Just a few days after the first team delivered a 2-0 win over San Jose at Pizza Hut Park to hit the league’s World Cup break on a high note, FC Dallas’ reserves will take the field on Tuesday night in Midland against the West Texas United Sockers, a PDL squad from the Lone Star State.
The match will give fans, as well as head coach Schellas Hyndman, the chance to see recently-signed 34-year-old Colombian forward Milton Rodríguez and on-trial Brazilian right back Jackson.
Milton won’t be eligible to play until after the transfer window opens in mid-July, but FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman wants him ready to roll once that time comes.
“We want to get Milton some sharpness so when July 15 comes around and he’s eligible to play, he’s had some games and can learn a little bit more about what we’re looking for here,” he said.
As far as Jackson goes, the game will give Hyndman the opportunity to further look at the defender, who is with FCD for a few weeks on trial.
“We’ve got Jackson up here from Brazil and the best way to look at him is in a game. Barry [Gorman] has done a really good job of going [to Brazil] and identifying players,” Hyndman said. “He came back with a list of four very good players and we’re trying to bring three of them up for trials.
Even though the 22-year-old Sao Paolo FC product has only been through a few training sessions, the FCD coach likes what he has seen so far.
“He’s very good and athletic. He was identified as somebody potentially coming in now for the transfer window or he could be coming in next year if he’s a player that we like,” said Hyndman. “It’s a chance to look at a young player who is much more mature and developed technically and tactically because… he’s been with his club since he was eight years old. So far, I’ve been pretty pleased with what I’ve seen. Of course, the real test is the game.”
Tuesday’s match will also see FCD out of the 4-1-4-1 formation that Hyndman has employed for much of the past year and into a traditional 4-4-2. Rodríguez figures to start up top alongside rookie Jason Yeisley or second-year striker Peri Marosevic.
“We are in the 4-4-2 tomorrow. It really is a preferred system of play because it brings so many other things,” Hyndman said.
And although he might like that formation better, he added that it’s difficult to use that system with the first team because pairing David Ferreira with either Dax McCarty or Daniel Hernandez in central midfield would leave one of the latter two playing out of position.
“We’re trying to play within our players,” the head coach said.
However, the most important thing about tomorrow night’s match is for Hyndman to help keep his reserves sharp and fit.
“The most important thing is to give our players a game. The last time they had a game was against Haiti and that was May 22,” the FCD coach said. “We’re looking at a situation now where we feel that we can get more games for our reserves. We’re really trying to do a couple of things over this time off to give us a couple exhibition games so we can take a look at our players a little bit better.”