FRISCO - There’s a new face in the FC Dallas locker room this week, but it’s a waiting game before he’ll see the field at Toyota Stadium.
The summer transfer window officially opened Tuesday and the club is awaiting the final paperwork hurdles to add defender Marquinhos Pedroso to their MLS roster. He might not see the field this weekend against Chicago, but that's alright with head coach Oscar Pareja. Dallas is no stranger to mid-season additions - a regular summer occurrence in recent years - and he knows there is a delicate process of bringing a player along into a new system and environment.
“Sometimes we don’t understand how complex that adaptation is for some players,” Pareja said about the mid-season process. “They have to adapt to the teammates, they have to adapt to the city, to the league. The league is very unique in many ways, to traveling, those things at the same time is sometimes tough to synchronize.
“Some players have a lot of experience to go overseas or somewhere else, they’ve been through it already in other teams.”
Pedroso brings the experience after loan spells in Turkey and Hungary, but the biggest challenge will be getting him up to mid-season fitness. Coming from Hungary last season, he hasn’t played a match in over a month and without a team to train with, he’s entering into an abbreviated preseason to get back up to speed.
With so many options for Pareja at that position, though, there isn’t a rush to bring the defender up to speed.
Over the last four matches, FCD has started Maynor Figueroa, Ryan Hollingshead and, most recently, Homegrown Kris Reaves on the left side of the back line. Each brings their own unique skill set to the table, and the recent rotation has been according to Pareja’s specific plan for each match.
“They have different qualities, they have different characteristics, and we try to apply those to a particular game to our team or that particular need for our team for that game,” he said. “We know Ryan is a more offensive player. Maynor has done a great job as well, he’s probably a more defensive-minded player with the capacity to go forward. Now, Kris is giving us that performance and showing us that he can be a versatile player in the back…All of them have done a great job, and they have different characteristics that we’re happy to use.”
“It’s not easy for the coach because many players can play there, and he has to make choices. I think they all play well, they all have different style of football,” Reto Ziegler said of the group who plays alongside him on the left. “At the end, what is important is the team who you can change positions. The performance was good from everybody. I think it’s a weapon to have many players in each position.”
In the meantime, the Dallas back line is working overtime this week to get a familiarity with Pedroso so that when he is eligible to play, he too can be quickly added to the list of options in Pareja's roster flexibility.
“He is a player that is a natural lefty,” Pareja said. “He will provide there naturally, and he can come in the flank, back and forth. It is clear that he is willing to do what we want and what we need. Physically, he’s getting into his rhythm.”
“I like him a lot, the way he plays,” Ziegler said. “He’s Brazilian, so he’s technically good and what we need. His rush on the left side, we have that on the right side with Reggie, Maynor is doing a fantastic job at left back. He can bring more offensively in some games. We need that, maybe some crosses and assists. I’m happy that he’s with us now.”