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Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Does FC Dallas have too much faith in Jackson?

By Todd Date

Friday’s announcement that FC Dallas had traded Marvin Chavez to San Jose in exchange for allocation money definitely caught everyone by surprise. (More on that move later.)  But the one FCD player who looks to benefit most from this trade is none other than Jackson Goncalves, that versatile yet enigmatic Brazilian who has seemingly played all over the field ever since he arrived just under two seasons ago from South America.

Last season, Jackson logged minutes in the back, midfield and even played up top, a sure sign of how forward deficient this club continues to be. Club gaffer Schellas Hyndman always said he likes guys with versatility but that can also come at a price in that they can’t settle into one particular spot on the pitch and really call that position their own.

Now it looks like Jackson has a full-time position at right mid where Chavez used to roam. But this development does beg one pretty interesting question to be asked: is FCD expecting too much from Jackson and do they trust him too much?

Jackson is coming off a 2010 that can best be termed as inconsistent. There was the whole lack of "emotional intelligence" on several occasions with cards that proved to be very costly.  Then there was the whole wedding thing where he basically told the team he would be missing the New England game because he was getting married without consulting any of the powers that be beforehand.

None of those instances helped him as far as his relationship with Hyndman. Still, the gaffer put him out on the field time and time again, so maybe the lack of trust between these two is higher than it’s ever been. Then again, the soccer sensei also probably realized that as rocked as his club was by injuries in 2011, he didn’t really have much choice but to put Jackson out there even if there were some trust issues from his end.

But to his credit, Jackson did apologize to his teammates after he had returned from his wedding back home, which was what he should have done. For the year, he played in 28 league matches, including 22 starts and netted four goals with a pair of assists.

When his head is in the game and there are no distractions surrounding him, Jackson can play. He has the level of pace this club needs, can deliver a pretty high-quality ball from the flanks and most importantly, he can finish opportunities more often than not. Just as good Jackson is something to behold, whenever his alter ego, the evil, goateed Jackson, makes an appearance, it’s often enough to have not only Hyndman and his staff but FCD supporters just bury their heads in their hands and wonder what just happened.

Maybe now that he’s married, the nonsense from last year will be just that the club will hope, a thing of the past. And if that is indeed the case, then Dallas backers will quickly forget about the speedy and affable Mr. Chavez.  But until Jackson can show a bit more emotional intelligence and be a more consistent player instead of a true wildcard every time he steps between the lines, he will be just that, a question mark for this thing going forward.