Jackson Goncalves is looking strong, maybe the second-best player on the field to new team captain David Ferreira. He scored a pretty nice goal when Ferreira found him open on the right and fed him a rolling pass near the top corner of the penalty box. Before the keeper had a chance to cover, Jackson settled the ball with a deft first touch, turned, and launched a crisp right-footer past the diving keeper into the roof of the net.
A few minutes later, Ferreira had one the prettiest shots of the preseason so far. Standing with the ball at his feet, a few yards outside the top of the penalty area, Ferreira looked left, then right. Finding nobody open, he lofted a quick little arcing left-footer towards the upper left corner that never seemed to get below the level of the crossbar until it slipped just underneath for the goal. The goalkeeper, helpless, simply stood and watched it float in. Best seat in the house.
Victor Ulloa had one of the strongest performances of the day. Looking calm and confident, he’s matured considerably since he joined the first team as a homegrown player in 2010. It seems like every time he gets the ball he’s either putting it in the net or forcing a great save. In one 30-second span he had three shots on goal, two of which went in -- one underneath a diving Seitz to his right, the next just out of reach of Seitz’s lunge to the left. He may fit into the lineup as a defensive midfielder, but he’s showing a nice nose for goal and a good situational awareness no matter where he is on the field, always looking composed.
My award for best shot of day three has to go to Fabian Castillo. Taking the ball on a counterattack, the speedy Colombian sprouted wings and made one of his signature swift attacks up the left flank, then slowed as he approached the end line and the near post to find his shot. Zobeck covered the near post and tried to take up space, but at the last second Castillo, his momentum carrying him to his left, poked the ball with his right toe to slip it between the keeper’s feet and just inside the far post for the goal.
Despite letting Castillo split his wickets, Zobeck has had a nice preseason so far, and Hyndman likes what he sees. “Right now we’re very impressed with Kyle as a goalkeeper,” said Hyndman after practice Wednesday. “He’s working hard to make the roster.” Hyndman seems to gravitate towards the smarter players, and Zobeck, who studied engineering and math at Valparaiso before coming to FC Dallas, probably fits that bill. His MLS bio says he was named a Tau Beta Pi Laureate, the highest distinction for a senior engineering student in the United States.
Another youngster who had a nice day Wednesday is Jonathan Top, who displayed an easy gracefulness while working with Castillo on the attack. The two connected for a goal in the evening session after Castillo drew the defense to the outside, leaving Top open in front of the goal for a one-timer into the roof of the net that he made look easier than it probably was.