FRISCO, Texas -- Schellas Hyndman locked down a huge new member of his offensive arsenal on Wednesday when FC Dallas announced the signing of 22-year-old Argentine playmaker Mauro Diaz, and on Thursday the FCD coach spoke to the media about his new attacking spark plug.
"I saw him when he was 17 with River Plate and I thought he was a very good player at the time," said Hyndman. "I never thought he'd be here five years later, but he's very technical, very quick with the ball, very quick decision-making. He shoots the ball well, passes the ball well, seems like he's working into an aggressive player playing on both sides of the ball."
Veteran fans will remember the last former River Plate playmaker to have an impact on FCD, Juan Toja, and while Toja and Diaz are not totally comparable players, Hyndman is excited about the prospects of bringing someone in who has spent the majority of his career with the Argentine powerhouse.
"He's a player that grew up in a very good football environment at River Plate," Hyndman told reporters. "River Plate is known as a factory where they generate so many players. So he's part of that factory and development and there's things you have to do to stay involved with that club, whether it's vision, whether it's technical ability. If you look at a lot of the Argentine players, very few of them are very big, strong, athletic players, but they're very quick and have good decision-making and good vision."
Hyndman was, however, quick to temper early expectations noting that it could take some time for Diaz to adjust to his new surroundings.
"I think his vision definitely is going to be something that's very helpful to us, but it's still an adjustment to this league," said Hyndman. "It's winter time in Argentina right now so it's an adjustment to heat, adjustment to new coach, new teammates, and also adjustment to the athletic, physical play in the league."
If all goes to plan, fans will have their first chance to see Diaz in action when FC Dallas hosts Stoke City of the English Premier League next Saturday, July 27 at 8:00 PM. (TICKETS)