Rookie forward Jason Yeisley had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 scrimmage defeat of the D-II Austin Aztex at Pizza Hut Park on Wednesday. Eric Avila, Andrew Weideman and Zach Loyd also had goals, while Dax McCarty added two assists.
“I thought it was a good result for us,” FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said. “I wasn’t in it to win the game. I was in it to see our players under pressure—like, how do our two midfielders handle their three midfielders?”
Avila’s goal came after just four minutes. It was set up after rookie Eric Alexander sent a long ball from the left flank toward Avila, who was on the right. Avila launched a low, hard shot from about 15 yards out that beat the Austin ‘keeper to give FCD an early lead.
Austin drew things level early in the second half. Trialist Wolry Wolfe scored past FCD goalkeeper Kevin Hartman. The assist went to former Kansas City Wizards player Lance Watson, whom the Aztex recently signed.
The game remained at 1-1 until Weideman’s goal in the 54th minute. Yeisley set the table nicely by dribbling around an Austin defender on the left side. He then laid the ball off Weiderman, who finished nicely to double the score.
McCarty and Atiba Harris both entered the game with around 15 minutes to go, and in the 81st minute McCarty got the first of two assists when he set up Yeisley with a chance the Penn State product finished with great precision.
With about two minutes left, McCarty delivered a perfect corner. FCD’s top 2010 draft pick Loyd got his head on the end of the cross and headed it home to finish the scoring.
“I asked them to take more risks and more chances, take more shots and make more runs forward because we weren’t putting them back on their heels enough,” Hyndman said. “I thought we did that and we started creating goal-scoring opportunities. We came into it to give our reserve players a game, something they need more of so that they can stay sharp. We also wanted to put ourselves in the situation where some players had an opportunity to impress me.”
FCD’s lineup consisted of Kevin Hartman in goal. The backline was Anthony Wallace on the left, Brek Shea and Edson Edward in the middle with Loyd at right back. The midfield featured Avila on the left, Weideman on the right, and Alexander and Bruno Guarda in the middle. Yeisley and Peri Marosevic started up top.
Ruben Luna, a member of the FCD Juniors program, came on for Marosevic in the second half. FCD’s other changes were McCarty coming on for Guarda and Harris for Avila.
Shea played in Saturday’s 1-1 tie with Houston at left midfield, but played center back against Austin. FCD will be without starting center back Kyle Davies for at least eight weeks after he broke his right arm in Saturday's game against Houston. Ugo Ihemelu, who Davies had replaced in the First XI, remains sidelined with a strained hamstring but should return for FCD’s match against Columbus on April 10.
Hyndman discussed getting another look at Shea in the central defense.
“Last year we had an exhibition where he played center back, and he did a good job,” Hyndman said “I would’ve kept him at center back but he was with the Under-20s as a left-sided midfielder, and I didn’t want to confuse him too much.
“Right now, with Kyle [Davies] injured, we really need to start to think about who we can put back there as a center back. Right now, he is doing fine. He just needs more time and more coaching.”
Hyndman also praised Yeisley’s performance.
“He’s a big, strong boy,” Hyndman said. “He holds the ball well. I don’t think he got beat on too many headers. Even though Zach [Loyd] scored that goal there at the end, it was Yeisley going for the first ball and dragging the whole defense with him [that made the difference].
Yeisley had missed much of preseason due to injury, so he was happy to get the opportunity to play.
“I’m really thankful the coaching staff kept me around and gave me the opportunity to kind of show what I can do,” Yeisley said. “I’m grateful to still be here and to be playing. I want to take every opportunity to try and prove myself and show people what I can do.”