MLS Cup finalist teleconference transcript: FC Dallas

Head coach Hyndman, GK Hartman talk to media on Nov. 15

Representatives from both MLS Cup 2010 finalists  spoke with media on Monday. In the first of two full transcripts, FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman and goalkeeper Kevin Hartman shared their thoughts ahead of Sunday's match (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/Galavision).

Participants:

FC Dallas Head Coach: Schellas Hyndman

FC Dallas Goalkeeper: Kevin Hartman

COACH HYNDMAN:  Obviously we
are extremely proud to be representing FC Dallas in the MLS Cup, playing a very
good team, the Colorado Rapids.  We
had an outstanding game last night, but every coach dreams of having that
perfect game and last night was that perfect game starting with Kevin Hartman,
as well as he played in the goal, the great saves that he made and the timing
of those saves, and then the candidate for MVP of the league.  He was
exceptional last night.

But when you look at our whole team, we showed up to play.  And the message I gave to the boys
before the game was very similar to the book of 'Good to Great,' but now we
have become a great team and that's by winning.

KEVIN HARTMAN:  Yeah, we
took last night to really relish a victory that is a monumental victory in
terms of FC Dallas and the organization, and the City of Dallas, and it's
something for us that we wanted to make sure that we take every moment that we
can to really relish what it is that we have been.  We had the opportunity to do here this week and prepare for
a very, very difficult opponent and someone that we respect a lot in the
Colorado Rapids.

Like you said, they have a bunch of different potent weapons and it
would be short sighted I think to only look at Omar Cummings and to only look
at Casey, because they also have so many different assets out there in the park
and we'll sit down this week and make sure that we are prepared for the
dilemmas that they are going to present to us.

Right now we are really just trying to absorb, while we are still in
L.A., just the after glow of the victory.

Q.  At the risk of sounding
unprofessional, I was unable to watch the game last night, I had a commitment I
couldn't get out of, but I sure was shocked when I saw the score, and I'm
wondering if you could explain maybe emotionally, but also tactically, how it
was that you were able to dismantle a really good L.A. team?  I'm guessing that you would have
laughed if somebody had said that you were going to win by three goals against
a team that, well, not meaning any disrespect to your team, but just that's a
pretty emphatic result.  How did
the game unfold?  What happened?  How did you put it together like that?

COACH HYNDMAN:  I think
first of all we played some of the best soccer that we are capable of
playing.  To the point of defeating
L.A., celebrating on their field, sellout crowd was really quite
incredible.  The game really could
have gone either way, even though the score highlights a 3 0, one sided game,
it really wasn't like that at all. 
We took a lot of pressure from them.  Had some tremendous shots.  We'd break out a few times and David scores a great goal,
and I think scoring that goal kind of put them into an urgency mode and pretty
soon their passes were going astray or they were very, very desperate trying to
get the equalizer.

And then, of course, our defense played extremely well.  Ugo and George an were winning a lot of
the balls in the air, we worked a lot on the diagonal ball that we would see
from David Beckham, and I think we were well prepared for that.  We worked on the counterattack, and I
think we were well prepared for that as well.  So in the second half we came through and put them under a
little bit of pressure as they kept on coming forward.

But the man of the match, you could pick a lot of people to be the man
of the match but again Kevin Hartman made the difference in the game because
the timing of the pressure and the timing, it was great saves, you know, kept
us going in the right direction and I think it really frustrated L.A., so it
was just one of the best performances that I've seen the FC Dallas team
produce.  It was a complete team
commitment, and the ball bounced right for us.

Q.  What were your
tactics?  Did you kind of sit back
and defend, or did you attack or were you playing primary will I a counter
attacking game?  What was your game
plan?

COACH HYNDMAN:  My game plan
was what I mentioned earlier.  We
wanted to take what they do, and they try to get the ball to David Beckham
quite a bit, and watching them play they knock a lot of the diagonal balls to
Landon Donovan, and they have Magee running.  So what they try to do all week is really try to win that
diagonal ball but be in position to win the second ball.

