Thomas Roberts makes 1st Dallas start; 3 players out for policy violation

Thomas Roberts - FC Dallas

Seventeen-year-old FC Dallas Homegrown player Thomas Roberts — who has emerged as one of the most promising players in the storied history of the club's academy — got his first start in Week 6 as the team faced the Philadelphia Union, falling 2-1 after conceding two late goals.

The match was also the first start of the year for goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, who was in the net for North Texas SC's inaugural match, FC Dallas' USL League One affiliate, the previous weekend. 

The moves were necessitated in part because three key FC Dallas players — goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez and midfielders Pablo Aranguiz and Carlos Gruezo — did not travel with the team due to violating a team policy, according to a release from the club.

FC Dallas were also without midfielder Bryan Acosta, recovering from an ankle sprain, and Santiago Mosquera, who is out with an illness. 

Roberts played 62 minutes, and FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez was upbeat about the youngster's showing.

“I thought he had some positive moments,” Gonzalez said postgame. “He’s a fearless player. He had some good little duels, wiggled out of pressure, connected some passes, worked hard defensively. I thought he had a very positive game.”