FRISCO, Texas —FC Dallas’ signing of Ghanaian winger Edwin Gyasi addresses an important missing component of head coach Luchi Gonzalez’s system.
No player has been able to lock down the left-wing position in Gonzalez’s preferred 4-3-3 formation. The first-year head coach has used a combination of Santiago Mosquera, Dominique Badji and Pablo Aranguiz to fill the role, but a mixture of injuries and international duty has meant that none have made the position their own.
Unable to find the answer within the current squad, the coaching staff had to look elsewhere for a potential solution. Enter Edwin Gyasi, a Dutch-born Ghanaian international who’s plied his trade in three European leagues.
“We felt we needed one more piece to stretch the opposition on the final line in terms of a wing,” Gonzalez said. “We think Gyasi has the movement, the athleticism, the technique, the timing and the mentality to create a lot of havoc in behind the last line—either on the left or right side.”
A naturally left-footed player, Gyasi is comfortable on either flank which should provide a good foil for first-choice winger Michael Barrios, who’s at his best when given the freedom to switch his point of attack throughout the game.
“Left wing or right wing and I can also play behind the strikers,” Gyasi said on his preferred position. “I’m a natural winger and I’m fast and have good one-on-one skills, and I can shoot and create chances—so those are my qualities.”
With Dallas in the midst of a congested battle for playoff spots, it will be important for Gyasi to acclimate quickly and make an immediate impact. Having played for a myriad of teams across three nations already, Gyasi is accustomed to adapting to new leagues and locker rooms.
“With experience that I have playing in different leagues will definitely help me,” Gyasi said. “I’ve seen that Dallas has some foreign players and I’ve seen the team play with different individuals and I think I’ll fit in well. The team plays good with the ball, and I prefer to play that way too, so I think I’ll fit in.”
“We’ve got great research and references in terms of his character and mentality, to do what it takes for the team and to play his role,” Gonzalez added. “We’re looking forward to bringing him and integrating him quickly and push him to help the team take the next step in our attack.”
Possessing a frightening turn of pace and a penchant to shoot from range, Gyasi’s play style is likely to endear him to the Toyota Stadium faithful in quick fashion. Gyasi, in kind, is eager to make his mark in Dallas.
“I’m excited about the league. I really want to know how it feels to be in MLS,” Gyasi said. “When you see it on TV, it looks so professional and great and I want to experience it myself as a player. I can’t wait to get started and give 100% to Dallas.”