The cliche says you can’t go home again, but when FC Dallas travel to the City of Brotherly Love this weekend to face the Philadelphia Union for the first time ever, FCD rookie forward Jason Yeisley will at least feel right at home. The former Penn State striker is a native of Allentown, about an hour north of Philadelphia, and played a good deal of club soccer in and around the city.
“Yeah, I’m looking forward to it,” Yeisley said after practice on Tuesday. “I’ll get to see a lot of family, friends and people from there. It will be a good trip. Hopefully we’ll come away with a win. I’ve talked to a lot of people who said they’re coming.”
A third-round pick in the 2010 MLS Super Draft, Yeisley entered preseason with high hopes, which were immediately dashed due to an injury. He missed a large part of preseason and for some time, it looked like he might not make the opening day roster. But the ex-Nittany Lion showed enough late in the preseason to secure a spot on the roster.
He has played in four of FCD’s first seven games, used as a late-game substitute when coach Schellas Hyndman wants to add some fresh legs to his attack. On April 22 against Seattle, Yeisley drew a penalty kick in the late stages that allowed FCD to come away with a 2-2 draw and a point.
Teammate Jeff Cunningham converted that PK to seal the draw for FCD, and the veteran striker likes what he sees from his young teammate thus far.
“Every opportunity he gets, he’s done well,” Cunningham said. “In training, he’s proven himself that he’s ready for quality minutes. Even with the few minutes he got, he came on and drew a penalty kick. Last game, he came on and helped keep pressure on their back four. He hasn’t really gotten a lot of time yet but he’s gaining the confidence and trust of his teammates and coaching staff. At this point, that’s all you can do until it comes.”
On the verge of going home for the first time since joining FCD, Yeisley admits he didn’t really know how things might turn out for him in Frisco. But he’s pleased with the results so far.
“I’m just really enjoying the whole experience and taking every moment that I can to learn, improve and get better,” he said. “The opportunities to help contribute to the team are really priceless as far as getting out there in an actual game and playing against MLS competition. I feel like I’ve been learning in every single game and just getting better.”