Former River Plate midfielder impresses in friendly against Stoke City
FC Dallas fans witnessed Mauro Diaz’s first outing for the Texan club in Saturday’s friendly against visiting English Premier League side Stoke city. The young attacking midfielder came on for half an hour in the friendly, which Stoke won 1-0 courtesy of a Jonathan Walters finish in the 31st minute.
The 22 year-old Argentine signed for the club in mid-July after paperwork complications delayed the move, but once he has adjusted to sweltering Texas heat Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman believes Diaz can be an important figure for the club. Hyndman first saw Diaz as a 17 year-old playing for River Plate and was impressed with his technique, pace and decision making. The coach was also happy to take on a player who has developed at a club like River Plate:
“He’s a player that grew up in a very good football environment at River Plate,” Hyndman told reporters. “River Plate is known as a factory where they generate so many players. So he’s part of that factory and development and there’s things you have to do to stay involved with that club, whether it’s vision, whether it’s technical ability. If you look at a lot of the Argentine players, very few of them are very big, strong, athletic players, but they’re very quick and have good decision-making and good vision.”
Diaz has only been with FC Dallas since last Thursday so has not had ample time to gel, but in his 30 minutes on the pitch he showed promise, creating space down the flanks and linking up well with designated player and captain David Ferreira.
Stoke’s also conducted an open training session at Philadelphia Union’s PPL park, where striker Peter Crouch entertained onlookers by signing a Doritos bag for one fan.