And then we also worked on the counterattack, so we felt that we have
tremendous speeds.  We have got a
good speed on the flanks, and if we can get David Beckham and somebody coming
back and defending, then we wouldn't have to worry about them attacking as
much.

Probably the twist out of everything was putting Atiba Harris as a
striker, and the thought there was they would not be ready for that.  Secondly, you know, he's strong, he's
athletic.  He's probably the
hardest guy in training.  Nobody on
the team really wants to play against him because he is so committed to the
ball and trying to win every ball that's available.

So I think he caused them a lot of problems because of his size, his
physical play, he was holding the ball well.  He let other players get into the attack.  And he was definitely a difference
maker for us.

Q.  Long range forecast and
this can change, is that the weather in Toronto should be around minus 1
Celsius, about 35 Fahrenheit for the American guys, and snow.  What are you guys going to do to
prepare for conditions?  And talk
about some of the unique conditions that you've found in the past playing
there.

COACH HYNDMAN:  I don't know
how you can prepare for anything like that unless you're going up like two to
three weeks early.

So it's going to be a bit of a challenge for us.  I think Colorado may have a little bit
of an advantage, just watching their weather patterns.  But for us, you know, it's a game of a
lifetime.  And when you work nine
and a half months to dream of getting to this stage, I don't think you're going
to let the weather or anything else interfere with your positive thoughts.

As players, you know, the field conditions, the wind, the cold,
obviously will be part of the game, and I'm not so worried about the mental
strength; I think we have got tremendous mental strength.  I'm more concerned about the things
that could happen with the ball and in tough field conditions.  But so are they.

Q.  Toronto fans have shown
you some love in the past.  Talk to
us about what it's like to play in front of those fans and the kind of sort of
fun they have had with you in the past.

KEVIN HARTMAN:  Did you say
Toronto fans?

Q.  Yeah.

KEVIN HARTMAN:  You know I
think one of the best things about getting older is you start to lose your
hearing a little bit.  So I'm able
to kind of tune those guys out and kind of pick and choose.  I actually enjoy it a little bit, the
ribbing, because it allows me an impetus to go out and try and perform at a
higher level.

I certainly have a lot of respect for the fans of Toronto.  I actually got a little bit of schtick
last night from the L.A. fans which was something that was a little bit new to
me, but enjoyable nonetheless, and so I just look at it as a challenge,
certainly want to go about my business and try to motivate the guys in front of
me however I can do that.  And
really, just try to find some way to turn it and frame it in the proper way.

Q.  Coach, I wanted to ask
you about something you said right off the top and that was that every coach
dreams of a performance like you had last night; that you really, that the team
really showed up to play.  How do
you sustain that into a final, and do you have any concern that the team may
have peaked a week early?

COACH HYNDMAN:  Yeah, of
course, as coaches, you always want that perfect game, and for many of us, we
never get it.  I thought last night
was that perfect game.  And so it
was very, very hard to replicate that.

The good thing is, I think we are playing very well right now.  And I think our players really believe
in themselves.  My job is just to
make sure that the players are healthy and mentally focused to perform, and
when you think about it, what team in the league would not like to be in
Toronto this weekend, no matter what the temperature is.

In fact, I love Toronto.  I
think it's a great city.  It's one
of the best places, venues, I've ever been to as far as passion in the stands.  And it's not just the passion of
passion; it's knowledgeable passion. 
It's people that really know and love the game.  It's very evident when you watch all
year long what they have done.

But for us, our players will be there, and they will be at their
best.  Whether the game goes the
way we hope it will go, or it doesn't go the way we want it to go; I think the
one thing we can say is we will be at our best.

Q.  When you signed David
last year you talked about him being a difference maker for his Brazilian and
Colombian club; did you expect him to be this much of a difference maker for FC
Dallas?

