallas’ future.”

WATCH: Ruben Luna makes his debut       

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