French midfielder Peter Luccin back from injury, ready to help FC Dallas make playoff push
FRISCO, Texas – With MLS clubs looking to strengthen their squads ahead of Friday’s roster freeze deadline, FC Dallas are set to activate a player already with the club.
French midfielder Peter Luccin will be added to the active roster and could see playing time after suffering a preseason knee injury that has left him sidelined for the entire season.
FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo told MLSsoccer.com in a phone interview from South America that the Spanish and French league veteran will soon be available for coach Schellas Hyndman’s selection to the match-day roster.
“Yes, this is our next move for sure,” Clavijo said. “We feel very strongly that right now his addition is going to be very welcomed not only by the coach … but also by the team. It surprised us all that he’s ready to add minutes and to give us a push at the end of the season. I’m really pleased and happy for him.”
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The former Atlético Madrid and PSG man has been on the Disabled List since he tore the ACL in his left knee in late February. With a recovery diagnosis of up to eight months, combined with Luccin’s age (34), it was presumed by many that he would not see the field for FC Dallas this season.
Luccin clearly did not get that memo.
“I want to play, and I don’t want my career to be finished after this surgery,” Luccin recently told MLSsoccer.com. “The confidence of Fernando, the coach, the locker room have all been very important. I’m strong, [the trainers] did a very good job for me. ... I’m ready to go.”
The experienced midfielder is very well liked and respected in the FC Dallas locker room and front office for the tenacious way he attacked his rehabilitation, his infectious optimism and the professionalism he showed in becoming a mentor to numerous players during his recovery.
He has even worked hard on his communication. Earlier in the season he conducted interviews in either Spanish or French, but he’s now proficient and confident enough in his language skills to talk to the media in English with only minor assistance from fellow Frenchmen Eric Hassli.
Hyndman said Luccin is likely to be on the bench within the next couple of games but that he’s probably not ready to man the bottom of a 4-4-2 diamond.
“I think right now we’re asking a heck of a lot for Peter to go by himself, just coming off surgery,” Hyndman said. “I think he’s going to have to have somebody with him to work the space.”
Having a holding midfield partner in a 4-2-3-1, such as the more defensively inclined Erick, could play to Luccin’s strengths.
He is generally deployed as more of a defensive midfielder, but said he is very comfortable pushing forward when the opportunities present themselves. He played 45 minutes in a recent Reserve League match against the New York Red Bulls and managed to score during his time on the field.
“Absolutely,” Luccin said. "I can play close to the striker – at Atlético Madrid, I played like this."
Luccin is also hoping this is just the beginning of his time on the field for Dallas.
“For me, it would be an honor to play here next year,” Luccin said. “I would like to play one or two more years. If Dallas wants me, I want to.”