It's been less than two weeks since FC Dallas acquired central midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson from the Houston Dynamo, but the 29-year-old Jamaican National team member is already making himself at home in the middle of the FC Dallas formation, where he's likely to be when FC Dallas kicks off their season against the Colorado Rapids tonight at 7:30 at FC Dallas Stadium.
Watson seems to be having no problem adjusting to what may be a more defensive role than he was asked to play in Houston, where he presumably spent more time concentrating on the attack. "In football, " Watson said, "everybody's a defender."
Fellow central midfielder Andrew Jacobson said he and Watson have already developed a bit of chemistry. "I understand how he plays. He’s a good player. Very good two-sided player. Defends well, likes to get forward. The job for both of us is just to balance each other out. As one gets forward the other stays back and vice versa."
Jacobson, who has spent much of his time in practice partnering with Watson as dual holding midfielders, says Watson's high skill level eases the transition and speeds the alchemy of building a chemistry between them. "We definitely did a bunch of reps in practice, but we both understand the position and I think we both have an understanding of how we play, so it wasn't too difficult. I think we'll get better with time, but it's not a big jump [for] a player of his caliber, for sure.
Jacobson says one reason the midfield combination will work well is because it allows for adaptation to the situation, as each player picks up slack for the other as needed. "We're both two-way players. We both can get up, we both can get back. So it doesn't require one of us to always be going forward. As one gets tired the other one can step up responsibility in the attack and the other can hold a little bit. I think it'll help us manage a game for 90 minutes.
Watson also said the transition to his new surroundings off the field has been relatively easy, since he's didn't even have to leave the friendly confines of The Lone Star state. "I'm coming from Houston but I'm still in Texas," Watson said. "So, it's like here is still my home."