North Texas Wins Its Season Opener
Hope Avayevu gets his first goal of the season as North Texas secures the win in Fullerton over LAFC2.
North Texas SC marked many firsts with its first match and win of the 2023 season.
This was the first MLS Next Pro match for Head Coach Javier Cano.
It was the MLS Next Pro debut of eight players on this roster - “Tyshawn Rose, Henri Santos, Amet Korça, Herbert Endeley, Diego Garcia, Tomas Pondeca, Anthony Ramirez and Diego Pepi.”
It was the first start and clean sheet at this level for FCD academy phenom Julian Eyestone. He also saved a penalty late to preserve the full three points.
And it was the first goal for Avayevu to kickstart the 2023 campaign.
All in all, a great night for this young team.
Coach Cano praised Hope for his performance on the night. “We can highlight the effort from Hope (Avayevu). Hope’s an extraordinary player, and he gave us the first goal. He finished the second half and maintained the team’s energy. He’s a silent leader, and I’m very happy with his performance today.”
The team as a whole is young. Most are new to this particular configuration of players. Many will take some time to adjust to the different level of play and the leadership of Cano. It’s an exciting season when a lot can go wrong… or right.
In the post-game, Cano said that he isn’t necessarily looking for any player but for the right kind of players to help this team have a successful season. “We’re not just looking for good players, we’re looking for good people and this is the question we ask of our scouts around the world.”
You can’t ask for a stronger start, and it will be interesting to see how the team grows in the coming weeks as they gain deeper understanding of each other and face some adversity.
The good news for FC Dallas and North Texas fans is that the games are also streamed on AppleTV. It’s a bit wonky to get to them, but scroll to the bottom of the MLS section under Sports. The hope is that Apple gives fans an ability to follow their favorite MLS Next Pro squads soon and show some replays and highlights.
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