COACH HYNDMAN:  That's a
great question.  No, no, I never
have these types of expectations. 
I just thought he would be a difference maker for FC Dallas.  I didn't think he would be a difference
maker to MLS soccer.  And I know
that's putting him up there with some of the great players like Landon and
David Beckham and Angel and Henry and the list goes on and on.

But I think what he does for FC Dallas, it's really exceptional.  This is a player that is the most solid
player in the league and still gets up and gets on with business.  He's a player that might have played
the whole season except for maybe one moment because I wanted to take him off
the field so the crowd could recognize him.

He's a player that shows up every day for training and leads the way for
many of the young players.  He's
everything every coach wants and looks for.  So to expect the difference that he's made this year,
no.  I never thought he would make
this much of a difference.

Q.  When you decided to
leave the cocoon of college soccer and go into MLS, what was your reasoning
behind it?  Because, you know, the
coaching mortality in this league, two or three years, even sooner, if you're
not doing it, you're out.  And
also, when you had six wins after 30 games, did you ever tell yourself, 'What
did I get myself into?'

COACH HYNDMAN: I'll start with that part first.  Yeah, of course.  I think any person who finds success in
their comfort zone, especially when you start to put on more years in your life
and you start to think about longevity and security, it was a great leap of
faith.  And I did it because Clark
came to me and said, "We need you, we need you at FC Dallas."  And history goes back to when Clark
played for me when he was a college player at SMU.  So I have a tremendous relationship with him and a great
deal of respect for him and his family.

And I wanted to do something, I wanted to be challenged in something, because
I could have you know, put had the rest of the next ten years in SMU, had a
lifetime contract and been very secure and very happy.  But like most people that are
competitive, you always think about the challenges and you never want to look
back on your life and say, I wish I had the courage to have done that.

The thing is, I appreciate both Clark and Dan giving me this
opportunity, but I also appreciate even more that they stuck with me when
things weren't going the way I had hoped and everyone else had hoped.

So it's been a great turnaround for us.  But any coach can tell you, it just takes time to get your
own players and get them to buy into what you believe in, and we have that here
at FC Dallas and a big part of it is the leadership from our captain, Daniel
Hernandez, and Kevin Hartman, Ugo, and the exceptional play and leadership from
Ferreira, just to name a few.

Q.  The Rapids, as a team,
you have not beaten in 2010, tied them 1 1 there and tide them 2 2 at Pizza Hut
Park.  What particular problems
does Colorado present to your team?

COACH HYNDMAN: I think I'll just speak real quickly and I'd like Kevin
to have an input on this.  I think
they have probably arguably the best two strikers in the league with Casey and
Omar.  One, big and strong, very,
very courageous, Conor Casey, with the first to the ball mentality.

The other one is Omar Cummings who is one of the fastest and most
powerful players in the league. 
But then in the midfield with Jeff and Pablo, they have really made that
team the engine of that team.  And
I think in the back, Drew Moor and Wynne, two solid defenders that complement
each other, and of course, Pickens at the goal.  That's just the spine of the team, the center of the
team.  You've got the support
players on the side of the field, like the acquisition of Brian Mullan and
Anthony Wallace, and, I mean, they are very, very good team.

KEVIN HARTMAN:  I would just
say this:  They are very, very
competitive at all levels of the field. 
I think that they are the type of team that's going to be competing for
second balls.  Alluded to the
acquisition of Jeff Larentowicz this year and Brian Mullan, and I think are two
guys, in addition to LaBauex, that really symbolize the work rate of that
group.  And we have to make sure
that we match that.  But I think
that once again, you can't overlook the fact that they have quality throughout the
team and we just have to make sure that we are respectful of them.

You said that we had not beat them this year but they haven't beat us
this year.  It's been two
ties.  So we certainly look forward
to the opportunity to face them again this weekend.

Q.  Do you think the matchup
between the squads necessitate another lineup change for your team, something
like you did against L.A.?

