Since defender Aaron Guillen relocated from the Texas Fire in El Paso to the FC Dallas squad, the transition to his new team has been virtually seamless.
"This is my first year with this team, and it's not been a problem at all," Guillen said of joining the FC Dallas under-17/18 team where he’s started three matches. "The players have treated me exactly the same. They're very cool, and the chemistry is great."
That chemistry has translated into success on the field, where FC Dallas leads the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Texas Division with a 5-0 record. This Saturday, FC Dallas clashes with Texans SC Houston, which is 3-0 in the division.
"This a very big game because they're in second place," said Guillen, a freshman at Collen College in Frisco, Texas. "We want to get far away from them and be at the top of the table."
FC Dallas assistant Joseman Bazan credits the defensive efforts of Guillen, Michael Ambrose, Mark Ashby and Nicholas Rochowski for the team’s early success.
"We all play together and that's what makes us very strong in back," Guillen said. "Like I said, it's not just a team, it's a family. We're united."
That's the way the FC Dallas defense played during Saturday's 4-0 shutout of division rival Solar Chelsea, this, despite requiring reserve Eduardo Cortes to replace regular starter Richard Sanchez in the goal.
FC Dallas scored all of the necessary goals in the first half. Forward Jonathan Top and midfielder David Robledo scored in the 23rd and 25th minutes, respectively, and forward Daniel Garcia scored once each in the 43rd and 44th minutes.
On the season, Top and Garcia have three goals each and Rochowski has two goals, with one each from Robledo, forward Bobby Edet, Ashby and midfielder Marco Ortiz.
"We were in last year's national finals and lost 3-2 to the Pateadores in Milwaukee," Bazan said. "We know that we have a very good team, but this next game will show how good."
Guillen agrees, but believes that the team will pull together, yet again.
"I've only been with these guys for about three months, but it seems like it's been a long while," Guillen said. "That's why I like this team, because it's like a family."
This past weekend's top Academy goal scorers
2, Andrew Brody, Real Salt Lake-AZ in 2-1 win over San Diego Surf
2, Zachary Dunbar, FC Dallas in 3-2 win over Solar Chelsea
2, Danny Lane II, Clearwater Chargers in 6-0 win over Richmond Kickers
2, Nick Miller, Georgia United in 3-0 win over Birmingham United
3, Travis Jehs, Clearwater Chargers in 3-3 tie with Virginia Rush
3, Andrew Mattek, Kendall SC in 6-2 win over Richmond Strikers
2, Adrian Bicknell, IMG Soccer Academy in 9-1 win over Virginia Rush
2, Manuel Camillo, Nomads SC in 3-2 loss to Real Salt Lake-AZ
2, Caleb Clarke, Vancouver Whitecaps in 3-0 win over Crossfire Premier
2, Jaime Enriquez, Arsenal FC in 2-2 tie with San Diego Surf
2, Juan Fernando Samayoa, Real So Cal in 3-1 win over Strikers FC
2, Daniel Freidwald, IMG Soccer Academy in 9-1 win over Virginia Rush
2, Arsenio Gonzalez, IMG Soccer Academy in 4-1 win over Richmond Kickers
2, Christopher Harrison II, Georgia United in 3-2 loss to Birmingham United
2, Reece Holcombe, Birmingham United in 3-2 win over Georgia United
2, Danny Jensen, Weston FC in 5-0 win over McLean Youth Soccer
2, Dylan Kelly, Real Salt Lake-AZ in 3-2 win over Nomad SC
2, Kekuta Manneh, Lonestar SC in 4-2 win over Texas Rush
2, Leon Prikhodovskiy, San Diego Surf in 2-2 tie with Arsenal FC
2, Todd Wharton, Richmond Strikers in 6-2 loss to Kendall SC