When FC Dallas signed Carlos Rodriguez back during preseason, Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman knew he was getting a quality player in the 22-year-old Panamanian. However, not even Hyndman had an idea of just how versatile Rodriguez would prove to be.
So far, the versatile Panamanian has played all over the field for FCD, at right midfield, left midfield and also at right back and left back. He has appeared in five of Dallas’ first six games, the only game he missed while he was away for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. In short, this guy has been huge.
“I feel really good out there. I can play wherever,” Rodriguez said on Monday through a translator. “I’ll do whatever it takes to help the team out and get results.”
And it’s clear how Hyndman feels about one of his newest additions. But not only did the Dallas gaffer extol the greatness of Rodriguez, but he also did so with fellow newcomer Hernan Pertuz, whose signing has brought equally favorable benefits to FCD.
“He’s a wonderful young player,” Hyndman said of Rodriguez. “He and Hernan both, anytime I’ve moved them around, they both give me that look of whatever you need coach. They’ve brought the positive things I had hoped for but I also know I’m not getting the best out of them because they’re still trying to learn a new position. As I said to Carlos after the game the other day, a great second half, glad to see you perform in your position and he had a big smile on his face because that’s where he wants to play. That [at left back] is where he is a national team player for Panama but he has the versatility.”
But like every player, Rodriguez admits he does have one spot he prefers to line up on the pitch above all others. “My natural position is left back. Coach said he wants me to play the left midfield spot, so I’m just going to do whatever I can to help the team out on the field,” he said.
Maybe one reason why he has performed so well is that ever since he joined the club back in March, his new teammates have welcomed him with open arms. “They’ve really helped me adjust to the team. We’re one family off the field. We get along on the field and get along off the field just as well,” Rodriguez said.
While having versatile players is great, especially for a team who isn’t all that deep, like is currently the case for Dallas, it also comes at a price.
“If you remember what we’ve done with Jackson, Jackson’s played everywhere but goalkeeper. He’s been right side, left side, center, center back, right back, left back, he’s played everywhere and that’s great for a team that needs that versatile player,” Hyndman said. “I don’t know if it’s great for the player.”