Eric Avila joined MLS in 2008 and it was expected that he would bring some flair and creativity to a league that has been criticized for being too physical and not dynamic enough at times. He hasn't exactly gotten that chance, struggling to get on the field for FC Dallas, but it appears as if he might find another way onto the pitch by leaving MLS temporarily. The 23-year-old has flown to Guadalajara to discuss a six-month loan with CF Atlas of the Mexican Primera Division, a move that might jumpstart a career that has somewhat stalled.
A star on the United States' U-17 and U-20 youth teams, there were high hopes for Avila. It took him a while to get going with Dallas, but a sensational game-winning goal in last year's playoffs to get past Real Salt Lake appeared to have gotten him on track. It didn't quite happen though. He's played only 359 minutes this season, scoring once and picking up two assists.
Whether Avila is good enough to play with Atlas remains to be seen. The loan hasn't even been completed yet, but it appears as if the club would be a good fit for him. Presumably new manager Ruban Omar Romano will play a diamond midfield where the center midfielders are asking to be very active, playing both inside and sliding out wide to follow the ball when necessary. That kind of role would fit the very versatile Avila well if he can prove he's capable of playing at that level.
It appears as if there is a good chance the loan is made official. The terms of the loan and whether or not there will be an option to buy remain unclear.