Undersized FCD have no problem with stature
FRISCO, Texas – While FC Dallas were busy eliminating defending champions Real Salt Lake last weekend, TV analyst Christopher Sullivan paid Schellas Hyndman’s team an interesting compliment during the Fox Soccer Channel broadcast.
He said FCD were “pound-for-pound, the best team in MLS.”
Sullivan told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday that he didn't literally mean that in terms of mass – he meant up and down the roster, position by position – but it's hard to hide the fact that Dallas have star power in, literally, short supply.
“We’re certainly not the biggest guys out there,” chuckled midfielder Dax McCarty after training on Thursday. The central midfielder is one of 10 players on FCD’s roster who are 5-foot-9 or shorter and weigh 160 or less.
In fact, FC Dallas’ average listed measurements of 5-foot-10½ and 165 pounds make them literally the smallest team in the league, dead last in both categories out of all 16 teams. But FCD get the most out of their diminutive status.
Pint-sized dynamo David Ferreira, at 5-foot-5, 153 pounds, utilizes his speed and low center of gravity expertly despite being hammered by defenders.
The fact that he led the league with 84 fouls suffered make his 13 assists (five of which were game-winners) that much more impressive, and is a good reason why he’s a finalist for the MVP award.
Add the speedy McCarty to flank players like Marvin Chavez (5-5, 139 pounds) and Jair Benitez (5-7, 151), and Dallas have speed to burn both moving forward and especially on the counterattack. That’s why, says captain Daniel Hernandez, a lack of size is no disadvantage for this team.
“We’re one of the best teams whether it’s featherweights or heavyweights,” said the holding mid. “It doesn’t matter. I think we’re one of the better teams in the league and we can match up to anybody.”
That size will be put to the test on Sunday when FCD visit the Los Angeles Galaxy for the Western Conference Championship (8 p.m. CT, ESPN2). LA aren’t bigger than Dallas by a lot, but their roughly inch and seven-pound advantage on average is enough to outmuscle the visitors.
“Obviously LA has great size on their side,” said Hernandez, before pausing and joking, “But we have short guys who can jump really high.”