FRISCO - It turns out Technical Director Fernando Clavijo had one more ace up his sleeve before starting the 2014 season.
FC Dallas announced the addition of yet another young attacking player on Friday with the acquisition of 22-year-old Uruguayan forward David Texeira who joins FCD from FC Groningen of the Dutch Eredivisie.
“This is a player that we know well following the U-20 World Cup in Colombia, he was probably one of the best players in the tournament,” Clavijo told FCDallas.com via phone from Florida. “He caught the eyes of many scouts around the world including mine, but Groningen came in and took him right away. Right now we’re just excited to have him as part of FC Dallas, excited to have him be part of the team and I tell you he’s just going to complement what I think is a deeper and deeper roster and younger too.”
Texeira appeared in all three games for Uruguay at the 2011 U-20 World Cup and followed the path of a fellow countryman, Luis Suarez, as he joined FC Groningen of the Dutch Eredivisie. Instant success followed for Texeira who scored 13 goals in his first two seasons in Holland including five in his final ten games of the 2013 season prompting rumors of a move to major European clubs including Liverpool.
However, Groningen appointed a new head coach, Erwin van de Looi late in the 2013 season and perhaps that combined with an injury early in this season’s campaign saw his playing time dry up, opening the door for Clavijo and FC Dallas to swoop in.
Texeira becomes the second 22-year-old highly-touted forward to join FC Dallas from a European club after last week’s acquisition of Colombian Andres Escobar and for Clavijo, it’s just another sign of the growth in Major League Soccer as a whole.
“Now everyone is looking to MLS. I think right now we’re attractive not only for players who have been around, but also for younger players who can go to Mexico or Europe as well,” said Clavijo. “It’s a different way of life and the competition is getting better and better every year. I’m excited and this is what we want to target.”
“I think we are attracting quality individuals that are going to make this team better. We’re younger and that will allow us to be with the same group for many years and that’s the idea. At the end of the year is really when we’re going to find out how we did, but I like the way we’ve started 2014.”
As for Texeira’s case, while Clavijo has been tracking him for three years, this seems to have been a deal where FCD struck while the iron was hot and landed someone that may not have been possible even six months ago.
“David has probably been on my radar for three years. I knew him when he was playing in Uruguay and then when we went to Europe,” said Clavijo. “Because of the needs we were looking for, we talked about it and boom. It doesn’t happen all the time this quick. I’ve always said that sometimes five minutes can make or break a deal and we were on the positive side of the five minutes.”