FRISCO – Jacori Hayes started his third MLS game of the 2018 season on Saturday against Portland Timbers as FC Dallas took a point from a 1-1 draw.
The second-year player has transitioned straight into first team soccer this season after spending his rookie season learning from the likes of the guys he’s starting with now. Last year saw him play 90 minutes over two games, an amount he’s already surpassed.
With more time on the pitch comes more confidence and Hayes has seen his role increase with the team this season.
“The most important thing for a soccer player is confidence so I feel like each game I get a little bit more confident,” said Hayes. “It’s helping me settle in with the team, to get some continuity and I know where guys are going to be checking from just playing with them more and more.”
Hayes has seen that confidence rise after putting in several shifts with Ecuadorian destroyer, Carlos Gruezo. Gruezo’s ball-winning playing style allows Hayes to get on the ball more and do what he does best, distributing to the rest of the team.
Furthermore, to top off the day Hayes recorded his first assist in MLS en route to Roland Lamah’s first-half goal.
“It’s really nice, you want to have threats all over the field, so you know I try to do my part,” said Hayes. “It is obviously something I try to work on, to get into the attack a bit more. I’m happy that I got the assist today to Roland.”
Hayes will continue to see the field and grow his confidence in his sophomore MLS season. After one assist today, one can only hope it’s the first of many in a long MLS career.
FC Dallas sees the field next against Colorado Rapids on April 7th, 2018 at Toyota Stadium. Another bye week will give Hayes and the team more time to refine their system and come together.