FRISCO, Texas – Just mere hours after his signing was made official, Jackson Gonçalves made his MLS debut for FC Dallas, coming on for Brek Shea in the 82nd minute on Saturday at D.C. United. The Brazilian defender took the right mid spot occupied by Atiba Harris, while Harris moved to fill Shea’s role on the left.
FCD manager Schellas Hyndman had an important tactical plan for his new Brazilian acquisition.
“Getting Jackson on was getting another defender on because he’s really another fullback," Hyndman said. "We had him play the wing midfield because he can, but more importantly, he was there for fresh legs and also to stop that diagonal ball [D.C. switching ball to the right side]."
The FCD manager says he considers Jackson more of a fullback but his versatility came in handy on the weekend.
“The game is 2-1 [in favor of FC Dallas],” Hyndman explained on Tuesday. “They’re throwing more people up. They’re playing with three in the back, going with three frontrunners and we’re getting tired. We need flank midfielders that are coming back and defending because they’re putting two guys out wide on their changes with the diagonal ball.”
The Brazilian defender first came to FCD on trial in early June and played in a friendly in the West Texas town of Midland. After returning to his native land, he recently returned to Frisco and resumed training with the club, a sure sign he was about to be added to the roster. That news became official last Friday afternoon.
One player who was especially glad to see Jackson join FCD is midfielder Bruno Guarda, who was born in Piracicaba, Brazil.
“It’s fun [to have him here],” Guarda said. “When I first came [to Dallas], it was Ricardinho, Marcelo [Saragosa] and André [Rocha], but they all left.”
Jackson's versatility is what most excites Hyndman. The FCD manager may have originally thought of Jackson as more of a defensive player at first, but he expects that his new acquisition will help the squad in ways he had not anticipated.
“I think the more we see him, the more we see other opportunities," Hyndman said. "He could be a defending midfielder. He could be a left fullback. There are a lot of different things he can do for us. He’s adding more depth to our team.”
Jackson has played multiple positions throughout his career and has no specific preference as long as he gets on the field for FCD and can repay the club for the confidence shown in him.
“The team has welcomed me very well," the Brazilian said through an interpreter. "That makes me confident going into the game and it's a lot easier, especially when the coach speaks Portuguese and there are Spanish and Brazilian guys on the team."