FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo has spent months searching for the right attacking midfielder, and he finally has his player in former River Plate man Mauro Díaz.
The club announced the signing of the 22-year-old Argentinean late Wednesday afternoon and Clavijo says there’s a lot for FC Dallas fans to like about Díaz.
“First of all, he’s a very young, very explosive player, he’s an offensive guy who takes chances and really attacks defenders,” Clavijo told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “[He’s a central attacking midfielder], but … he can play wide left or right. He is really aggressive going forward. He attacks a lot and … [he has] great vision to play the ball either left or right and he has a cannon from outside, he can strike the ball extremely well.
“We want to be sure to bring in players that have an attractive style and are committed to going forward to make things happen. He’s exactly what we were looking for.”
When asked what player Díaz’s game reminds him of, Clavijo said a little bit of Fredy Montero because of his aggressiveness going forward and a little bit of Fabián Castillo because of his speed, but that he can’t think of anybody with an outside shot like Díaz’s.
Clavijo thinks that Díaz’s versatility will give coach Schellas Hyndman a lot of options for where to play him and how to organize his team.
“I can see him deployed in a 4-3-3, in a 4-2-3-1, [central] or wide, [partnering] with David Ferreira or [not partnering] with David Ferreira,” Clavijo explained. "He’s a player that can complement our team many ways. I’m excited to see where coach plays him. I think David and [Díaz] is an extremely good combination, but he can use him many other ways."
The plan is for Díaz to arrive in Dallas on Saturday or Sunday and then have a week of training ahead of the July 27 friendly with Stoke City.
Clavijo also said that the old notion of MLS being a retirement league is dead and instead it is time to view the league as a place for talented young players to come to in early in their careers to grow their game.
“A long, long time ago, there was a belief that this was a league that people used to retire," he said. "That’s no longer the case. I hope this is a really good sign not only for FC Dallas but for the rest of the league to look aggressively at younger players to grow together with the league.”