FC Dallas: Paxton Pomykal the next great export?

FC Dallas are renowned for their player development. Could Paxton Pomykal be the next great export who is one day shipped to a European club?

As Don Garber expressed so painfully almost two years ago, Major League Soccer needed to become a league that exported its talent. Garber had always been hesitant to concede that this was necessary. Wrongly, it was viewed as a weakness. But unlike the other American sports, MLS does not partake in an enclosed league and event. It is a part of a global game.

That changes everything, especially when it comes to the transfer market. MLS teams have embraced this recently, recognising the efficiency of a buy and sell model, especially when it comes to developing their own talent. Few teams have mastered this process like FC Dallas.

One problem for the Texas side has been maximising the economics. Financially, they have rarely benefitted from their excellent work. They did not quite understand the value in developing and selling on young players like most clubs in South America and Europe do. But from a purely football perspective, they have been excellent at finding and fine-tuning young talent.

There is a whole host of brilliant footballers plying their trade around the world that have hailed from FC Dallas. Rogelio Funes Mori, Ramiro Funes Mori, Weston McKennie, Chris Richards, who made his debut for Bayern Munich last week, and plenty of others.

The latest in a growing list of exports could be Paxton Pomykal. The midfielder broke into the FC Dallas first team last year, making 25 appearances. He was superb at just 19, completing over 80% of his passes, averaging 3.88 passes into the final third per 90 minutes, creating 1.63 chances per game, and being active in defensive phases, too.

Throughout his career, he has suffered with injuries and knocks. But after undergoing surgery in the offseason, Pomykal now believes he is fit and firing ahead of the 2020 season’s return next month. Speaking with mlssoccer.com, he said:

“I think that it’s [the injuries] made me stronger for sure, and to know what my body can take and what my body needs for recovery, for diet, for sleep, for everything. I think now that I’m in my fourth year and understand how long of a season it is and how many games we play and how to navigate it a little bit better, that I’m going to be much more prepared going into this year.”

Certainly, he has the talent. Terrifically skilful and composed in possession, he carries that natural flair with the ball at his feet. He is not tremendously creative per se, but he does offer a tempo-setting, metronomic-like distribution from deep, providing progressive distribution and allowing the team to move into the final third.

Pomykal is hugely thought of at FC Dallas and in MLS more generally. Maybe, then, now that he is fit and ready to take the next step in his career, he can prove to be the next great Dallas export.