Is Marvin Chavez the reincarnation of Dominic Oduro?

July, 23, 2011
7/23/11
12:24
AM CT
First off, that goal by Brek Shea on Wednesday night in Toronto was simply scintillating and displayed the sort of individual effort fans of every sport will never get tired of watching.

But enough about that, if there’s one thing some who follow FC Dallas are wondering about, it’s what in the wide, wide world of sports is up with the finishing (or lack thereof) for speedy Honduran midfielder Marvin Chavez?

It might be extreme but some might even wonder how he would compare to former FCD striker Dominic Oduro? Well, besides the obvious differences, Oduro was a true forward while Chavez is a midfielder by trade who by necessity is playing out of position. But both had blinding speed that would make life difficult for opposing sides. However, neither was terribly adept at finishing and the numbers dictate that.

But is Chavez the second coming of Oduro? Here’s a look at both sides of the equation so you can decide.

YES

Their Numbers Are Very Similar

Here’s a quick breakdown of the numbers of the two:
Chavez Oduro
2009 7 GP 0 goals, 0 assists 2006 16 GP 1 goal, no assists
2010 16 GP 2 goals, 2 assists 2007 29 GP 3 goals, 2 assists
2011 21 GP 1 goal, 4 assists 2008 25 GP 5 goals, 2 assists
2009 19 GP 1 goal, 4 assists#
2010 27 GP 5 goals, 4 assists*
2011 20 GP 5 goals, 2 assists^
#-Three games in New York and 16 with Houston
*-Spent 2010 in Houston
^-Played one game for Houston and 19 for Chicago

Consider that when FCD drafted Oduro in 2006 under Colin Clarke, he was right out of Virginia Commonwealth. Once he arrived in Frisco, he was only 21. It was clear watching him as a rookie that he had considerable adjustments to make if he was going to be an effective attacking player at the professional level. It probably didn’t help his learning curve much that he had three different head coaches in his three seasons in Dallas.

Flip over to Chavez. He was 26 when he arrived in Frisco after a stint with Marathon in his native Honduras. Marvin already had his fair share of experience at both the club and international level by the time he joined FCD. The point of comparison here is that while Oduro arrived here pretty wet behind the ears, Chavez did not. He was basically already the player he was going to be at age 26. Not saying that’s a bad thing but he’s never really looked like an accomplished finisher at any point during his time here. Then again, he’s not a true forward like Oduro, so finishing isn’t exactly part of his job description.

Chavez’s Finishing Touch Seems to Dissipate at Truly Inopportune Times

During Oduro’s time in Frisco, it truly was something to behold to see him dash up and down the flanks like a gazelle. But the knock on him was always an inability to do good things with the ball once he got into the final third. Sometimes it was an ill-advised pass but when he did get a chance to finish, oftentimes it was a misfire or a completely blown opportunity.

Well, not trying to pile on here but Chavez has also had his share of misfires since joining FCD or to coin a phrase from Wayne’s World, choke on the open net. It’s arguable but none of those misses were worse than the 2-on-1 he and Jackson had on Saturday night against DC United, a chance where he instead knocked a shot wide left instead of either passing it to Jackson or trying a different route to beat DC goalkeeper Bill Hamid. That game ended 0-0 and when asked about the play afterwards, it wasn’t hard to tell that gaffer Schellas Hyndman was both shocked and dismayed about how that sequence ended.

NO

Chavez is Playing Out of Position

Maybe the X factor in this whole thing boils down to something pretty simple-Chavez is playing out of position while Oduro was not. During Dom’s three seasons in Frisco, he was pretty much a forward and nothing else. He did see spot midfield duty on several occasions but it was clear the only spot he could truly be effective at was playing up top.

However, it’s a bit different for Chavez. This is just one person’s opinion and everyone knows the adage about opinions but it looks like Marvin is at his best as a flank midfielder on the right side. Being out wide simply allows him to make best use of his incredible pace and to also lay balls off. Simply put, if he’s not an adept finisher and he’s proven time and time again that he’s not, then why even play him at forward and run that risk? He is much better as a set-up man and maybe once Fabian Castillo returns from the Under-20 World Cup, he’ll return to forward while Chavez goes back to the flank. It’s tough to say what the first 11 will look like once reigning league MVP David Ferreira returns sometime in September, but Chavez will definitely be on the field somewhere, most likely on the right.

“Son of the Wind” Has a Few More Skills than Oduro

Nothing against Oduro but looking back, it looks like the best thing that could ever happen to him was leaving FCD. Maybe it was the fact that having three different coaches in his three seasons here filled his head with all sorts of different ideas. And maybe it was something as simple as he needed a fresh start somewhere. But Dom has done well since leaving Dallas and it’s good to see. That early stint with the Red Bulls didn’t seem to do him much good but spending a good part of two years in Houston under Dominic Kinnear obviously did. It’s a well-known fact how Dallas fans feel about the Dynamo gaffer but like him or not, he is a guy that helps many of his players realize their full potential.

As for Chavez, he seems to have a few more skills than the venerable Mr. Oduro. On one hand, maybe that’s due to his wide array of experience in the beautiful game both from his native Honduras as well as at the international level. But he’s also the sort of player who fits well in Schellas’ system, something Oduro honestly never was, which is why he was traded in the first place. While his finishing is suspect, Marvin can still get up and down the flanks, deliver a killer cross and he’s also evolved into the solid two-way player that Hyndman expects everyone he starts to be.

We might be biased here, but it looks like Chavez brings more to the table than Oduro. Still it makes for an interesting debate, doesn’t it?

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