Hyndman evaluates after Florida trip
Their Florida trip now concluded, FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman
felt his team's venture to the Sunshine State was rewarding despite
losing three of five games on the 10-day excursion.
FCD split a pair of games against college competition, then defeated the
New England Revolution in a scrimmage. But Dallas dropped both games in
the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, falling to Toronto FC 1-0 on Thursday,
then going down 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo in the third-place game of the
event on Saturday night.
"These games are important for us. We want to establish a culture of
winning but at the same time, we really do want to look at some of these
players so we don't make some drastic decisions after only looking at
players in practice," Hyndman said. "We need to put them through games
in the league. It's a great opportunity for some players and then
another opportunity for trialists. It's also an opportunity for other
players to step up a bit and get extra coverage."
In the 1-0 loss to Toronto FC, the Reds took an early lead after a
16th-minute goal by trialist Vincent Kayizzi. Just four minutes later,
FCD midfielder Marvin Chavez nearly drew things level but was denied at
close range by TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei. Hyndman's club also nearly
tied things up in second half extra time but a free kick by Dax McCarty
caromed off the far post. FCD played the entire second half with a man
advantage after TFC's Nick Garcia was sent off just before the break but
were never able to completely break down the Reds defense.
"The result, it is what it is. It's a little disappointing because we
take every game seriously," Hyndman said. "How do you develop a culture
of winning unless you're winning? We got a chance to look at different
players. We got a chance to look at Josh Lambo in goal. He got a start
and a chance to play the full 90. Then, we got a chance to look at some
other people like Ruben Luna, (Eric) Alexander and then we were able to
get (Steve) Purdy on the field. So it was an opportunity to continue to
"It was a little bit more physical than we would have liked it to have
been for a preseason game. Saying all that, we had numerous chances to
tie the game and score goals. Nick Garcia was immediately red-carded for
a foul and then, it became very difficult to get behind them because
they were very compact and very cautious. I thought we had a really good
second half as far as getting scoring opportunities. It just wasn't
going to be our night. That was my comment to the players. We did
everything we needed to do. We just didn't score. It just wasn't our
FCD backup goalkeeper Josh Lambo played the full 90 in goal. While
Hyndman was largely pleased with his performance, he did find some fault
for the only tally of the evening.
"Lambo did OK. The goal was created by a turnover in the center of
midfield," the FCD coach said. "A foul could have been called but it
wasn't. They quickly got the ball out wide. They went with Lambo
one-on-one and shot the ball inside the box. He hit it to the near post
and goalies are supposed to cover the near post pretty well. He got a
hand on it but it was hit with a little too much power and went in.
Then, they had one more shot. Throughout the whole game, there were two
"It was a routine play. The disappointing part was that they didn't have
a lot of scoring chances and when they were a man down, there wasn't
enough action on our defense to evaluate players the way we wanted to or
to evaluate Josh. I think in all fairness, he did OK."
Just after halftime against TFC, Hyndman brought on McCarty, who had
been in camp with the U.S. national team for the last few weeks.
"I thought Dax did great. He's a great connector of the ball," he said.
"He wanted to play. He was very sharp and playing with pretty good
intensity. He fits in with what we wanted to do. We were unable to get
(Jeff) Cunningham out. He had a strained groin, probably at 90 percent.
And then, we didn't want to get Heath Pearce out because he had gone 90
minutes the night before. This was really an opportunity for us to
continue to look at some of our trialists."
In the game against Houston, David Ferreira put FCD into the lead in the
13th minute. But Lovel Palmer pulled the Dynamo level just three
minutes later, then Cam Weaver scored the game-winner eight minutes into
the second half.
One player who has especially active for the FCD attack is the speedy
Chavez, who looks like a lock to start the year at right midfield.
"Marvin continues to impress. He's a good player," Hyndman said. "He's
got a ton of energy. He's fearless, quick and he takes a lot of fouls.
He had one great breakaway chance (against Toronto) where he tried to go
over Stefan Frei and he just got a hand on it to put it out. I think
Chavez is a good player for us."
Another player whom the FCD coach specifically mentioned was Eric
Alexander, a former Indiana midfielder and third-round pick in last
month's MLS SuperDraft.
"He did well. He's a player that has good vision, is a good distributor
of the ball and is capable of knocking some pretty good diagonal balls
into the point of attack," Hyndman said. "He'll continue to understand
the physical play of the league and get a little more physical himself.
It's a difficult position to play, that holding midfielder, the
squeezing midfielder. I think he did fine considering how short of a
time he's been in the league."