Paxton Pomykal is ready for his breakthrough.
The FC Dallas Homegrown product and US U-20 star is expected to be a prime benefactor of the club's decision to promote former academy director Luchi Gonzalez to head coach. After making his MLS debut in 2017 then featuring across six matches (one start) in 2018, the 19-year-old has ambitions for the upcoming campaign.
"The past two seasons I haven't really broken into the team as much as I would have liked to," Pomykal said at MLS Media Day on Saturday. "To expect to play more this year-- I can't expect anything, obviously nothing's given, I have to perform -- but I'm really looking forward to it."
Pomykal is an attacking midfielder who is comfortable on the wings. He admits his preferred position is through the middle as a No. 10, though the club invested in highly rated attacking midfielder Pablo Aranguiz last season.
"Anywhere on the field, I'm good with," Pomykal laughed when asked where he'd like to play in 2019. "I prefer to play in the middle but with the national team over qualifiers I was playing the entire time on the wing and I had a blast doing that. But being on the field is good enough for me."
At the U-20 Concacaf Championship, Pomykal was a key figure for the US side that went 8-0-0 and lifted the trophy, and with it, qualification to the U-20 World Cup in Poland, kicking off in May.
Pomykal primarily featured on the wing for his country, appearing in all eight games (six starts) with three goals and four assists, including two assists in the team's 2-0 triumph over Mexico in the final.
With that as a foundation for 2019, Pomykal is confident.
"The easiest part of about it is that I already know Luchi," Pomykal said. "That helped a lot. It's hard for a young kid to get a completely new coach that you don't know. You spend two years trying to impress the same guy, then he leaves and you have to do the same thing for the next guy. It's nice that Luchi already knows me, knows all the young guys and the FC Dallas family and philosophy."
Pomykal can't wait for 2019 to get underway.
"I really like Luchi as a coach, he's very ambitious," Pomykal said. "I'm really looking forward to this upcoming season with him."