Franco Jara - FC Dallas - in training

Luchi Gonzalez hasn't been caught by surprise by his new Designated Player forward Franco Jara since the Argentine began training with his new club this week.

And that's a good thing.  

FC Dallas extensively scouted the former CF Pachuca star and he has been everything they expected in his limited minutes in training, which have largely been on an individual and small group basis. The club hope to integrate him into full team training perhaps by the end of this week, if not early next week.

“Franco is a player we studied and followed for three years," Gonzalez told reporters during a video conference call Wednesday. "We’re really proud of our scouting job to have him here. … He has personality, an instinct around the goal, a winning spirit. He's someone who likes to press, someone who can improv and someone who cares about his teammates. He’s already showing those things in a short amount of time.”

Gonzalez insists Dallas will responsibly manage Jara's workload ramping up to the MLS is Back Tournament, given that he's essentially been without anyone supporting his fitness or training, with Liga MX's 2020 Apertura season halted and then canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jara, who turns 32-years-old next month, had 15 goals in 26 appearances across Liga MX's Apertura and Clausura in the 2019/20 season.

“We need to work," Gonzalez said. "He hasn’t been with a team for three months, we have to respect that. We don’t want to risk an injury, we’re going to be smart. But we’re getting closer and closer.”

Ahead of the club's return to play at the MLS is Back Tournament next month, Dallas will play in a pre-tournament friendly against NYCFC to help finetune the squad ahead of their Group B play.

“We think that’ll be very helpful for us and for them," Gonzalez said. "We thank them for communicating with us and making that happen.”