Daniel Cruz's knee injury puts him on thin ice with FCD

With FC Dallas trading Marvin Chavez to San Jose late last year and the announcement earlier this week that Jackson would be headed back to his native Brazil to play in 2012, one spot in the Dallas first 11 that looks wide open is at right midfield.

With Chavez and Jackson gone, it looks like Fabian Castillo is now the most logical choice to get the nod, but Panamian newcomer Carlos Rodriguez, who can play both at outside back as well as flank midfield, will also get a serious look.

Ricardo Villar is yet another option but at least in 2011, he seemed to do his best work when he was playing more of a central role and admittedly, the Brazilian mid doesn’t quite have the blazing speed to get up and down the flanks and make life generally tough on opposing players.

But one player who some thought might contend for a starting spot is Daniel Cruz. Cruz had a goal and an assist in 10 games, including six starts, in 2011. Yet the jury is still out on what if any role the Colombian midfielder can have on this thing going forward.

Cruz showed flashes last season but was also glaring inconsistent when his team needed him the most, namely when Daniel Hernandez and Andrew Jacobson had knee issues. That inconsistency did nothing to improve his stock heading into this season. "That’s where Daniel Cruz was expected to come through and that didn't go the way we had hoped it would,” FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said.

Unfortunately for Cruz, he now appears to have a knee issue of his own, which could put him on thin ice with this club going forward. “We don’t know [when Cruz will return],” Hyndman said. “He’s talking about a knee and he probably needs to get surgery. At the end of the year, we talked about [how] he had to come in here and have a really good preseason. It looks like there’s going to be no preseason for him.”

The clock just might be ticking on Cruz in Dallas.