Andres Ricaurte could debut for FC Dallas Wednesday, set to provide timely creative spark

Andres Ricaurte - FC Dallas - training

If all had gone to plan, FC Dallas fans might’ve gotten a first glimpse of new signing Andres Ricaurte last week, were it not for three untimely injuries in the first half of their trip to Kansas City.

With another week of training with under his belt, Ricaurte could now be in line to get his first minutes on Wednesday evening as Dallas head to Minnesota (8 pm ET | TV & streaming info). Head coach Luchi Gonzalez hinted that the Colombian playmaker, who last played competitively on March 11, could even start amid FCD's ongoing injury struggles.

“I would say [Ricaurte] is getting closer and closer to game readiness,” Gonzalez told reporters on a Monday conference call. “The ideal is to have a player that hasn’t played an official match since the beginning of the year come off the bench and get some rhythm, and then take steps, but we have to be ready for anything. There’s a possibility he could start, too — he’s certainly looking better and better and closer to that so we just have to make final decision [Tuesday], but I’m pretty confident either way he’s going to be an impact in this next game in some capacity and certainly hopefully more in a bigger capacity the following [game].”

Ricaurte told reporters on Monday that he felt “totally prepared” for whatever the coaching staff may ask of him on Wednesday night, and spoke warmly of his welcome to Dallas since signing for the club on loan from Independiente Medellin on August 12. That bodes well for FC Dallas, who could certainly use some creative spark in the midfield. FCD have already lost Paxton Pomykal for the year to injury, and Gonzalez confirmed that winger Fafa Picault remains out with a hamstring injury. Bryan Acosta, who has played a bit at the No. 10, is also out for the match.

Luchi on Ricaurte's qualities

As far as what Ricaurte will bring to the table if and when he does see the field, the message from both coach and player is clear: his game is all about the collective, and he admitted that he prefers to dish out the assists.

“I’m a player with the characteristics of an attacking midfielder, who likes having the ball a lot and always works for the team's collective functioning,” Ricaurte said. “I love assists — I like them more than scoring goals.”

His numbers in Colombia certainly seem to help back up that sentiment: with Independiente Medellin, he put up 23 assists to go with 12 goals over 98 games. His new coach hopes to utilize that creativity in a variety of ways.

“He’s a creative player,” Gonzalez said following Ricaurte's signing. “I think his strength is the last pass, assisting and finding others in space to score. He can do that in different positions — centrally, wide, underneath (the striker) and even in high positions — so I think he’s going to help out depth in the 10 (position), 7 and 11. He’s going to allow us to do some creative things.”