FRISCO, Texas – He may not resonate with North American soccer fans like a Sacha Kljestan would, but FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja is more than pleased with the signing his team did make before the close of the summer transfer window.
Walter Cabrera, whose acquisition was announced Thursday on loan from Paraguayan Primera Division side General Diaz, provides a physical presence on the backline, Pareja said.
“He is a young player who has been gathering a lot of games in a very difficult and physical league,” Pareja said as he gets his team ready for Saturday's home matchup with the Colorado Rapids (9 pm ET; MLS Live). “He has physicality that we need. He’s not 6-foot-8, but he is smart and aggressive in the air.”
The loan was not the only move FC Dallas attempted before the transfer window closed Wednesday.
FCD president Dan Hunt revealed Friday in his weekly Facebook chat with fans that the club had been working to try to sign Kljestan, the US international midfielder who is currently under contract with Belgian side Anderlecht but was rumored to be seeking a return to MLS, but those efforts were unsuccessful.
“I know that the guys at the league office worked extremely hard to make this happen in conjunction with Sacha and his agent Richard Motzkin,” Hunt said. “Unfortunately it didn't work out this time, but there is always the January window."
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Cabrera comes to FCD in midseason form having just played for General Diaz, and Pareja said the 24-year-old who can play in central defense or as an outside back should be in the mix for playing time soon.
“We are always working with the front office to set a good roster, looking ahead all the time, but also we want to grow progressively and we make movements that make sense,” Pareja said. “We have a group of persons here that are always looking for somebody who can help us but as of today our mind is with our players here.
“This group is a fantastic group that I enjoy to work with. I have to look in their eyes in the morning and think that this is all that we need.”