FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas made a pair of notable of summer acquisitions, but it's taken them some time to get adjusted.
Midfielder Ezequiel Cirigliano and defender Bakary Soumare made their way to Frisco in the span of a week in mid July – smack dab in the middle of FCD’s season long five-game win streak – but the two newcomers have yet to see a single minute of playing time, even as Dallas entered an August tailspin.
“What I’ve found is normally it takes some time to adjust to the intensity of the training, the intensity of the games, and that’s what has happened,” head coach Oscar Pareja told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s not always the case with players coming. [But] with Cirigliano and Bakare Soumare and Kyle Bekker, it’s just the way it is.”
Taking a healthy amount of time to make an impact is not a new thing for FC Dallas newcomers. When the club added Colombian winger Michael Barrios just before the start of the season, it still took him nearly two months from the time they signed him to his first start. Even then, he failed to appear in seven of the team’s next 10 games and did not score his first goal until a July 4 win over the New England Revolution.
The long transition time is not always the case for midseason acquisitions throughout the league, however. When the LA Galaxy brought in dynamic Mexican playmaker Giovani Dos Santos, it took him less than a month to see the field for the Galaxy and score his first goal.
Pareja mentioned part of the reason midseason acquisitions struggled to see the field has to do with the specific way FC Dallas runs its training sessions.
“When I talk about methodology, they need to know how we work and what the demands are of training,” Pareja said. “But I don’t want to compare us with any other team in the league that is successful with their [systems]. I’ve just seen players come here and need to adjust. It happened with Michael Barrios. It’s happening with Cirigliano, it’s happening with Bakary Soumare.”
The addition of Soumare was a move made primarily for depth purposes with Matt Hedges, Zach Loyd, and occasionally Je-Vaughn Watson locking down the center back position. The combination of Dallas’ roster and the fact that he arrived in Dallas slightly overweight, according to Pareja, has led to his lack of playing time to date.
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But since then Acosta, who represented the United States at the 2015 Under-20 World Cup has begun to grow into his role. And according to technical director Fernando Clavijo, Cirigliano is fighting to transition to MLS after missing some time with River Plate due to a contract dispute prior to his arrival in Dallas.
“We know that we’re not going to have his best for quite some time,” Clavijo said of the Argentine midfielder. “Now he’s been here for a month, fitness-wise he’s getting back. I think it’s going to take a little bit longer to see the true potential for him, and that’s why the loan is for a year.
“When you see it and the more that he gets to know the team, I think everybody will agree with me that he’ll be one of the best in the league.”