Portland preseason trip make or break for trialists
FRISCO – FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman says he will use the Portland Timbers’ second annual preseason tournament at JELD-WEN Field to evaluate the state of the team and determine the fate of his trial players.
“We have to make some decisions on these guys as we get closer to roster date,” said Hyndman. “We like all of them – right now, it’s going to be a numbers game.”
A few of the players Hyndman will be looking at are Kyle Zobeck, Michel, TJ Nelson, and Cam Wilder. Michel had more opportunities to showcase his talents in Cancun than the others and truly demonstrated his diverse abilities.
“We have been pretty impressed with Michel,” said Hyndman. “He gives us that versatility that [he] can go left side, fullback, center back, and I would assume he could fill in on the right side. It’s always nice to have a player with those types of capabilities.”
The tournament will begin on Sunday, Feb. 17 with FCD playing Swedish team AIK. FCD plays Portland on Wednesday, Feb. 20 and San Jose on Saturday, Feb. 23.
“It will be a wonderful environment as [Portland] basically sell out those games,” said Hyndman “And then it will be a different weather condition – it will give me a chance to see players how they handle difficulty.”
Hyndman says these games are important because their opponents will try to send a strong message and this will provide the perfect opportunity to assess the trial players.
“Even though these are friendly games in Portland they are kind of putting their foot on you,” said Hyndman. “They are making an impression like ‘Hey we are better than you.’ We need to evaluate players and if they can’t play against the level that we are going to be looking at then we have to think twice about [them].”