FRISCO, Texas -- Despite being sidelined by a torn ACL since early February, Peter Luccin has had no trouble making his presence felt for FC Dallas.
As the Frenchman rehabbed from his injury he stayed around the team, providing leadership in the locker room and tips for some of the younger players from his many years playing in the top leagues in Europe.
“After my injury, I talked to Schellas. He asked me if I would mind helping the younger players, using my experience playing in Europe,” Luccin told FCDallas.com. “’I liked that because I still wanted to help and contribute and be part of the team in any way I could. We also have a lot of great, young players who need to learn. We have a very good locker room. All the players want to learn.”
Still, there’s certainly nothing better than returning to the field, and in the past couple weeks Luccin has taken some major strides. The midfielder was seen taking in light practice with the first team before they left for Portland on August 14 and while the team was gone on the week-long road trip, Luccin trained with the FC Dallas Academy.
“I’ve been training the last few days with the Academy team and [FCDY Academy Coach] Luchi Gonzalez,” said Luccin. “The team is strong and the work we are doing has a good concept. I think with a few more weeks of work, I will be ready to compete for some minutes on the field with the first team.”
Indeed, what once seemed unlikely - an appearance from Luccin on an MLS field this season - is looking more and more possible as we head into the last two months of the campaign. With eight weeks remaining in the season, Luccin is targeting a late September or early October return to contention for playing time.
“I am very confident that I can make it back and contribute this season. Today, with the Academy, I played about 20 minutes of 11 on 11 and I feel great,” Luccin said last Wednesday. “There are eight games left in the MLS season. I would like to make it back for the final few games of the season and help FC Dallas qualify for playoffs.”
Luccin, who said he was at 75%, could provide an enormous boost if the veteran can be available even for 15 minute cameos to help close out leads in defensive midfield.
“Getting back to training with the first team was very important for me,” said the 34-year-old. “Being out that length of time, five or six months of just watching, was very difficult. So now, I am very happy to come back and train with the team. Being inside the lines is much better.”