Hyndman impressed by FCD youth

Preseason progress pleases Dallas coach

On Sunday, FC Dallas dropped their first match of preseason with a 1-0
loss to Florida International University. However, instead of yanking
the emergency brake, FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman is instead looking
at the big picture and realizes after four days away from home his club
has accomplished a great deal.

"What we're trying to do is put some of our trialists and give them an
opportunity to catch our eye and make the team," the FCD coach said.
"We've been working extremely hard on our team structure, finishing,
fitness and those types of things you might expect in the preseason. All
in all, we've been going at it pretty hard."

Originally, Hyndman was hoping to get another trialist or two to join
the team in Florida but things haven't quite gone according to plan.

"We had hoped to bring in a player or two and it doesn't seem like
that's happening. We're still with the players we have and it's turning
into quite a struggle for decision making on who we're looking at to
keep on the roster or who's just not going to be able to make it," he
said."

On Friday, FCD opened their trip with a 4-0 win over Central Florida. In
that victory, FCD Juniors player Ruben Luna netted two goals and also
had an assist.

"He is a nice player. We played him in a couple of games and he's doing
fine," Hyndman said of Luna. "It would be great for the homegrown
players to be able to be signed onto the team and it would be great for
the homegrown players to find success. At the same time, what we need to
be able to do is make sure we don't take away opportunities for him in
other areas. Right now, he's doing a pretty good job. We're spending a
lot of time with his development and we hope that he'll find that
success."

The weekend also brought the first 2010 action for FCD's top draft pick
last month, defender Zach Loyd of North Carolina. While Hyndman has been
impressed with Loyd's play, another draftee has also caught his eye --
Eric Alexander, who scored a goal Friday.

"I've been really impressed ... He's got some really nice qualities,
good vision and is a good distributor of the ball," the FCD coach said.
"He'll really get a good test [Tuesday] when we face New England. We
want him on the field so we can evaluate him."

However, those aren't the only players who have caught the coach's eye
over the weekend.

"Another player who has done pretty well for us is Eddie Edward, who we
picked up in the supplemental draft. He's very athletic and very
strong," Hyndman said. "He seems to be improving in this environment,
which is a great help. I think Brian Leyva, we've been very pleased
with. He's going to be another very good, homegrown player that we
signed and we think will be pretty good for us."

Even though three of Hyndman's starters are away with the U.S. national
team, the FCD coach has been impressed with one player who could be his
starting left midfielder once the regular season commences on March 27
against in-state rival Houston.

"I've been really impressed with Brek Shea. He's had some fantastic
moments," Hyndman said. "Like all young players, he has a great moment
here and a down moment there. If we can just get more good moments out
of him, I think this is going to be a very good year for him."

On Tuesday morning, FCD will face their first MLS foe of the preseason
when they scrimmage New England. Hyndman is looking forward to measuring
his club against the Revolution.

"I think this was the area that we didn't do enough of last year. We had
some international games but you never know what those games mean," he
said. "Then we had some college games that were used more for your
trialists and players trying to make your roster. When I looked at it,
we have six or seven MLS games before the season starts (this year).

"This is going to be our first matchup where I really now can talk about
some of those players that are stepping up to earn a spot on our
roster. Or maybe they don't step up or aren't just quite good enough.
All in all, it's a great measuring stick to where we are in the league
compared to other teams. We don't know how seriously other teams are
going to take these games. This is a great measuring stick for us to
establish where we are with player personnel, strategy, structure and
fitness level."