When the 2021 MLS season begins, FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo will kick off a Texas pro soccer youth movement. It kicks in two recent signings, one for each team.
Vargas to FC Dallas
FC Dallas gambles on 21-year-old Venezuelan forward Freddy Pico Vargas. The right-footer specialized playing left wing for Deportiva Lara in the Venezuelan Primera Division. The left-wing slot couldn’t be more wide-open at FC Dallas. Fafa Picault was sent to Houston. Santiago Mosquera’s contract was declined at the end of the 2020 season. Picault and Mosquera both appeared in Dallas’ playoff game, the later winger as a sub.
Vargas won’t be intimidated in filling both sets of shoes, as both players had reduced roles last season. Picault played in only 18 games, starting 11. Mosquera started only five of 12 appearances. So Vargas has a soft landing at FC Dallas. And the world is his if he can make good on the team’s gamble for him to use speed. Head coach Luchi Gonzalez says he wants Vargas to stay comfortable in the wing, then explode through interior channels along the pitch.
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Pasher to Houston Dynamo FC
Then there’s forward Tyler Pasher. The 26-year-old left-footer made 50 appearances with USL Championship team Indy Eleven. Besides playing as a first-team reserve in the Newcastle United academy, he made his MLS debut appearance against the Whitecaps for Sporting Kansas City in 2017.
Houston Dynamo FC has closely scouted Pasher during the past year. Houston General Manager Matt Jordan describes Pasher’s concentration and natural left-footed as making him a good fit for the Dynamo system.
While not predicting when he’d be ready to start, head coach Tab Ramos said he envisions Pasher increasing Houston’s chances on the attacking third of the pitch. Like the scouting reports on FC Dallas’ Vargas, the sheets on Pasher rave about his speed and physical promise. He also gets good marks on the attack and technical skills that support Ramos’s summary.
Scouts note Pasher’s outstanding stamina. If he makes good on what Dynamo brass has seen the past year, he can drive that stamina to earn starts in what Tab Ramos expects to be a new, winning system. Pasher’s first MLS appearance in May 2017 was also the result of a gamble. Sporting Kansas City had been trying him both as left-winger and left-back. Houston Dynamo FC has simpler orders.
Play forward. Keep up the training. Maintain the speed and apply the technical skills to Tab Ramos’ system. A productive MLS career awaits Tyler Pasher.