FC Dallas scouts were convinced forward Freddy Vargas would contribute this season. But they didn’t figure he’d push this hard so soon.
Scouts figured forward Freddy Vargas could fill in some for two departing left-wingers – Santiago Mosquera and Fafa Picault. That’s not a tall order, as those two FC Dallas strikers cumulatively played 30 games, starting only 15.
But in pre-season, Vargas has played as hard as anyone, and more effectively than many. He hasn’t only made a strong case for not keeping him on the bench. He’s done everything but hiring aerial advertising ensuring he’ll help Dallas win as a starter.
The team contracted Vargas for only one year on loan from Deportivo Lara. That’s a first-division side in Venezuela where he’s starred in 113 matches in all competitions over four seasons. That includes seven appearances in Copa Libertadores.
Head coach Luchi Gonzalez said he had intended to get Vargas comfortable on the wing, so he would use his speed to get balls through the interior channels of the pitch.
No one expected that Vargas also had so much more than speed – even an instinct – for concentration that exposed chances from distance. Then he could accurately exploit those chances and score.
Yes, it doesn’t count in the standings because it happened in pre-season. And the game was against USL Championship side Austin Bold. Yet, Vargas got the call to take a 25-foot free kick in the 81st minute that ended up raising eyebrows everywhere on the pitch.
He was supposed to get the ball over the wall. But he did more than that. He hit what Gonzalez called a nice curler into the top-left corner of the net.
The coach went on to marvel at Vargas’ game since day one with Dallas. He keyed on his dribbles, movement, and qualities of concentration.
Previous scouting sheets had graded his concentration much lower. These reports acknowledged only moderate strength in decision-making while marking him highest in stamina, speed, and aggression.
That doesn’t mean the earlier reports are wrong. What this means is that Freddy Vargas had the ability to progress all along. And the Dallas coaching staff has the talent to bring him along at the quickest pace.
He previously kept the lead in Venezuela’s first division in key passes, dribbles, and expected assists without ringing any scout’s concentration bell. Other than the assist numbers, he didn’t figure in the top on scoring, either.
That’s why he became a low-risk, high-reward option in MLS. He’s showing not only the ability but the desire to excel on the Dallas pitch.
As long as Freddy Vargas stays healthy – and plays with speed – he’ll enjoy this season loan. And FC Dallas will exercise their option on that loan before the year is out.