FRISCO – No team was worse in the Western Conference last year than Chivas USA.
The Goats finished with 30 points and just seven wins, for a measly .88 points per game.
Those numbers are just one of the reasons FC Dallas’ play against Chivas USA in 2012 was disappointing to head coach Schellas Hyndman.
FCD never beat the Goats last season, instead drawing all three matches.
None was more frustrating to Hyndman than the season finale of 2012.
“There was no way for us to get in the playoffs, but we wanted to finish on a high,” Hyndman said.
FC Dallas wound up blowing a 2-0 lead in the final minutes of the match at FC Dallas Stadium to draw Chivas USA, 2-2. FCD conceded goals in the 90th and 94th minute.
“I think that kind of spoke volumes about where we were last year,” Hyndman said, adding that the match was just one of several where FCD failed to maintain leads late in games.
The opposite happened against Colorado last Saturday, when FCD was able to hold onto a 1-0 lead for the win despite a frenetic final 10 minutes from the Rapids.
It’s a difference Hyndman hopes to build on in the early weeks of the 2013 regular season.
“Things kind of worked out for us,” Hyndman said of the season opening win. “I think we got a lot out of that game.”
FRISCO – Kyle Zobeck’s phone has finally stopped ringing.
The rookie’s phone was in use all day Tuesday and Wednesday after FC Dallas officially announced his signing.
“All of my former teammates got in contact with me,” Zobeck said, who played goalkeeper at Valparaiso University. “My family, former coaches. The support came from every direction.”
Zobeck’s signing is notable for several reasons.
He was drafted in the second round of the 2013 Supplemental Draft, bucking the odds by earning a contact with the club.
He’s also the fourth goalkeeper on FC Dallas’ roster – joining Raul Fernandez, Chris Seitz and Richard Sanchez – a situation head coach Schellas Hyndman admits is extremely uncommon.
“Let’s say Raul is our No. 1. He’s gone for the [World Cup] qualification games. That puts Chris at No. 2. Who is No. 3? Richard? He’s going to be gone a lot too,” Hyndman said.
Hyndman said FCD was impressed by Zobeck when he worked out for the coaches prior to this year’s SuperDraft and FCD wound up picking him based on those training sessions.
Zobeck continued to impress during the early weeks of preseason and when FCD was in Cancun. It was there Hyndman decided he wanted to sign Zobeck.
"The more and more pressure we put on him the more he did well,” Hyndman said. “We knew we had to pick up another keeper and we thought Kyle could do good enough and continue to develop for us to be that player."
FRISCO – Raul Fernandez did fine in his MLS debut according to head coach Schellas Hyndman, but there’s room for improvement.
The Peruvian national got the nod over Chris Seitz in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Colorado.
“I thought he had a good first game,” Hyndman said. “He gets a little bit nervous at times.”
The Rapids had 13 attempts on goal, with three shots on target.
The most frantic part of the match for Fernandez and the FC Dallas defense was the final ten minutes as Colorado was on the attack looking for an equalizer.
Hyndman said coaches will continue to work on decision making with Fernandez, improving his English-language skills and get as much work in as possible with the defense.
“He didn’t get a chance to play a lot in France, didn’t get a lot of games. That’s just rustiness,” Hyndman said. “We train him with a lot of numbers around so he has a back four to play in front of.”
Hyndman liked what Fernandez did in some 1-on-1 situations and liked the confidence the ‘keeper showed when he had traffic in front of him.
The coach acknowledged Fernandez had big shoes to fill with the departure of Kevin Hartman over the off-season, but said it’s tough to beat the bottom line result from Saturday.
“How can you fault a guy who got you a shutout?” Hyndman said.
FRISCO – The tape always tells the truth.
That’s what head coach Schellas Hyndman said at the beginning of a discussion about Saturday night’s 1-0 win over Colorado with reporters after Monday training.
Hyndman was specifically discussing the play of midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson, the surprise pick to start in the midfield with Andrew Jacobson. Bobby Warshaw and Jacobson had paired up in the final two preseason matches.
Hyndman said after looking at the game tape that Watson began Saturday’s match “a little inconsistent” but as the game went on he started to win more balls and was more effective.
Hyndman said he chose Watson over Warshaw because of experience. Watson had 24 MLS starts before Saturday’s match compared to Warshaw’s six. Hyndman also likes Watson’s international experience with the Jamaican National Team.
“The other thing that I thought was I needed more athleticism there and more quickness since [Colorado] would have three [midfielders] in the center,” Hyndman said.
Warshaw was eventually subbed in on Saturday in the 79th minute for Fabian Castillo.
Hyndman says nothing is set in stone when it comes to the midfield. He said players battling for starting spots can benefit the team, a process that will continue for Jacobson, Watson and Warshaw.
“I think the three of those players will get an opportunity to continue to compete,” Hyndman said.
Full match highlights from FC Dallas' 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids.
GOAL: Jackson capitalizes on Ceus' error to give FCD the lead.
SAVE: Raul Fernandez denies Pablo Mastroeni.
SAVE: Fernandez makes a one on one stop against rookie Deshorn Brown.
FRISCO – FC Dallas held its first training session in Frisco on Wednesday after a weeklong trip to Cancun.
Head coach Schellas Hyndman said the team accomplished a lot and also had a good time.
“It went well. Our players really enjoyed it,” Hyndman said.
FC Dallas won all three of its scrimmages against Mexican teams, which Hyndman described as friendly matches.
The coach said the staff was able to evaluate trialists and draft picks, a process which will continue when the team departs for Portland on Friday.
Hyndman said he was happy to see a developing sense of camaraderie amongst the new and old players.
“The attitude is right,” Hyndman said. “People are working for each other.”
The 2013 season is coming quickly and the star of TNT's Dallas, Jesse Metcalfe AKA Christopher Ewing, will be scarfing the Lamar Hunt statue before the season opener at FC Dallas Stadium. More details will be released soon about how you can help the North Texas Food Bank in connection with Metcalfe's scarfing.
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) February 12, 2013
FC Dallas is on its way home Monday afternoon from Cancun after winning all three preseason matches against Mexican teams. The following are photos from the final training sessions of FC Dallas' weeklong stay in the sunny resort town.