FRISCO – Though a decision on his future looms at the end of the season, for the time being Julian de Guzman is relishing his change of scenery and change of playing style with FC Dallas.
“To be honest, being here reminds me of the times I played in Spain where they enjoy playing football and that’s what they look to do,” de Guzman said. “It’s a pleasure being a part of this once again after three years in Toronto, which was a bit different. There was a point where they wanted to play like this, but the difference is the quality of players.”
The Canadian international was traded from Toronto FC to Dallas on July 13 and while a few weeks ago a return to Europe at the year’s end looked like a formality, it seems that the 31-year-old’s decision may have become a bit tougher as he integrates in to the FCD squad.
“It’s actually been an eye-opener since I’ve been here,” de Guzman said. “It’s hard to tell what happens but to be honest, if we work things, I can definitely imagine myself being here and being happy.”
Head coach Schellas Hyndman gave de Guzman his second start with FCD in the 1-1 draw with Portland on Sunday and the defensive midfielder was extremely impressive. According to the OPTA chalkboard, de Guzman completed 38 passes while turning the ball over just four times in 76 minutes on the pitch.
“I think he’s right on track [with expectations],” Hyndman said on Wednesday. “We knew he was a good player, a tactical player. I think he fits a little bit better with us, the way we play, than with Toronto.”
The question remains, however, as to whether Dallas can afford to bring the Designated Player back next year. His contract expires after the 2012 season and, while FCD would probably love to have him as the defensive midfield anchor, it’s going to be tough to work the numbers out.
“That’s the idea,” Hyndman said about bringing back the Canadian. “But those are going to be longer discussions than this. It all depends on what he’s got planned, what his options are. He’s played quite a few years in Europe; he might want to go back to Europe. We don’t know.”
For the Canadian national teamer, a return to Europe would have more to do with returning to his family rather than a contract situation.
“If it doesn’t work out, Europe is definitely on my agenda,” de Guzman said. “I have two kids that I’ve been away from for a long period of time that are living in Germany, and that’s probably one of the main reasons I would return to Europe. … Who knows what will happen, maybe they could end up moving here.”