COACH HYNDMAN:  I think
likely what we will do is we will enjoy this game.  I think the decisions the coaching staff made was right on
for the L.A. game.  And what we'll
do is tomorrow, when we get back to the office, we'll draw up a game plan for
Colorado.

The interesting thing with Colorado, they are very similar to us, you
look at what happened this year, I don't think neither team really got the
respect from the media or from people in the soccer world to be in the MLS Cup
Final.  The four or five people
that in my family that chose FC Dallas in the final were probably the only four
or five people that did that.

I'm sure Colorado could echo some of those same things, but when it
comes down to it, both teams have played with a lot of character and a lot of
heart.  I think there will be some
adjustments as you face a different opponent, but we'll be working on that
tomorrow.

Q.  The fact that there was
so much attention on Real Salt Lake and L.A., how much did that help you, that
maybe people weren't expecting a lot of you guys?

COACH HYNDMAN:  Yeah, that's
great, good question.  I think
people love the underdogs.  We have
never really made any noise.  You
know, we were a team that some people looked at it said, hey, you know what,
watch out for this FC Dallas and there would be the naysayers that say they
don't have any depth or a striker or a good goalkeeping or whatever it might
be.

I think for a coach, it's a great motivational tool.  And the motivational tool is, hey, you
know what, we played well all year, and Kevin can even echo on this; I mean,
all I said almost every game to the boys in the locker room, is you are a good
team.  You are a good team.  I'd rather be coaching you than any
other team in the league.  You're a
good team.  Believe in it and go
out and perform.

I think it's a wonderful motivational tool.

KEVIN HARTMAN:  Well, I
think for me personally, that we have been a group that has come out to work on
a day to day basis and worked extremely hard.  We have really set the tone for what we want to be as a
group.  We really feel like we
deserve to be in this game.  I
think that there's a little bit of a motivating factor for some of the guys
probably that want to disprove the naysayers.

But the reality is that we really think we deserve this.  We have a lot of respect for the other
players on the team.  We feel like
a close knit group.  We are a
family.  We really want to do it
for one another.  And in the hubbub
that goes along with the professional sports and the media and that whole
thing, that's great.

But the reality is that we want to put trophies into the case.  We feel really excited about the fact
that we were able to do that last night with the Western Conference
Championship.

But we have an opportunity next week to do something, and certainly,
people are going to have to choose sides this week.  You know, we certainly welcome them to come support FCD.

Q.  What will you use as
your motivation tactic this week? 
Because you're in the final, you're not really an underdog anymore.

COACH HYNDMAN:  Yeah, we
don't like that.  It's a little
unusual for us.

I think the motivation for us is what I said earlier.  You know, we are a very good team and
we dare to be a great team, because if you dare to be a great team, you've got
to put it all out there.  And great
teams win championships.  And
that's going to be our motivation; you know, do we dare to put everything we
have out there on that field, because it's scary.  It's scary sometimes to do your best and still fail.

That's going to be the motivation all week is you worked awfully hard,
all of the players that came before you are looking at you with pride, and all
of the people in Dallas, you know, wants a championship.

So the thing that motivates this team is the team unity, and that they
recognize the love that they have from their families that just want to share
this moment with them.

Q.  As a veteran player, can
you talk about the character of this team, because obviously there was a
slightly rocky start, and then the team went on this extended, unbeaten streak,
which speaks to the character.  Can
you really talk about this team given that you've played for a few?

KEVIN HARTMAN:  Yeah, I
really identify this team in a way to the groups in Los Angeles when I won
championships there.   I think
that we have a bunch of guys that are ready to step up and handle the pressure,
and really relish the opportunity to help out the group.  I think that for the past number of
years, if I was down a goal in a game, there weren't very many teams that I
played for that would come back the way that this team has.

