Money well spent.
Alan Velasco, who FC Dallas acquired this offseason for a reported club-record $7 million fee, scored an incredible solo goal in his debut Saturday evening at Toyota Stadium to conclude a 2-0 victory over Nashville SC.
Velasco gathered the ball in FCD's own half, then beat five defenders and goalkeeper Joe Willis to make it 2-0 in the 87th minute.
“What he showed on the field is what we were looking for," head coach Nico Estevez said. "For that reason, it's why we made the investment on him. We were fighting to get him because he is a really good player. I think it’s also the way we play that helps him build some confidence because he will always have some confidence to do his things. We are very pleased with what he did and we will keep helping him reach his full potential.”
The 19-year-old Young Designated Player was among the top additions of the offseason, joining from Independiente in the Argentine Primera División. Alongside Paul Arriola (trade from D.C. United), he represented significant final-third reinforcements after FCD transferred US men's national team striker Ricardo Pepi to German Bundesliga side FC Augsburg.
And it took just over 20 minutes for Velasco to prove why there's such hype, subbing on in the 64th minute and immediately shifting momentum to the home side.
“He had a really amazing debut. What more can you ask for? He came off the bench and gave us a spark, got us a goal, and gave me an assist," homegrown midfielder Brandon Servania said laughingly. "I’m looking forward to gaining some more chemistry with him and he showed what he can do tonight. He’s a really good player and hopefully he can build on that.”
The 87th-minute golazo also marked a first for the Argentine youth international, who won't turn 20 until late July.
"I scored a similar goal versus Colon in Argentina," Velasco said. "I started all the way from half field and was able to score. I think that one was my second favorite goal and this one is my new favorite one.”
Sparked by Velasco's moment of magic, FC Dallas notched their first win under Estevez since the former USMNT and Columbus Crew assistant coach was appointed this offseason.
"I'm in love with this group, with this group of players, this roster, everyone, each one," Estevez said. "And we enjoy every single day working with them."
FC Dallas will host the Portland Timbers in their next outing March 19 (8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, DAZN in Canada) as they chase an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs spot after missing out in 2021.