FRISCO, Texas — When an injury occurred or performance was lacking in 2011, FC Dallas had the same answer to each problem: Jackson.
But after completing a deal to loan the versatile player to Brazilian side Cruzeiro, the club is now focused on finding his replacement.
The Brazilian started last season at right back, but spent time in the midfield before finishing the season at forward. Seeking stability in 2012, manager Schellas Hyndman had announced Jackson as the team’s starting right side midfielder – that is, until Wednesday.
“We weren’t really expecting it,” Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com. “There are major issues for him in Brazil, and the club, ownership and myself thought it was probably the best thing for him to take care of his issues. He can continue to play, but at least be close to his family that needs him.”
With the announcement coming on just the third day of training camp, the team has moved quickly to identify potential replacements in the midfield opposite Brek Shea. After all, the loan is thought to have brought a level of financial flexibility to Frisco.
“Now we can maybe go find somebody,” said Hyndman after Thursday’s morning session. “We’ll have a few players in next week and we’ll see if they fit our needs. If not, we’ll keep looking.”
While the search will continue outside of the organization for new talent, a few players on the current roster might ultimately provide the answer.
Colombian Fabian Castillo, who was acquired as a Designated Player just weeks before the beginning of the 2011 season from Deportivo Cali, performed well early on, collecting two goals and three assists in 14 starts. However, the 19-year-old's performance declined sharply after returning from a two-month stint with the Colombian Under-20 national team.
“Fabián is a great talent,” said Hyndman. “We just may have to put a little more urgency into his development.”
Another potential replacement is Generation adidas player Andrew Wiedeman, who is entering his third season with the club. The former Cal standout has seen steady improvement in his time with the club, splitting time as an outside back and midfielder. Despite appearing in only three games in two years, Wiedeman has been impressive in the opening week of training.
"It’s been a long and slow process, but I am coming out here every day, working hard and trying to get the coach’s attention,” Wiedeman said. “I want to put myself into a position where he does trust me enough if he needs me there.”
Though two months remain for the 22-year-old to make his case, Hyndman has noticed the early efforts of the San Francisco Bay Area native.
“He’s been training really well," said Hyndman. “His stock is rising.”