Nicolas Lodeiro, the Seattle Sounders new designated player, turned some heads in a fine debut on Sunday, but both he and his coach said it would take some time to fully adapt to his new club.
And time might not be a luxury the Sounders have with the team nine points out of a playoff spot with two and a half months to play.
Lodeiro signed from Argentina powerhouse Boca Juniors last Wednesday and immediately impressed, leading Seattle in touches and taking four shots in Sunday's 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy.
"You guys saw it. He was very good," Sounders interim coach Brian Schmetzer said after the game.
But Schmetzer, in his first game in charge since the club sacked longtime coach Sigi Schmid last week, said the final link between the new midfielder and star forward Clint Dempsey is not where it needs to be.
"We just need to fine-tune to make sure Clint and he figure out the right spacing, because a couple of times I thought we could have done a better job in keeping Clint a little higher which would be my preference," Schmetzer said. "Get Clint closer to goal because we're going to need to rely on Clint to score some goals.
"So other than that little glitch, you saw his ability to cover ground at a high level, connect passes, run the team. There was a lot of positive out of that.
"I think together Clint will work a little higher up the field. Clint leads the front line, Nicolas leads through the middle, we've got experienced guys at the back, I was encouraged."
Lodeiro said it was a "fast week" in trying to adjust to his new club, as well as playing on artificial turf for the first time in his career.
"It was hard to adapt, obviously new team, new players, perhaps not enough time to get accustomed to each others' play," he said through a translator. "The only surprise was the synthetic field. I've never played on a synthetic field before so I have to get used to it."
But Lodeiro was confident that the Sounders have the talent to turn their season around before the playoffs.
"It's a good team, good players, and when you have a good team with good players, you feel at ease right away," he said. "It would have been better if we'd won the game, but we have good players.
"In the short time that I've been here I like to tell my teammates what I like to do, that I like to assist and my tendencies, and they understood me."