Eye in the Sky: Sept. 15
Thursday September 9,
On the road again:
Going from one coast to the other via
a stopover in Dallas
to change clothes is part of the job. Of course I had to stop in at PHP on the
evening of the 8th so people wouldn’t forget who I am. Don’t think for a minute
that the FCD front office crew only work from 9 to 5. I am always impressed by
the dedicated individuals we have who work behind the scenes for the good of
Unfortunately, the Thursday morning
traffic en route to the Dallas Fort Worth airport wasn’t as cooperative as my
FCD colleagues. However, when you fly with American Airlines there is
always someone to accommodate the last minute arrival. My saving seraph was
Sally O. What a difference, friendly, helpful American Airlines employees make
to one’s travel experiences. Thank you Sally, you salvaged my trip when it
could have been grounded (sorry for the traveler’s pun) before it even started.
Thank goodness the actual flight was uneventful and smooth. I always appreciate
it when the pilot avoids those bumps in the sky.
Friday September 10, 2010
When you fly across country it is
important that the team is afforded an adjustment period to accommodate for
time zones. A practice session at the host facility is always a good way to get
rid of any jet lag and make sure everyone is familiar with the opponent’s
While the players and coaches were at
practice I scouted the 2:00 p.m. Stanford vs. UNLV at Palo Alto, CA.
The game finished 2-1 for the visitors with the deciding “golden goal” scored
in the first OT. In college soccer if a game is tied at the end of regulation,
two 10 minute overtime periods ensue. The instant victory “golden goal rule”
can be both exhilarating and devastating.
Rather than take an afternoon off, the
coaching staff were busy scouting other local collegiate talent.
At 4:00 p.m. Coach Hyndman and
goalkeeper coach Drew Keeshan watched the St. Mary’s at CAL match-up which ended in another OT 2-1
victory for the visitors. Assistant coaches, John Ellinger and Marco Ferruzzi
scouted the UC Davis vs. SAC State game that started at 5:00 p.m. SAC State
won 2-1 in regulation. Needless to say, with CA traffic, all of us had a long
Saturday September 11, 2010
While the team prepared for the game against
San Jose, I followed the seemingly endless
traffic heading in to San Francisco to watch the
University of San Francisco play Cal State
Bakersfield. A disappointing result for the home team as USF lost the 2:00 p.m.
Another hour plus car journey meant I
was able to make it back in time to watch the FCD game at Santa Clara University’s
soccer stadium. Once again when we visit other venues the players certainly
appreciate what we have at Pizza
I don’t think I have ever been in such a small visiting team locker room. The
coaches basically used a hallway to change and ready themselves for the game. I
am sure San Jose
can’t wait until they have their own soccer specific stadium.
Whereas we would have liked all three
points, this was another worthwhile tie on the road. The non-losing streak
continues and to achieve it with so many starters out says a lot for the
character of this team. Obviously the guys were in good form for their post
game meal at the team’s hotel. Post game meals are always an interesting
challenge for professional teams on the road. Try finding somewhere to eat at
10 pm and a place that will serve 18 very hungry athletes that last ate four
hours before a 7 p.m. kick-off. Again it is all part of the professional
planning that goes into making sure our FC Dallas players are taken care of
Sunday September 12, 2010
An early departure for the team as
they boarded the bus at 8:00 a.m. for the airport. With a 10:20 return flight
to Dallas the
players will be able to spend Sunday evening with their families. For Coach
Keeshan and me it was another day on collegiate scouting. Drew watched the CAL – UNLV game at CAL
before catching an evening flight out of San
Francisco. I on the other hand took in the Stanford – SAC State
game in Palo Alto.
This game went back and forth with SAC
State sealing a 1-0
victory with 18 seconds left in regulation. The 6 p.m. kick-off meant it was
late before I made it back to the hotel in San Jose. As I scout games all over the
country, it is evident from the interest in these games that collegiate soccer
is alive and well. This can only be good for the development of our sport and
of course an alternative means to identify potential talent for FCD.
Monday September 13, 2010
No rest for the weary. A 4:45 a.m.
departure from the hotel for a 6:20 American Airlines flight back to Dallas is the price to
pay. Nonetheless, it makes your morning when the gate agent, who recognized the
FC Dallas badge on my shirt, says, “The team left yesterday. They were a really
nice group.” It is satisfying to know we are doing something right when the
team is winning on the field and collecting admirers off the pitch.
Two home games coming up, I hope to
see a lot of fans at Pizza