FRISCO - It’s a combination that is anything but new for Luchi Gonzalez.
The head coach, Jesus Ferreira and Paxton Pomykal were the backbone of FC Dallas’ Academy success just a few years ago. Now, the trio find themselves taking MLS by storm just as they did on the remote fields of Toyota Soccer Center for so many years.
As FCD pulled off its first road win of 2019 against Real Salt Lake, the team was led by the teenagers - Pomykal with his first two MLS goals and Ferreira with the goal to put the game away.
“Paxton is a mature young player that’s not acting like he’s made it in any way. He’s just trying to help the team, work hard and fulfill his role, and he’s doing it in a way that today led to goals," Gonzalez said. “[Jesus is] just doing what he’s good at and knowing that the game is one where it’s [about] smart movement and timing as opposed to physicality and athleticism…[He] put himself around the goal, connected with others and that was a great layup off the first goal, so he continues to contribute and helps this team.”
Pomykal not only scored twice, but was the catalyst in winning the ball back in the build up to Carlos Gruezo’s strike just 45 seconds into the match. Coupled with game highs in shots (4), shots on target (3) and tackles (6), while leading all starters with a 92 percent passing rate, it was a coming out match to cap off a month to remember for the Homegrown.
“I’m happy with the goals, but at the end of the day I’m happy that we won. It’s key to get points on the road for the season,” Pomykal said. “This is our second road trip, we lost the first one, so it’s good to be able to go on the road, get a win and get that out of the way, so we know that whenever we go on the road, we can do it.”
In his first start a week ago, Ferreira set up Michael Barrios’ game-winner but wasn’t given full credit on the assist. In Utah, he more than made up for it, finding Barrios again en route to the match’s opening goal and finding Pomykal for his fellow Homegrown’s second of the match. The 18-year-old capped off his night with a beautiful run to the near post, connecting on a high-paced cross from Barrios and finding the net.
“We went out there and executed the plan that Luchi gave us. We went with the mentality of “if we do the plan right, everything is going to go right for us,” Ferreira said. “I feel good that I was able to help the team with the win today whether it was with an assist or a goal. I was happy to help the team out.”
If the three emerging stars of Dallas' new era can continue the run they've had to close out March, they could very well lead the club to the same success they had in their Academy days.