FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas’ Brazilian newcomer Erick could make his debut on Saturday against Real Salt Lake if he receives his International Transfer Certificate in time, and it would be a welcome sight to an FCD team in need of someone to help guide them out of a six-game winless drought.
Erick was signed last week to shore up the defensive midfield position that has mostly been filled by players such as Michel and Je-Vaughn Watson playing out of position, often in a partnership with Andrew Jacobson.
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman admitted Wednesday this has been a problem area for his squad, and that he believes Erick is exactly the type of player they’ve been looking for ever since Peter Luccin went down in the preseason with an ACL injury.
“We want a little bit more athleticism there, [someone] quicker, more of an athlete and then we wanted a player that has a little bit of a bite,” Hyndman told reporters. “Right now, Andrew Jacobson and Michel are doing pretty decent jobs, but they’re both very similar players and we need something a little bit more different.”
The 24-year-old Erick is a veteran of Portugal’s second division and is playing in an unfamiliar environment for the first time, where most of his teammates and coaches don’t speak Portuguese. He does know fellow midfielder Jackson from their days playing on youth teams together in Brazil, however, and he feels the team has welcomed him warmly into the group.
But most importantly, he is very focused on his role on the pitch.
“I’m a defensive midfielder. That’s who I am,” he said through an interpreter. “My best quality is to steal balls and [also] my passing.”
Erick has already made a strong impression on his new teammates in his short time in Frisco.
“Very good player, you can see what they were thinking when they got him,” Jacobson told reporters. “[He’s] very good defensively, a hard player. He’s also really good on the ball, smart. Everything you look for in a [defensive midfielder].”