FCD youth product humbled by MLS debut

There weren’t too many positives for FC Dallas from Thursday night’s 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy at Pizza Hut Park. However, one plus was the solid performance of 18-year-old midfielder Bryan Leyva in his MLS debut.

Leyva, the first player signed from FCD’s youth system, made his debut in the 77th minute, coming on for rookie right back Zach Loyd. The quick and energetic midfielder helped create a chance in stoppage time, getting the ball to teammate Eric Avila near the top of the arc. But Avila’s effort went to the right of goal and FCD saw their 12-game home unbeaten streak come to a screeching halt.

After the defeat, the FCD locker room was a gloomy place, but everyone had good things to say about Leyva’s first appearance. Avila was one of several players to give Leyva a ringing endorsement for his solid play against the unbeaten Galaxy.

“I think Leyva did well for his first game," he said. "He’s my favorite player. He puts in his work and I’m happy he got in and he did well. He’s proven that he can hang out with the big guys.”

Leyva, a member of Mexico’s 2009 Under-17 World Cup team, found out just a few days prior to last week’s game that he would be included in the 18-man roster for the first time. But once game day arrived, he admits he wasn’t positive he would play.

“I always said that I had to go in with that positive mentality and be prepared to go in,” he said, “and when I did, I was going to give it my best shot. I won’t forget this feeling. It’s going to stay with me all my life."