I'm not sure what the percentages are, but this is a team that you can
never count out.  I think that that
speaks about our passion, our willingness to give and to work for the team, and
I also think it comes down to people stepping up when they are called
upon.  I think when we were down one
nil up in Seattle and David Ferreira scores an unbelievable goal to get us the
1-1 tie.  I think when we played up
in Toronto, Marvin was able to score a wonderful goal and get us back into the
game there too.

It's something where the praise deserves to be spread over everyone
because everyone works very, very hard. 
This is the type of group that gets together again and has a reunion for
a championship.  And we certainly
are going to give it our all next week.

I know that the question was asked about motivation; if you can't get
motivated for an MLS Cup, then you have bigger issues than anything.  You know, I think it's one of these
things that this is what you dream about. 
This is an opportunity to do something that you have worked your entire
life for.  And it shouldn't be any difficulty,
the weather shouldn't be any difficulty. 
This is one of these things where you've got one more week, you're going
to lay it all on the line, injuries, everything aside, you're going to get into
it and you're going to do whatever you can possibly do to help this group win;
so that we can go down in the annals of history within MLS.

Q.  You were floating around
in a free agent in the off season and initially went to Dallas as a backup; how
frustrating was that for you and did you feel you were playing with a chip on
your shoulder this year?

KEVIN HARTMAN:  I always try
to keep things in a pretty positive frame of mind, and I felt that when I came
to FC Dallas that I had the opportunity to come in and compete.  And I was welcomed by the staff.  I was welcomed by the ownership group,
and I was welcomed by Dario Sala, and I think that meant a lot to me.  I think that it allowed me to get out
there; Dario and I have worked alongside one another, Drew Keeshan, the
goalkeeper coach, has really I think gotten a lot out of me.

But I think that being a free agent and being in with the national team,
I think in January and February, made me really doubt that I was done, but
there was certainly a point where I was wondering what I was going to do next.

And Schellas came to me at an awkward time late in the preseason and was
willing to give me an opportunity to continue to play.  And so I really feel like on some
perspectives, I'm playing on borrowed time, and sometimes it allows you to play
a little bit freer and clear of mind.

I've really been enjoying my soccer this year.  It's not very often in my career that I've been able to go
as long as I have without having to deal with the losses.  And when you've lived week to week by
what the result is, it certainly has made for an enjoyable summer and an
enjoyable playoff run.

Q.  There's some talk last
night that Kevin's performance got into the Galaxy's head after three or four
huge saves in the first half they tightened up and felt like needed to do
something spectacular to beat him; can you recall a performance from a
goalkeeper like that and did you see it that way?

COACH HYNDMAN:  Yeah, I
think you're right, it was a situation where, what is it going to take to put
this ball past the goalkeeper.  And
I think they had some great opportunities as I alluded to earlier in the
talk.  They are a very good
team.  They have got such great
weapons and when you have got Landon 
coming at you one on one and Kevin makes a save to the far post and
turns it into a corner kick, or even the defense coming up with a safe, there
was some balls bouncing around there that could have ended up in the back of
the net.

The thing about Kevin that makes him so special; not just his shot
stopping and his experience; I haven't seen a goalkeeper that is as organized.  He organizes his team.  He organizes his team defense and he's
a great communicator.  We had one
little hiccup yesterday when Jackson was heading a ball back to Kevin, and
someone was coming on, Magee or Donovan, and almost took that ball off and
scored a goal.

And Kevin was basically giving him the riot act, but at the same time,
Jackson doesn't speak any English and I don't think Kevin spoke a lot of
Portuguese.  But that's one example
of what happens when you don't have communication.  That game yesterday was an exceptional game by Kevin.  But quite honestly, it's just in
addition to what he's been doing this year.  You saw the game against Real Salt Lake and all of the
pressure they put against us, a very good team, Rio Tinto, that was another
exceptional performance by Kevin Hartman.

Q.  You were so patient with
Marvin because he suffered a couple of injuries last season and beginning of
this season, but he has been playing great during the playoffs; how do you see
him and what are your thoughts on Marvin right now, Coach?

