FRISCO, Texas – Do you ever get the feeling you’re being pulled in three different directions? Welcome to Andrew Jacobson’s life on the field in 2012.
The midfielder from Northern California, acquired from Philadelphia Union in the 2011 preseason, has become a mainstay in the FC Dallas squad over the past year as the box-to-box midfielder in FCD’s three-man center midfield trio. However, in the team’s injury-riddled season, Jacobson has been asked to fill just about every role as far back as central defender all the way up to forward.
“I’ve played forward, midfield and defense so far, and if you understand the game, you can play anywhere,” Jacobson said of his roles in 2012. “There’s going to be little stuff that I’m not going to have playing other positions, but I understand the responsibilities of each one.”
For FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman, the man known as “A.J.” has been an integral part of keeping his Dallas team together through this tough time. Jacobson logged 90 minutes in each of Dallas’ six games through the month of May and, while the extra minutes may have taken a toll on the midfielder, Hyndman was quick to praise his performance this season.
“With Andrew, he’s one of those guys that has just kept us in a lot of games,” Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “He’s played a lot of minutes for us. He’s playing holding midfield, connecting midfield and even sometimes as the attacking midfielder.”
The only thing that’s suffered in Jacobson’s play this season has been his offensive numbers. After leading the team with five assists in 2011, he has yet to register either a goal or an assist in 2012. Much of that is down to the absence of either David Ferreira or Ricardo Villar in front of him.
“It’s two great playmakers and you get players like that and their defense has to really focus in on them,” said Jacobson. “It gives me a chance to run off them and get open rather than being that guy that they focus on.”
With at least one of those two playmakers slated for a return to the pitch in the coming weeks, Jacobson might once more be able to bear the workload of just one man.