This time last year, Andrew Jacobson didn’t know what to expect. He was acquired by FC Dallas in February through a trade with Philadelphia and was forced to quickly adapt to his new surroundings both on and off the field.
He did a good job of it. Despite learning everything on the fly, Jacobson put together a successful 2011 campaign, leading FCD with five assists, including two game-winners.
This year, things are different. With a full preseason to train and adjust, bigger things are expected of the four-year pro.
“Just a full preseason,” Jacobson said when asked about the biggest personal difference between this year and last season. “I came in midway through the preseason last year. Coming into preseason comfortable and knowing what’s expected of me. Being able to progress throughout the preseason with the team rather than figure out where I’m going to live, where the guys are and everything like that.”
A nagging leg also kept Jacobson from reaching his full potential last season, but he is adamant that he is going into Sunday’s opener against New York (2 pm CT, NBC Sports) fully healthy and ready to be a difference-maker.
Led by Jacobson, the midfield was arguably the most impressive position group for Dallas during their run at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando last week, a tournament in which they placed third.
Jacobson said he believes he has earned the trust of head coach Schellas Hyndman with his performance in Florida – and throughout the entire preseason, for that matter.
“It’s a crazy sport, things change quick,” Jacobson said. “You’ve got to really give it your all every game and that’s what I’m here to do. Every week it’s the coach’s decision and if he plays me I’m ready to go.”
With everything falling into place for him, Jacobson is confident his squad can get a bit of revenge on New York. The Red Bulls sent FCD home early in the wildcard round of last year's MLS Cup Playoffs, so the season opener has a bit of extra meaning for the men from Frisco.
“When you have the whole offseason to think that was the last game, that’s all you can think about,” Jacobson said. “We couldn’t be happier to draw them for the first game of the year.”