The club announced on Tuesday the signing of Franco Jara, a 31-year-old Argentinian Striker who is currently playing in Mexico.
The player has been linked to the club for several weeks now due to an accidental leak of footage from the FC Dallas front office.
Franco Jara will arrive at the club at the end of his contract with Pachuca, which ends officially on July 1st of this year. Because of this, he will come without charge to FC Dallas, with the exception of his contract, which reportedly is the largest contract given to a player in all of FC Dallas history.
Franco Jara also becomes the first Designated Player signed under the direction of Technical Director Andre Zanotta, who also signed Brazilian Midfielder Thiago Santos, MLS veteran Fafa Picault, and SMU Senior Eddie Munjoma this offseason.
Fans have been clamoring for a star striker ever since fan-favorite Blas Perez left at the end of the 2015 season. Between his departure and the current offseason, the two main striker signings, Maxi Urruti and Cristian Colman, both of whom are gone, scored 33 goals in 4 seasons. Homegrown Jesus Ferreira and Fan Favorite Zdenek “Cobra” Ondrasek picked up the mantle in Lucchi’s first season in charge but were unable to score consistently over the duration of the season.
Franco Jara has been a journeyman for most of his career. The Argentinean was signed by Benfica in 2010 from his boyhood club for a transfer fee of around 5.5 Million. From there, he went on loan to 3 clubs in 4 years before transferring to Olympiakos in Greece. He left Greece to join Pachuca in 2015 and was a key piece for Pachuca in their championship year in 2016. He also won a CONCACAF Champions League with the club in 2017, famously beating FC Dallas in the semifinal 4-3 over two legs.
Franco Jara is your typical high striker, looking for spaces between defenders in order to get that ounce of space to put a shot on goal. He does best with one-touch goals from crosses, either with his head or his foot.
He also has a little sprint in his step, able to create enough space to take a shot on goal. Jara’s finishing is also extremely good, as he is able to put a lot of pace on the ball whenever taking those first-time shots.
His best season with Pachuca was 2016-2017, when Pachuca won the Clausura and CONCACAF. In the final of the Champions League against Tigres, Jara played with Hirving Lozano on one side and Jonathan Urretaviscaya on the other side. Both of those wingers are internationals for Mexico and Uruguay respectively, and Lozano was famously transferred to PSV for around 15 million dollars that summer. Jara thrives in a system that provides service from the wings so that he can apply the finishing touch to crosses. Luchiball last year consisted of mainly possessing the ball in defense and pushing play forward until a cross towards the striker becomes imminent. If the system continues the success that it had at the end of last year, then Jara should thrive in the system.
At 31, Jara only has a couple of gallons left in the tank, and with his arrival, it only seems normal that Cobra might be on his way out in the next year. Jara will have to also teach Ricardo Pepi in order to prepare the teenager for the role he will fulfill in the future. Jara’s experience will hopefully push the homegrown to gain a major role in the next year or so.
FC Dallas is looking to push for a trophy this year, and this signing is one that fans hope will push this team from fringe playoff team to MLS Cup contender. Franco Jara’s finishing ability is something that the club hasn’t had in years, a missing piece to a side that has been consistently competitive since Oscar Pareja became head coach in 2014.
At last, FC Dallas has a marquee signing!
What do you think of the move? Do you think it’s enough for the team to make the playoffs?
Featured Image: transfermarkt.us