Leon friendly a chance for reserves to shine
FRISCO -- As FC Dallas has regained something of a clean bill of health over the past month, playing time for reserves has dwindled. That makes Sunday’s friendly against Liga MX side Club León a perfect opportunity to get the starters some minutes in preparation for next Saturday’s showdown with Vancouver while giving the guys on the bench a chance to make their case for playing time in crucial upcoming league matches.
“Sometimes all we have to evaluate them is the reserve games and we haven’t had a reserve game for two months,” head coach Schellas Hyndman said after Friday’s practice. “What do you do? Put them on a shelf and forget about them? So this is an opportunity to evaluate them in a good game.”
One player who could greatly benefit from Sunday’s match and upcoming reserve league matchups is midfielder Bobby Warshaw. Despite returning to training almost two months ago from a broken foot suffered in a reserve match at Kansas City on May 1, an absence of reserve matches means the midfielder who appeared in six of the team’s first eight MLS games has sat dormant for quite some time.
“I’m just excited to play again…to get back to the emotions that you’re used to feeling and that you enjoy,” Warshaw said. “I can’t control the actual importance of it for the team or my place in the team, but I’m looking forward to it to just get out there and have fun again. That’s all I can think about.”
Warshaw and FCD will certainly be provided with stiff competition in León, a side enjoying their first season back in the Mexican top flight since 2002. Located about 240 miles northwest of Mexico City, León have certainly raised some eyebrows in their first trip back to Liga MX, sitting third in the table with 13 points from seven games including a 3-0 win over champions Santos Laguna.
“They’ve always had a very competitive team and a great following at their games and even here in the US,” said Daniel Hernandez who is no stranger to León, having played professionally in Mexico for many years. “They’re a big club, even though they haven’t been in the first division for awhile, they’re a big club.”
While the game may pale in comparison to next Saturday’s crucial tilt with Vancouver, for Warshaw Sunday’s friendly will be about one thing: winning.
“At the end of the day winning feels good,” Warshaw said. “Next week we’re going to feel [crappy] if we lose and we’re going to feel good if we win. There’s no points or money on the line, but it’s about the way you feel next week.”