FRISCO – Bryan Leyva once again showed his endless potential for FC Dallas on Tuesday night, scoring both goals in a 2-0 Reserve League win over Sporting Kansas City.
But at the same time, it highlighted how much the young attacker needs to work on to reach the field for FCD in the games that truly matter.
Leyva beat experienced SKC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg with finishes in the 34th and 79th minute to bring his goal tally in the Reserve League to four strikes in seven starts.
“Ricardo [Villar] picked up the ball in the attacking half and I just made a run,” Leyva said about his first goal. “He played me a perfect ball and I finished it. The other one Matias [Jara] put me in front of goal and made it easy to finish, all credit to them.”
The Mexican joined FC Dallas as the club’s first ever Homegrown player in mid-2009, but he finally broke into the first team early in 2012, making eight appearances including six starts. The 20-year-old showed flashes of offensive brilliance, but a lack of off-the-ball work has kept Leyva off the pitch as FCD’s starters regain health.
“You have to be fit to play soccer. You don’t play soccer to get fit,” head coach Schellas Hyndman said of Leyva after Tuesday’s reserve match. “The demands of the game are tremendous.”
If Hyndman’s words towards Leyva seem like tough love, it’s because of the huge potential the youngster has shown. Even in MLS games, Bryan has looked like a player capable of producing a moment of magic to win an otherwise drab game. At other points, however, he is seen jogging up the pitch and not contributing to a high-pressure style of defense.
“Yes, Bryan scored two nice goals for us and that’s fantastic. But to continue to rise to another level, you’ve got to be fit,” Hyndman said. “You’ve got to be a player on the ball, and a player off the ball.”
For at least one night, however, Leyva can sleep well knowing he’s made his case to be included on the bench as a late-game spark as FC Dallas make their playoff push.
“It’s great, it gives me a lot of confidence,” Leyva said after the game. “I was a little sick during the game, but now I feel great actually.”