It might not seem like a big deal to most people, but getting to participate in team warm-ups is a big step for FC Dallas rookie Walker Zimmerman. The young centerback was drafted in the first round (seventh overall) by Dallas in last January's MLS SuperDraft, but due to a prior groin injury has yet to practice with the squad.
Zimmerman was considered by many to be a risky pick by FCD because his injury prohibited him from participating in the Combine leading up to the SuperDraft. Head coach Schellas Hyndman said his staff scouted the defender during his college career at Furman well enough to know that he was worth the risk.
"We’d seen him play in college and we knew he was with the Under-20 National Team, so we got a lot of reports on him," Hyndman told FCDallas.com after training Wednesday. "The things we really liked about him were his athleticism, his courage and his character. He’s a lot like George [John] and Matt [Hedges], a similar type of player."
Ever since FC Dallas picked him in the first round, Zimmerman has been working tirelessly to return to the field and show the club that it's faith was not misplaced.
"We know it’s frustrating for him and he wants to be able to help the team," said Hyndman. "He works awfully hard and follows his recovery plan religiously and now we’re starting to see a little life in his legs because he’s really excited to join us in training."
Now that he's started participating in warm-ups, Zimmerman's next milestone will be to take part in a full training session. The recovery process may sound tedious, but Hyndman said it's the best way for players to avoid a more severe injury in the long run.
"Sometimes you’re so anxious to get players back onto the field that you can push them too quick," said the gaffer. "Then when they’re in a game situation, their adrenaline’s going high and they want to help the team, but if something goes wrong then they’re set further back again with another injury.
"We want to make sure he’s capable of the demands of the training session, which will then verify to us that he’s capable of the demands of the game."
Tuesday, April 9, FC Dallas will be holding a special training session open to the public at Southern Methodist University's Westcott Field. The session will take place from 5-7 p.m.
The team's practice session will run from 5-6:30, and the last 30 minutes will be dedicated to an autograph session with the players.
The training session will be led by former longtime SMU Men's Soccer coach Schellas Hyndman and attended by former SMU student-athletes Ramon Nunez and Ugo Ihemelu, in addition to the rest of the FC Dallas professional team.
The event will also feature the FC Dallas Promo Girls and team drumline FCDrum, and the club will be providing attendees with free shirts (above, right) and CiCi's pizza (*while supplies last).
PARKING DIRECTIONS: Please note, parking spots are limited on the SMU campus. Fans may park in the Binkley Ave. garage directly north of Westcott Field for a charge of $1.00/HR. Fans should exit at Mockingbird Lane (whether traveling via US-75 or the Dallas North Tollway) toward SMU, turn north on Bishop Blvd and right on Binkley Ave. Please see directions below arriving from Mockingbird Lane.
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.”
FRISCO – This week’s preparations by FC Dallas for its key match at the LA Galaxy (6 p.m. Sunday on NBC Sports Network) included a first for head coach Schellas Hyndman.
Hyndman and his staff usually analyze the most recent two or three matches of teams they are about to play. But the anemic showing of FC Dallas in a 0-1 loss on July 28 at home against the Galaxy meant that match video was broken down during the week.
It’s an uncommon move according to the coach, who said it’s “the first time since I’ve been here” the staff reached back for a specific match to scout rather than only look at a team’s most recent form.
“They will come back out and pressure us again,” Hyndman said. “Whether Donovan is on the field or Beckham is on the field, I think the whole mentality is ‘Look, this is a team who didn’t handle our pressure well, let’s go out and pressure them again’,” Hyndman said.
In addition to the pressure, Hyndman said that July match was the first time in 2012 he felt FC Dallas was outworked.
“For us it was a disappointing result, but at the same time it was an unusual, uncharacteristic effort on our part,” Hyndman said.
FC Dallas had one training session this morning in Orlando before getting the afternoon off. It's a deserved break for the squad, who played two scrimmages over the weekend.
U.S. Soccer announced today its U-23 training camp squad will scrimmage FC Dallas on Wed. Feb. 22. So yes, Brek Shea will be playing against his FCD teammates.
No time or location has been announced yet for the scrimmage and we don't know if it will be open to the public or not.
When we find out those details, we will share them with you.
FC Dallas will scrimmage River Plate on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. on adidas Field. It's a last minute scheduling, but it makes for a busy day in Frisco. At 3 p.m. is the U.S. Women's National Team match in soldout FC Dallas Stadium vs. New Zealand.
We all know how important it is to stay cool during training, as Bruno Guarda displays to the right. But it looks like Ricardo Villar (below) might've taken cooling off a little too far at a recent training session. Click the picture of Ricardo to see a full Facebook photo gallery of the team's trip to Cancun.
Newly signed player Carlos Rodriguez trained with FC Dallas for the first time today in Mexico. This photo comes from our own Jason Minnick, who is with the team during their trip. FCD had one training session this morning and face Playa del Carmen tonight in a scrimmage.