FRISCO - Jacori Hayes’ second go-round in a starting role at home went a lot smoother than his first.
The second-year midfielder earned the start in FC Dallas’ 2018 season opener just six months and a day removed from his early exit after two yellow cards in the opening half hour of a match against the New York Red Bulls last September.
"I wanted to show the fans what I have been working on this whole offseason. I wanted to have a good performance after the Red Bull match last year…To try and go the full 90 this time,” Hayes said. “I was proud of my performance. I tried to help the team as best I could.”
Not only was the first-round pick from a year ago successful on the defensive side of the ball with 59 recoveries, eight interceptions and two blocks, but he was crucial moving forward as well, transitioning from defending to distributing with two big chances created to his name.
"Jacori is a young man that has been working and waiting for his opportunity,” head coach Oscar Pareja said of his performance. “Today he looked like a veteran. It was amazing to see his personality and the way the ball flowed through him. I am very happy with Jacori’s performance.”
With Homegrown Kellyn Acosta still looking at a 5-7 week recovery time, the opportunity is there for Hayes to see more time at the start of the year.