With the season wrapping up in less than a week, it’s worth looking at one of the Dynamo’s greatest success stories this year, namely forward Fabrice-Jean Picault.
“Fafa,” as he is better known, was brought in from in-state rivals FC Dallas in a trade last December. Since that trade brought him to the Bayou City, Picault has produced the best season of his five-year MLS career, scoring a career-high 11 goals and tying his highest mark with five assists.
For Picault, the statistical success is simply an added bonus to his primary objective, to win soccer games.
“I think individually it has been good,” Picault said. “As a player I don't play for stats, I play to win. Sometimes my stats may suffer because of it. But at the end of the day, I do everything I can for my team. So, if that means tracking back for a tackle, or whatever it is, I will do it. That's always been my mindset and if I can do double digits every year then great.”
And Picault’s stats do not just stand out on the team. Among all of Major League Soccer, Picault is the highest scoring winger born in the United States. This is nothing new for the 30-year-old, who has accomplished this feat in three of the past five seasons. The other two seasons were either shortened by COVID-19 or saw Picault playing under a tactical system that didn’t feature wingers.
According to Picault, a lot of this success can be chalked up to head coach Tab Ramos.
"I think a lot has to do with being wanted. I had that feeling back in Philly and I am feeling it with Tab (Ramos),” Picault said. “The freedom to express myself, not just on the field but also has a human being and having that understanding of my culture is very important and I feel that with Tab... He's a great coach and has been very helpful for me.”
Ramos, however, was quick to deflect responsibility for Picault’s performance, instead saying, that Fafa “has earned every minute” that he has played this season.
Picault has two more chances to continue his climb up the goal-scoring leaderboard, as the Dynamo take on the Colorado Rapids in their home finale on Sunday at 2:00 pm before traveling to Montreal for the last game of the season on Wednesday.