Julian de Guzman's last minute heroics against Vancouver have made him the talk of the soccer world this week. ESPN's Jeffrey Carlisle chatted with de Guzman about his revival in Dallas, his time in Toronto and that magical goal that has FC Dallas in the playoff hunt. The entire story is worth your time, but here's an excerpt:
While Toronto limps to another last place finish in the Eastern Conference, de Guzman's arrival has helped revive Dallas' campaign, and his contributions go well beyond his stoppage-time winner last weekend against Vancouver. Overall, de Guzman's play has been sharp, and this is borne out by statistics provided by OPTA. de Guzman's pass completion percentage has been 83.4 percent since joining FCD, compared to just 70.5 percent while with Toronto.
How to explain such a difference then? Is it a case of being surrounded by better players? Is it a matter of style? Or is de Guzman simply in a better place mentally now that his Toronto nightmare is over? It's likely a combination of all three. The arrival of de Guzman in Dallas coincided roughly with the return of several injured players, including 2010 MVP David Ferreira. Just as important, de Guzman feels FCD's playing style suits him better.