COACH HYNDMAN:  I think he's
playing the best soccer since he's been at FC Dallas.  When we brought him last summer from Marathón, it took a
while for him to get acclimated to Dallas and bringing his family in.  So I don't think we saw the best out of
him.

But in preseason, he was very, very good.  And he was very excited to be here.  And then he unfortunately received an
injury, a knee injury, and then when he came back, he picked up another injury,
because being as competitive and as athletic and as quick that he is, it didn't
take him long to pick up a third injury.

So he was very, very frustrated and there were times that he came to me
and said to me, you know, if I'm hurting the team, I understand if you want to
release me and I said, no, as long as you give me your best, things will work
out.

That's the patience that you mentioned earlier, but I have to also say,
you know, he never stopped trying. 
He never stopped training hard. 
He's always been a team supporter, and when we lost Brek Shea to the
national team call up and the game suspension, it gave Marvin the opportunity
to come out on the field, and he's just done a tremendous job.

I call him the 'Little Mosquito,' because he's little and he's so
irritating, you know, like a mosquito is, and that's the way he is on the
field.  Every opponent that gets
the ball is nervous when Marvin is around, because he's so quick, he's so
competitive, he's so courageous.  I
think he's been outstanding these last four to six weeks.

Q.  You played in this league
for quite a while and against some of the best attacking players in the league
history, and I don't want to label FC Dallas a one person team by any means,
but can you give me an example or on appreciation of what David does for the
team, and does he remind you of anybody you played with before in MLS?

KEVIN HARTMAN:  You know, I
think that one of the things that speaks pretty highly about David is I think
his work rate is very good but his composure on the ball, I think everyone on
the team recognizes that if they give him the ball, he's going to do something
good with it.  And you'll see
everybody kind of looking towards him to create the game for us, and I think
that shows a lot about the respect that the team has for him.

I would compare him maybe to few guys that I played with in the past,
somebody that really understands the intricacies of the game and very, very
athletic.  I think his first few
steps really allow him to get away from the lunge of an opposing defender and
his ability to hold on to the ball is extremely frustrating.

I think in the game last night, when we were able to hold the ball from
perhaps a 75th minute to the 85th minute down to the corner, and he won about
six to eight throw ins and two to three corner kicks in a row, it shows how
difficult it is to get the ball away from him.  And he links the defense to the offense and he links wing to
wing.  He's really a complete
player.  He gets assists for us,
but obviously scores goals as crucial times, as well.

Q.  And Schellas, was there
anything in particular you had to tell this team about the streak of not being
beaten, because when key players start thinking about things, that's when these
streaks tend to end.  How did you
handle that success during the season to keep your team on the right keel?

COACH HYNDMAN: You're right, because when you lose focus on what you're
trying to do out on the field and you play scared for a streak, it can be
difficult.

You know, we never really talked about it that much.  I'm always looking for positive things
to say to the guys so that when we go out on the field, their mind is set.  And then if the streak was going, then
I would really make a big thing about it after the game.

Sometimes guys weren't that excited about a tie.  You know, they were upset that we
didn't get a win, but I would turn that into a positive thing of still talking
about, saying ‘but guys, our streak is still alive.’  And so I think, I really do think that this team is playing
good soccer, probably about a third of the way through the season, they really
started making things happen, and I think that this team, don't go out for
awards, they don't go out for streaks. 
They go out for just having a good performance.

Q.  Talk about David
Ferreira; can you take talk about Daniel Hernandez and Dax McCarty and the role
they played for you throughout the season, and in particular, last night, that
allows Ferreira to do the things that he's very good at?

COACH HYNDMAN: Yeah, that's a great question.  A lot of people of course will tune into Kevin and
David.  But the guy that really
makes things happen for us is Daniel Hernandez.  Daniel is a player with tremendous years of experience, as
you know, he played for me at SMU, and he and his family and I go back a long
way.

