Summer 2012 a memorable one for Jonathan Top
It’s been a pretty good summer for Jonathan Top.
The Fort Worth, Texas, native (above, center) made his first MLS appearance in April, solidified a major role on the US Under-20 national team in June and scored five goals in the US Soccer Development Academy playoffs in July en route to a national championship for FC Dallas. So it’s only fitting that he capped it off in August with his first professional goal on Wednesday night in Dallas’ 2-0 win over Vancouver.
“I really just wanted to score a goal, home or away,” Top said. “I was able to get a chance right away after I got in, five minutes into the game. Credit to David [Ferreira] for playing the ball and letting me score right there.”
With other forward options like Blas Pérez, Scott Sealy and Brek Shea unavailable, head coach Schellas Hyndman subbed in Top for fellow Homegrown signing Ruben Luna in the 64th minute, giving the 19-year-old his second appearance of his career. Having just taken a 1-0 lead on a 60th minute strike from Fabián Castillo, Top provided Hyndman with a quicker option at forward to support the counterattack, and the substitution paid off almost instantly.
Left midfielder Jair Benítez played a fantastic ball over the defense to a streaking Ferreira. The Colombian shrugged off the Vancouver defense to set up Top for his first ever professional goal, doubling Dallas’ advantage in the 70th minute. After the strike, Top ran to his fellow substitutes to celebrate opening his account.
“I was just so excited, I ran to the sideline with my Homegrowns on the bench,” Top said. “I thanked the coach and David afterward and I’m just excited for the first goal.”
As the international callups and injured players return, Top may find more minutes hard to come by. However, the Texan proved that when Hyndman needs him, he will be ready.
“The thing I like about [Top] is he pays attention, he listens and works awfully hard," Hyndman said on Wednesday night. "You get him in front of a goal and he plays with a lot of confidence hitting the shot. I think if he can continue to learn from the more experienced players on the team, then he will have a chance to do well in the league.”