He's a wonderful captain, because it's not just the talk, but he also
does the walk.  He trains extremely
hard.  He's very motivating.  Players can go to him, whether they are
the Latino players or whether they are players just coming out of college.  He has been there, where they are, and
so he's a great leader.

But tactically, on the field, he's our holding midfielder, he's our
screening prayer player in front of our back four which gives our full backs
the opportunity to get into the attack. 
And you saw Jackson get forward quite a bit and Jair at times will also
get forward quite a bit, but it's because Daniel Hernandez is there.

He also has one of the best kicking legs in the country, as you saw, he
was taking the goal kick, because Kevin is still a little bit frustrated with
the injury.  But he can knock a
long diagonal ball and he's just a ball winner.  You don't get through Daniel Hernandez by playing physical.  He'll stand up for his teammates and
protect his teammates and he puts it all on the line every day.

And then of course McCarty is our in between midfielder where he attacks
and defends, and I think he's played his best soccer of the year right
now.  I think he's playing with
great confidence, and he's really understanding his role and how important it
is that we do get balls forward and try to find day individual when he can and
get to Real Salt Lake, he gets forwards, scoring that goal for us to take the
lead there, as well.

So I think our central midfield, as well, our system, a lot of people
will call it different ways but really it's a 4-1-4-1 with Daniel Hernandez as
the one, and David as one of our central midfielders.

Q.  Without giving away any
secrets, Shea last night, is he the pop up in a number of different
positions?  Was he given a free be
rein last night; was he just exuberant?

COACH HYNDMAN: I haven't heard that word in a long time, but I would
agree with that one.  You know what,
our whole team has the freedom of going where they think they can go.  We really try to work off the
principles of the game and the principle of the game is that you want
penetration, you want width, you want balance, and then we try to play to those
principals.

So if you see a Shea on the right side, somebody is going to step into
the left side whether it's Chavez coming over or Jair stepping up or McCarty
coming out or you'll see Ferreira, very, very good at getting into those open
spaces that come available.

I thought Shea had a very good game yesterday in the point that he was
also dangerous when he got the ball and he made life miserable for the Galaxy
defense.

Q.  Just wanted to know, the
irony here in the fact that two teams going to the final that I look up and
down the roster and no designated player on either team, and just your thoughts
on building a winning team.  And
for the Toronto fans, what is the status is for Jeff and getting into the
conference final?

COACH HYNDMAN:  I didn't
hear you completely, but I'll try to answer.  You tell me if this is what you asked, what do I think about
both teams not having a designated player.

And the second part was about Jeff Cunningham, what was that?

Q.  His status, not getting
the final.

COACH HYNDMAN:  I'll go to
the first part.  Designated player
this year really got noticed the when teams started adding more designated
players, for example, Red Bull, I think they have three designated players,
L.A. may have two and so forth and so forth with other teams.

I hope it doesn't happen, but I think what will happen, is that you'll
start to have a pretty uneven playing field, the ones who have and the ones who
have not.  David Ferreira is not a
designated player, but he very well could be MVP of the league and plays like a
designated player.  And I'm sure
other teams can say the same thing about their players.  Pablo Mastroeni with Colorado and Omar
Cummings.

So I don't know what to say about the designated player except that FC
Dallas in particular, has played extremely well with what we consider more than
one designated player on our field, that's not listed as designated player.

The second part to your question, Jeff Cunningham, it was a very, very
long discussion the coaching staff had about playing Jeff Cunningham and
starting him this game or not starting him this game.  And we chose to go with the team for the reasons I mentioned
earlier…But Jeff is another one of those players that I think is our weapons
and he could very well, for the Toronto fans, end up starting for FC Dallas on
Sunday.

So I would consider him very much a part of this team, and very likely
to be in that lineup.  And if he's
not, he's had a tremendous season coming off the bench for us.  He's a team leading goal scorer and
sometimes, for Jeff, he can be extremely, extremely good at any moment, and we
just have to catch him on that right moment.